Network Associates, Inc., a provider of network security and availability solutions, announced the acquisition of Deersoft, Inc., a provider of anti- spam applications. The Deersoft acquisition is the first in a series of investments Network Associates is making in spam and content filtering technologies.

Under the terms of the deal, Network Associates has acquired technologies associated with Deersoft's consumer and enterprise anti-spam products for an undisclosed amount and will assume all support obligations for Deersoft customers. The technology will be delivered at the gateway, e-mail server and desktop for enterprise customers. The first product, McAfee SpamKiller Enterprise, will be delivered in the second quarter as a desktop solution. Also in the second quarter, ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO), McAfee's enterprise policy manager, will be updated to manage SpamKiller Enterprise. With this enhancement, ePO will be able to manage spam, McAfee and competitors' anti- virus products as well as personal firewalls, gateway and e-mail protection from a single scalable tool.

In the second half of 2003, the technology will be integrated into the McAfee WebShield and GroupShield products to provide protection for Internet gateways and e-mail servers. E-mail has become a business tool organizations rely on in their day-to-day activity. For office networks, spam is expected to climb from 25 percent of corporate e-mail in 2002 to 50 percent in 2003 according to Aberdeen Group. With the escalating number of spam messages, many corporations are confronted with the task of filtering the overwhelming number of unwanted messages received by their end-users. In addition to being a productivity issue, spam is a security concern as most viruses and malicious code are transmitted via e-mail.

"The increasing onslaught of spam not only consumes network and mail-server bandwidth, it also acts as an express delivery mechanism for software microbes that utilize covert channels to export sensitive information to outsiders," said Eric Hemmendinger, research director for security and privacy at Aberdeen Group. "With the acquisition of Deersoft, Network Associates will continue to expand the value of the McAfee family of anti-virus and anti-microbe solutions, and dramatically reduce the quantity of spam confronting McAfee users."

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