Citing the need to provide security for the growing Internet of Things, chip maker Intel has entered an agreement to purchase cyber security company McAfee for $7.68 billion. According to the press release issued by Intel: “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.”
Earlier this week we reported that the number of Internet connected devices is expected to reach 22 billion in the next ten years as cars, sensor networks, security cameras and more come online. Cisco already puts the number of Internet connected devices at 35 billion and forecasts trillions in coming years. This has big implications for enterprise security.
According to Cisco’s Mid-Year Security Report, IT managers should be considering the ways in which criminals may be able to “leap frog” from an network connected device with a vulnerability to a corporate network.
In just a few years, every door lock, card reader, video camera, vehicle, power meter, and light switch will have an IP address– at least in the business world. Therefore, from a security standpoint, it will become increasingly important–within the enterprise and within our homes (since many of us are now mobile or remote workers, too)–to segment and firewall different classes of devices in a network.
McAfee’s VirusScan was the first commercial antivirus product. Earlier this year the company demonstrated a keen interest in cutting edge security by launching its CloudSecure service to provide auditing and certification to the cloud, purchasing mobile security company Trust Digital, and Facebook to provide virus scanning for users with compromised accounts.
Intel’s purchase also reflects another growing trend: seeking higher margins, hardware companies are snapping up software companies.