McAfee on Wednesday announced Virex 7.7, a new version of the company’s antivirus solution for the Macintosh. This is not the same application as the consumer release that was offered to Apple’s .Mac customers; this version focuses on McAfee’s small business and corporate users. Among the changes is support for Apple’s
Mac OS X Tiger.
McAfee readily admits that viruses are not a big problem on the Mac, but having this release focused on the corporate space they have to be concerned about heterogeneous environments.
“We recognize that there are not a tremendous number of Mac viruses right now, but the threat does exist and they have popped up from time to time,” Roger Wood, senior product manager at McAfee, told MacCentral. “In addition, we provide protection so the Macintosh doesn’t become a means of introducing viruses into the broader mixed environment that many of our clients operate.”
While viruses that come to a Mac through email or in other files don’t harm the system in any way, a virus can still be sent to Windows users where it can spread. In the corporate environment, this is actually a bigger problem for companies than viruses written specifically for the Mac.
“If you take a snapshot of the world today, it probably is a bigger problem,” said Wood.
That, explained Wood, could change as Macs become more popular and Apple’s market share continues to grow. The continued success of the iPod and
Apple’s move to Intel could move the company’s market share even higher in the next year.
“We are closely monitoring several trends in the market,” said Wood. “The Mac is gaining popularity and as they gain a bigger share of the desktop market, they become a bigger target.”
Virex is centrally managed by McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO), enabling businesses to manage all of their McAfee system security solutions from one central interface regardless of operating system. With ePO administrators can find out who is up to date, what viruses have come in and other information.
One feature that is not in this release is the scanning of incoming and outgoing emails, a feature that caused the company and many Mac users grief with the consumer release.
“This release does not do that, but we do want to go back and put that in,” said Wood. “For our corporate and business customers that is actually less of an issue; that was a big issue for consumers.”
McAfee Virex will be available August 29, 2005. Pricing for corporate users will be available from the company’s Web site.