Intel's $7.7bn acquisition of McAfee today, reflects the importance of security to the chipmaker, which is preparing to address the security impact of mobile and wireless devices, TVs, cars, medical devices and ATMs connecting to the internet.
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The company said security is now as important a strategy as its energy efficiency drive.
"With the rapid expansion of growth across a vast array of internet-connected devices, more and more of the elements of our lives have moved online," said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. "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.
Intel hinted that the company would embed McAfee's software security into its hardware. "Hardware-enhanced security could lead to breakthroughs in effectively countering sophisticated threats," it said.
McAfee has been steadily building a portfolio of mobile security technology. Earlier this year McAfee acquired Trust Digital, a provider of enterprise mobility management and security software, together with tenCube, a Singapore-based start-up which provides back-up and device tracking, remote locking and wiping for Android, Blackberry, Symbian and Windows Mobile smartphones.
While such products sit well with Intel's mobile strategy. Questions remain over where McAfee's enterprise security portfolio, which includes data loss prevention, firewalls, intrusion prevention systems and managed security services, will fit in.