Need ID theft insurance? Pick up a copy of CA's Security Suite.

Islandia (NY) - CA is pushing more aggressively into the consumer security software space. The company puts a new spin on providing users a piece of mind by including free ID theft and antivirus protection insurance with its latest software package. And you don't have to lose your ID online to be covered by the $5000 policy.

An increasing number of threats emerging from the Internet have created a whole new set of dynamics in the security software field. Traditional providers such as Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro or Panda are seeing increased competition from firms such as Microsoft and CA, which want to cash in as Internet users become more and more aware of threats attacking their broadband pipes.

CA has come up with a new idea to win the trust of potentially new customers. The company includes in its packages insurance that cover users against ID theft (up to $5000) and anti-virus damage ($1500). The program is administered by Warranty Corporation of America (WaCA) and do not only cover your activity online but also offline - for example if you lose your wallet in your neighborhood mall. The insurance reimburses users for costs for lost wages, legal fees, re-filing applications and fixing credit reports in the event a user's identity is compromised.

Buyers of the software are automatically covered when they buy CA's Internet Security Suite 2007 and register for WaCA's "Mobile Lifeline" software. We were able to give the software a brief test run before its official announcement. It has an extremely small footprint by today's standards - the download package is about 40 MB - and covers the areas of anti-virus, anti-spam, firewall and anti-spyware protection. All features can be used from a central management panel and are set into the highest protection by default. Especially less experienced users may appreciate this feature, as the software does not require any configuration after installation - with the exception of confirming "safe" networks. However, especially the firewall feature enables users to customize access to the computer on a case-by-case basis, if necessary (see our slide show to get an impression of the look and feel of the software.)

CA offers the new software in different versions. The complete suite is available for $50 (single user) and $70 (coverage for up to three computers.) Anti-virus protection is priced at $40 (single license) and $50 (three computers); anti-spyware, anti-spam and the personal firewall are priced at $30 each for a 3-computer license. According to CA, there is still enough incentive to offer different versions for single and multiple computers as there are still many users who only need protection for only one computer.

George Kafkarkou, senior vice president of worldwide commercial sales and strategy at CA told TG Daily that the company considers itself as one of the younger contenders in the security software field - even if the company has been active in this field for about five years. However, according to NPD, CA already is the second largest consumer security software firm in the U.S. He counts on a ready-to-use package that does not require a lot of experience to expand CA's reach in the consumer segment.