McAfee Research conducts advanced computer and network security research and has worked with government agencies such as the National Security Agency and companies such as Boeing. According to McAfee, the unit's efforts have shifted from unclassifed research to classified research and development.
The company will continue to research malicious code and vulnerabilities through its Anti-virus and Vulnerability Emergency Response Team (AVERT).
Selling the research group will help McAfee streamline its business and hit its target of a 25 percent pro-forma operating margin by June, McAfee Chairman and CEO George Samenuk said in a statement. Over the past three years, the company has been shedding business units, including Sniffer and Magic Solutions. Last year, it changed its name from Network Associaties to McAfee.
McAfee expects its deal with Sparta to close in 90 days. As part of the agreement, Sparta will acquire McAfee Research's contracts.