The Consumer Electronics Show is expected to start off with a bang when McAfee and Intel announce their new joint venture into the consumer security software world. While the new Internet security software is still in beta testing and won’t be available until mid-year, the few details McAfee is releasing about the software make it sound like a game changer.
“We’re combining the best McAfee security technology with the best Intel security technology,” Gary Davis, VP of Global Consumer Marketing for McAfee, said. “There will be a deeper level of security embedded in the silicon.”
What’s special about it? The new Internet security software will include hardware-assisted security, which helps protect your devices on an additional level that other security software suites can’t reach. Hardware-assisted security sits beyond the operating system, close to the CPU, to provide an extra level of protection. Having an extra level of security outside of the operating system allows McAfee to provide real-time kernel monitoring to detect and block advanced, hidden threats, such as stealth rootkits and APTs.
The new hardware is also tied to the hard drive, which makes it harder for data thieves to steal from your hard drive. If the hard drive is removed from your computer, it can’t be used in another computer.
In addition, the new software will provide a concierge service which will give users access to an exclusive 800 number and online chat that will be like “their own personal security tech support,” Davis said. Users can call in about new viruses or malware that they hear about and get support on how to protect their computers against them.
McAfee says that these improvement, in addition to more features that McAfee will be rolling out during the beta process, will make the software more personalized for each user and protect them on a completely new level.
“This is a fundamental shift from protecting your device to protecting what you do,” Davis explains.
What happens if you don’t have an Intel device? That’s where it gets tricky. Since the security software talks directly to the Intel hardware, if your device does not have Intel hardware, the extra level of protection will not work.
“You get the highest level security on an Intel device. If you don’t have an Intel device, you still get a high level of McAfee security, but you won’t get that extra level of protection,” Davis explains.
McAfee will be demonstrating the beta version of the new software at CES, but only to their partners.