Network Associates International (NAI) this week plans to outline a broad strategy to meld the anti-virus scanning and desktop firewall it currently sells with the application-based intrusion-prevention technology it acquired when it purchased Entercept into a single desktop software product. The company projects that this product will be developed within the next 12 to 18 months.
The product, yet to be named, would be under the management control of NAI's ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO), which would be continuously monitoring for nodes connecting to the network. The ePO management console would be able to "push out" the combined desktop firewall, anti-virus and intrusion-prevention software to any node detected to be joining the network but not to have the software.
"The administrator could say any new PC that joins, the ePO could automatically push that out," said Ryan McGee, director of product marketing at Network Associates. "It can be based on the customer's access-control policy."
The Entercept intrusion-prevention software is server-based at present, but NAI expects to have a client-based version of it by next year. Entercept is also not managed by ePO today, as the anti-virus and desktop firewall products are, but that too is expected to change sometime next year.
In outlining these future plans, McGee said that NAI product development direction is driven by customers who say there's increased pressure to give business partners access to corporate networks, but customers are looking for ways to ensure some basic security protections are in place when these business partners are given entree.