McAfee announced a vulnerability-assessment scanning service that's aimed at giving cloud-computing service providers a way to provide security assurances to their customers.

Called the McAfee Cloud Secure Program, the daily scanning service is directed from the Internet into the cloud service provider to probe for any weaknesses in the network infrastructure, perimeter and applications, says Marc Olesen, senior vice president and general manager for McAfee's software-as-a-service business unit. 

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The McAfee Cloud Secure Program, which is likely to be expand to include other security services as well, "is intended to give customers more confidence in their cloud providers," Olese says. is among the first to participate in the McAfee program.

The charges for McAfee Cloud Secure are based on number of IP addresses, among other factors, and start at less than $5,000 per month, according to Olesen.

Cloud providers are entitled to post the McAfee Cloud Secure mark when they've successfully completed daily vulnerability-assessment scans. The program is modeled to some extent after the McAfee Secure Trustmark program for e-commerce web sites that undergo security scans.