With Intel having its foot already in the security industry through its last year’s August announcement of acquiring McAfee, Intel now plans to provide cloud security through McAfee.
Intel’s advisory on Tuesday announced that it will be using the assets procured from McAfee in order to provide security services in the cloud for the protection of mobile devices that are prone to attacks because of malware and their exposure to the Internet.
The plan, according to Intel, is to initially provide security products via software and security services and then later on "bake" or in other words embed features relating to security onto the processor chips.
Senior VP and GM, Renne James, of Intel’s Software and Services group advised that the security features that will be "baked" onto its chips will have a heavy focus on providing cloud security services.
James also pointed that in the long run, security will be a key differentiator for mobile devices. Consumers and specially enterprise customers will be willing to go for devices that are secure and as cloud security services is the future, building up on those is certainly the plan.
Intel’s capabilities in providing these services have increased two fold as McAfee, prior to the acquisition, was already providing security services and manageability for Intel’s embedded OS known as Wind River. Long has Intel has been known for its connectivity and power efficiency and security would certainly add more strength to its diverse plans. Security is not new to Intel as it already has the chip-based security called the VT featured for virtual environments.
Intel is not behind in the security vertical as it has boosted its security presence through the acquisition of Nordic Edge earlier this year.
Dave DeWalt, president of McAfee, now a part of Intel said that to generate more security revenue, Intel could use the subscription model in the cloud. Intel could generate a revenue stream from remote management consoles for printers, mobile devices, ATMs, kiosks, etc.
As malware is always part of the software and there are always ways of circumventing the software based security, hardware based security especially at the chip level is inevitable if there is a need to sustain from the 45 million+ different types of malware that are presently circulating the Web.
According to James, "As a semiconductor maker, OS fragmentation is not an issue for the company as its x86 chips can run most mobile OSes", but this seems to be a long shot in terms of smart phones as this domain is ruled by the ARM processors. The wide scale adoption of ARM processors in this arena will certainly be a barrier for Intel’s expansion plans, but Intel is confident enough with its cloud security service offerings.