Intel Buys McAfee… But Why?

Just a quick one for tonight.

A few days ago, it was announced that Intel had bought McAfee for under $8 billion. McAfee was not in any financial trouble despite sending out an update to its antivirus software that rendered computers inoperable when a critical system file was quarantined.

The question here is what is Intel’s motivation in making such a move?

Intel is not in the security market from a desktop software perspective and the involvement that Intel does have in security is largely centric to the hardware inside our computers such as Trusted Platform Module which stores cryptographic information such as keys or certificates securely.

One can only guess that Intel is wanting to break into markets such as Unified Threat Management (UTM) boxes that have a wide range of capabilities such as firewall, VPN and real-time virus scanning (web and e-mail). Certainly as security becomes a bigger issue and small businesses are becoming more connected with larger networks, trying to keep every computer secure is a hard task in itself.

Still, I didn’t consider McAfee to be the shining beacon of the security industry. If you have been following the blog for a while you will know of my distaste of the major antivirus companies trotting out new products each year with questionable features and updates that serve nothing more to lock in more revenue and increased occupation of space on your hard drives. Perhaps as a security research firm McAfee might have had something to offer but their software solutions are woeful.

I guess we will see where Intel will take this recent acquisition but it will take some time to see what exactly the outcome will be.

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