John McAfee is happy to see his name off Intel’s security products, but the change will make Intel’s sales harder, say rivals
McAfee is no more. Intel has ditched the McAfee Security name, with some blaming the maverick behaviour of the antivirus company’s founder John McAfee.
Intel bought McAfee in 2010, but kept the brand until this week’s decision to rebrand it as Intel Security. One rival has claimed the change will make it harder for Intel to sell protection products, calling the chip company a security dinosaur”
Intel hasn’t completely ditched the McAfee brand, maintaining the familiar red shield in its logo. It also said, during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, that it would be offering certain McAfee mobile security products for free.
“The complexity of keeping digital identities safe grows as mobile applications and devices become a more important part of our daily lives,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, during his CES keynote. “Intel’s intent is to intensify our efforts dedicated to making the digital world more secure, and staying ahead of threats to private information on mobile and wearable devices.”
John McAfee, who founded the company as McAfee Associates in 1987, fled Belize after one of his neighbours was murdered. He is now living in Portland, Oregon, and has made a number of comedic YouTube videos, one of which openly mocked McAfee security produccts.
Intel ‘is a dinosaur’
Rik Ferguson, vice president of security research at rival company Trend Micro, said it would be more difficult for Intel to sell under its new brand.
“Selling Intel Security will be more difficult than selling McAfee, same problem they had when they were Network Associates,” Ferguson told TechWeekEurope over Twitter. McAfee was known as Network Associates during the 1990s, folliwing a merger with Network General.
Both Intel and Microsoft have talked about the need to provide “baseline” security, but Ferguson says they have fallen behind as the security challenge evolves, describing them as “two dinosaurs who did not invest in their meteor detection capability”.
Intel and Microsoft had not responded to requests for comment on those criticisms at the time of publication.
Intel’s purchase of McAfee left some dubious, questioning the need to integrate for security on a chip, where it can only deal with a limited range of attacks, namely those involving rootkits. Such concerns were raised when Intel paid $7.58 billion for McAfee in 2010.
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