McAfee, Symantec tapped for Defense anti-virus buy

The Defense Department last week awarded the largest anti-virus software contract in the public- and private-sectors when it tapped two vendors to supply software that will protect 2.1 million workstations from data-destroying viruses.

DOD tapped anti-virus software vendors McAfee Associates Inc. and Symantec Corp. for the purchase from existing General Services Administration schedules that together will total $3.7 million. The purchases are for one base year and four one-year options.

The anti-virus software product lines of both companies will be available for free to all DOD employees for office or home use and to all contracting officers working on DOD computers said Mark Bogart the Defense Information Systems Agency contracting officer.

Bogart and a McAfee official described the award as the largest single anti-virus software award to date. It is also the only software license to span all of DOD Bogart said.

The DOD award far surpasses McAfee's largest commercial customers said Peter Watkins general manager of McAfee's Security and Anti-virus Division. Top Fortune 500 companies such as Shell Oil Co. and General Motors Corp. have total corporate anti-virus licenses that do not require coverage for more than 200 000 workstations less than one-tenth of DOD's 2.1 million workstations he said.

McAfee based in Santa Clara Calif. and Symantec in Cupertino Calif. replace incumbents Norman Data Defense Systems which was selling its own software and Indelible Blue Inc. which was selling IBM Corp.'s enterprise version of anti-virus software. McAfee will provide its VirusScan NetShield GroupShield and WebShield products while Symantec will offer the Norton Antivirus Solution product line.

The new products provide coverage for Macintosh Digital Equipment Corp.'s Alpha and Unix which Norman Data and Indelible Blue products did not support. The award will allow users to protect groupware products Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95 and NT Java ActiveX firewalls and e-mail.

"We've got increased coverage now for Internet servers and e-mail vulnerabilities because that technology is mushrooming very quickly " Bogart said.

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