Thursday, August 19, 2010

Intel Validates the End Node

In the security industry, there is an obsession with the perimeter, which is why this Intel-McAfee announcement, at first glance, seems so surprising. McAfee represents visibility and control at the end node - the environment where the bad guys actually live. Intel's investment into end-node security is significant because it represents a fundamental shift in security . Adoption of mobile technology is faster than ever before and the chip-war cannot continue to be based solely on horsepower or power consumption - there needs to be a platform and security has to play a big part. An integration between hardware and software is natural and can create a platform for the future mobile user. To understand this acquisition, you have to think ahead. Intel knows the future is in small, always-on access-to-the-cloud -- and they can obviously deliver the horsepower required for immersive environments such as High-Def, 3D that will become the norm. But the future is not without risk. To create a secure online experience for the user, Intel understands that the security features in the chip need to be united with application layer surfaces. While the benefits for Intel are clear, this deal also might be the best thing that ever happened to McAfee. They have the domain knowledge about hooking into software flows and scanning for patterns, but the end-node for McAfee is the PC -- not the future devices. Intel's business has always been about massive scale and this might push McAfee into the future. This event may signal an emergence period of security integration into the end node. The perimeter is vanishing daily - this event just validates that the end-point is where the action is.