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SAN JOSE, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Software specialist McAfee ( MFE) has teamed up with Adobe ( ADBE) in an attempt to tap the growing market for secure documents.

The two firms will build a software product for classifying and securing documents, which is clearly timed to coincide with corporate America's big data lockdown. With cyber-criminals intensifying their efforts to target big business, companies like McAfee, Symantec ( SYMC) and Microsoft ( MSFT) are locked in a security arms race.

With firms looking to tighten security around their intellectual property and meet stringent compliance requirements, McAfee is using Adobe to increase the pressure on its archrival and share leader Symantec.

This could be a shrewd move. Last year a Ponemon Institute study estimated that latent demand for protecting unstructured data such as documents and emails was worth $3.15 billion in the U.S.

Under the terms of the deal, McAfee will also make its Security Scan tool freely available to Adobe customers installing Flash Player software and Adobe reader.

McAfee has certainly been living up to its billing as one of TheStreet's top tech picks for 2009, recently busting out good second-quarter numbers.

Adobe also has been busy recently, throwing down $1.8 billion to acquire Omniture ( OMTR) and expand beyond Web software to site management and traffic analytics.

Shares of McAfee rose 69 cents, or 1.6% to $43.34 Monday, mirroring the broader advance in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq rise 2.3%. Adobe's stock gained $1.12, or 3.5%, to reach $33.15 over the same period.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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