Funny how some news stories are viewed differently. This weekâ€™s big IT headline was that Intel had bought McAfee for a massive $7.68 billion, but depending where you read about the story took on multiple personas.
There is no doubt that the acquisition underlines Intelâ€™s bet on â€œhardware-enhanced securityâ€ and demonstrates that that security is a necessary component as the tech companyâ€™s reach expands to handle billions of new Internet-ready devices, such as mobile phones and computers, TVs, cars, medical devices and ATM machines. The chip-maker itself said the deal would help it make security a core component of online computing, by building McAfeeâ€™s security features into its chips for mobile phones and other devices.
Intel senior vice president, RenÃ©e James said: â€œHardware-enhanced security will lead to breakthroughs in effectively countering the increasingly sophisticated threats of today and tomorrow. This acquisition is consistent with our software and services strategy to deliver an outstanding computing experience in fast-growing business areas, especially around the move to wireless mobility.â€
Interesting that ZDNet read into this that, â€œCloud Security Becomes Key Priorityâ€ for Intel. The last time I raised the issue of security for cloud services I was chastised by my colleagues for perpetuating the security myth surrounding cloud services. Whether it is a myth or not, almost every survey of enterprise users has security as one of, if not, the major concern.
It doesnâ€™t help when we keep getting security patches from our OS suppliers every time somebody finds a loophole to exploit. Even if cloud services are â€˜watertightâ€™ there is no guarantee that our connection to them through dodgy PC operating systems and insecure wireless links will be.
Maybe with â€˜Intel Insideâ€™, future devices will be able to overcome these security concerns, at least until a wayward hacker finds a way to beat the system. We will also have to wait for regulatory clearance because the union may be deemed as potentially anti-competitive. Anyway, Intel has 7.68 billion reasons to think this is the solution we have all been waiting for. Time will tell.