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McAfee Partners With Outsource Specialist Wireworx To Provide Managed Security Services To UK Micro-Businesses

May 31st, 2006

McAfee, Inc., the global leader in Intrusion Prevention and Security Risk Management, today announced a partnership tie-up with WireworX, the small business-focused IT outsourcer, to add managed security services to WireworX’s IT services offering for UK micro-businesses (companies with 1-10 employees). Protection against viruses, hackers, spyware and spam will be added to WireworX’s portfolio, including corporate levels of PC support with remote resolution of common faults and queries, health-checks, benchmark assessments and sourcing of replacement machines and data migration.

This follows research conducted jointly by McAfee® and WireworX to determine the understanding of data protection issues faced by micro-businesses in the UK, coupled with an examination of their willingness to embrace a managed service approach to PC support. Headline findings include widespread dissatisfaction with current levels of support (80%+) despite a similar number of respondents rating PCs and the Internet in general as “indispensable” to their working lives.

Outsourced PC support for Very Small Businesses

Conducted amongst 165 micro-businesses in the UK, the survey showed that only 14.5% were completely satisfied with all aspects of the purchase and support process from IT vendors, with after-sales support in particular being highlighted as a let-down. Unsurprisingly then, the survey also showed that nearly two thirds of respondents (64%) would be interested in unlimited access to a PC help desk to solve common problems such as issues with Internet connection, an inability to print documents and so on. The importance of these views for IT vendors are substantiated by Will Cappelli, research VP at Gartner, commenting on the micro-business sector: “Managed services, including corporate-class threat protection and other security-related functionalities for microbusinesses and independent professionals represent a significant growth market, virtually unnoticed by vendors and traditional service providers alike.”

Andy Jerram WireworX CEO, stated ‘The survey results show that PC support outsourcing can bring significant productivity benefits to both independent professionals and micro-businesses. The goal of WireworX – now featuring McAfee security services – is to offer corporate standards of IT support in order to maintain optimum productivity.”

Understanding of Viruses, Hacking and Spyware

The research also threw up some interesting anomalies in the related areas of data and threat protection. A big majority (87%) of respondents recognised the importance of backing up the data held on their PCs, and a similar number (84%) rated PCs and the Internet as “indispensable” to everyday working life. In the area of threat protection however, there was worrying evidence of a lack of understanding; a third (34%) said they either did nothing to protect themselves or were not fully apprised of either the threats out there or what is available to stop them. Only 35% said they considered protection measures on their PC to be very effective.

Sal Viveros, security evangelist at McAfee, comments: “Security expertise, or the lack of it is still a major problem for micro-businesses as threats are often not understood and dealt with in the timely, appropriate manner. Many unrelated surveys have shown that spyware is present on a huge number of machines, especially in very small companies, and most also find that a majority of surveyed companies have been hit with virus attacks in recent times. So when this survey threw up findings like data protection being incredibly important, and at the same time showed that today’s threats are not fully understood or protected against, it’s clear that there’s a knowledge gap”.

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