Chip maker Intel is shelling out US$7.68 billion to purchase software security company McAfee with plans to build its own hardware and software-based security products. McAfee makes antivirus and security software for the Mac, but is better known for its Windows-based products. What Intel looks to be more interested in, however, is the potential to create antivirus and security products for the mobile device market.
“Today’s security approach does not fully address the billions of new Internet-ready devices connecting, including mobile and wireless devices, TVs, cars, medical devices and ATM machines as well as the accompanying surge in cyber threats,” Intel said in a statement. “Providing protection to a diverse online world requires a fundamentally new approach involving software, hardware and services.”
By bringing McAfee under its wing, Intel plans to design its own chip-level security products. “Hardware-enhanced security will lead to breakthroughs in effectively countering the increasingly sophisticated threats of today and tomorrow,” said Intel’s Software and Services Group manager, Renée James.
Since Intel and McAfee haven’t started working together yet, there isn’t any word on specific types of products the chip maker has in store. The company could, for example, plan on pushing its security chips on laptop makers like Apple, HP and Dell.
The deal could also change the Windows antivirus software market where McAfee fought for marketshare against companies like Symantec.
The deal still has to complete the usual regulatory approval process, along with a shareholder vote, but the McAfee board has already offered its approval.