McAfee will release the first beta of its McAfee Policy Enforcer software next week.

Designed to help sysadmin deal with the security risk from "end-point" devices such as desktop and notebook PCs, the software can find and scan devices on the network to ensure they have up-to-date patches and security software before giving them access.

Policy Enforcer is designed to be integrated with McAfee's ePolicy Orchestrator management and reporting software and will work with a variety of hardware, including Cisco switches and Nortel and Juniper VPNs.

The new product follows rival Symantec's entry into the market in August with its acquisition of Sygate Technologies.

The supported beta version of McAfee Policy Enforcer will be released 14 November, with a commercial version in early 2006. Pricing has yet to be announced.