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Robert Lemos

Staff Writer, CNET

Security specialist McAfee said Monday that it will start updating its virus-matching database every day, and that it will launch a customizable Web site that offers incident and threat information.

Vince Gullotto
VP, McAfee

Starting Feb. 24, the company will move from weekly updates of its virus definition data files, or DATs, to daily updates, said Vincent Gullotto, vice president of the antivirus emergency response team for the company. DATS make up the dictionary of viruses that McAfee’s software recognizes.

“We had this request from our customers for quite some time, and we studied whether we could do it and do it effectively,” Gullotto said.

Gullotto said the move is also a response to the increasing number of threats found on the Internet every day. On average, McAfee adds detection for 50 new threats each day.

In addition, the company announced plans to publish security incident and threat information to a customizable Web site, MyAvert. The site will be available in March, the company said.

The announcements came as McAfee prepared for Tuesday’s kickoff of the RSA Security conference in San Francisco. Internet threats, and responses to them, will be a topic of the conference. Interest in that segment of the market has been fueled in part by Microsoft’s recent purchase of three companies that address that niche. Most recently, the software giant announced plans to buy Sybari Software.

McAfee’s announcements do not necessarily put the company ahead in service offerings.

Several of the company’s competitors offer definition-file updates at least every day; Kaspersky Labs, for example, offers hourly updates. And MyAvert is a service designed to compete in some ways with the SecurityFocus Web portal, bought by McAfee’s rival Symantec a few years ago, Gullotto said.

“We have so much information (in-house) today following our Foundstone acquisition and others, that we will be able to publish more interesting information over time,” he said.