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McAfee announced updated versions of its messaging and Internet gateway security appliances on June 12, along with a set of new features offered in its online applications testing and deployment service.

The company said it has improved e-mail encryption and regulatory compliance tools in both its Secure Messaging Gateway and Secure Internet Gateway appliances, in addition to integrating new spam-fighting applications into both of the devices.

Just as McAfee has blended its anti-spam technology into its enterprise security software package, company officials said the gateway appliances now promise the ability to identify and block IP addresses responsible for the unwanted messages. Some of the technology responsible for the so-called reputation-based spam-fighting capability is provided to McAfee through its partnership with software maker Postini.

In the realm of compliance management, McAfee officials said the company has improved the devices’ centralized administrative tools for ensuring fulfillment of a number of high-profile regulations, as well as their ability to scan e-mail messages for a wide variety of information, such as social security numbers or bank account data. The tools offer to help organizations monitor for inappropriate activity and encrypt any potentially sensitive information.

The appliances also promise new TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption capabilities, which utilize SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technology to further cloak data transferred between messaging applications.

McAfee also announced new upgrades to its Global Support Lab, a service that offers online product testing, training and demonstration support to the company’s partners and customers. Among the promised enhancements to the service are new tools for replicating companies’ custom systems configurations to test software before it is installed into a customer’s network. The Global Support Lab’s online product training tools are another area of improvement, company officials said.

Click here to read more about McAfee’s moves to capitalize on companies’ demand for more integrated security apps.

In addition to the product updates, McAfee announced a new effort aimed at raising public awareness of potential targets of emerging IT threats. Officials said the company is putting its weight behind a set of vulnerability reporting guidelines set forth by the OIS (Organization for Internet Safety, and it promised to increase the work done by its Avert Labs in communicating with affected technology vendors when new vulnerabilities are discovered.

McAfee is one of the founding members of the OIS, along with rivals Internet Security Systems and Symantec, as well as Microsoft and Oracle. The company’s Foundstone compliance management division is also heavily involved in the effort.

“Our goal is to help the public address new, fast-moving threats that cannot be dealt with adequately by patching and other traditional reactive means,” Stuart McClure, senior vice president of global research and threats at McAfee, said in a statement. “With our research capabilities, we can proactively work with affected vendors to generate solutions before targeted threats become realized attacks.”

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