Intel looking to the future

Intel's deal with McAfee will set a new standard of security

Intel’s proposed $7.68 billion acquisition of McAfee will see the embedding of security at the CPU layer become the industry standard, according to analyst firm IBRS.

IBRS advisor, James Turner, said the acquisition appeared to be part of a long-term, well thought out strategy which dealt with the increasing security challenges posed by virtualisation.

“Intel has seen the future and they’ve realised that client hypervisors on desktops and servers are going to become the standard so what they’re doing is they’re taking a strategy to help inject security even at a lower level down stack and that’s why they’re going after McAfee,” Turner said.

“The next thing that’s going to happen after you get virtual machines all over the place, whether it’s virtual desktop or a virtual sever, is you’re going to start getting security attacks going after virtual machines, inserting themselves in between a virtual machine and the hardware and so it makes sense to start getting the security in at that level now… That’s what I think Intel’s doing directly, they’re bringing on McAfee so they can start embedding this into chips.”

According to Turner, Intel was unlikely to "shake up" McAfee post acquistion.

“Intel is buying them because of who they are rather than wanting to go and break it up and start doing anything funky with them,” he said. “They’re actually buying McAfee for what the company brings so I don’t think there’s going to be a situation here where other security vendors are going to be able to step in and start abusing any hiatus because I just don’t think that’s going to happen.”

The deal, which saw the total of McAfee’s stock purchased at $US48 per share, will result in the security vendor becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intel, reporting to the chip maker's Software and Service Group.

McAfee chief executive, Dave DeWalt, claimed the deal would enable the production of security software and hardware by one company and result in increased security in modern computing.

“Intel’s agreement to acquire McAfee underscores what we at McAfee have been saying for some time: security is a fundamental component of modern computing and it is increasingly relevant in a completely connected world,” DeWalt said in a statement.

Commenting on the agreement, Intel chief executive, Paul Otellini, said the rapid growth of internet –connected devices and everyday practices moving online had been motivation behind the move.

“In the past, energy-efficient performance and connectivity have defined computing requirements. Looking forward, security will join those as a third pillar of what people demand from all computing experiences,” Otellini said in a statement.

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