BOSTON (Reuters) - Security software maker Sophos Inc is introducing free programs that prevent sensitive data from getting outside corporate firewalls, taking on products sold by Symantec Corp and McAfee Inc.

The data-loss prevention program will be distributed at no charge to customers who buy the anti-virus programs, said Sophos spokesman Mike Haro, whose company is the world's biggest privately held maker of security software.

Sophos spokesman Mike Haro said on Thursday that the Anglo-U.S. company's goal is to boost sales of its anti-virus software for business personal computers, which competes with programs from Symantec and McAfee.

Jefferies and Co analyst Katherine Egbert said that the new offering could hurt sales at Symantec and McAfee, the top two vendors of security software, at least initially.

"People might want to try something for free before they buy a paid product," she said.

Officials with Symantec and McAfee could not be reached for comment.

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