Intel Ridding Itself of McAfee Name

Security Line of Products to be Known as Intel Security
Intel Ridding Itself of McAfee Name

Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich announced Jan. 7 that the company is changing the name of its McAfee line of security products to Intel Security, although it's retaining McAfee's familiar red shield. Intel acquired McAfee for more than $7 billion in 2011.

See Also: User Entity & Behavior Analytics 101: Strategies to Detect Unusual Security Behaviors

In his announcement, Krzanich tied the name change to a focus on securing mobile and wearable devices.

"The complexity of keeping digital identities safe grows as mobile applications and devices become a more important part of our daily lives," Krzanich said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "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."

But Intel's divorce from the McAfee name comes a year after authorities in Belize identified company founder John McAfee as a person of interest in the murder of his neighbor and American expatriate Gregory Viant Faull, who was found dead of a gunshot wound. McAfee fled to Guatemala, where he was detained and eventually deported to the United States.

John McAfee also has been badmouthing McAfee products. Seen wearing a red smoking jacket, puffing on a cigarette and surrounded by models, McAfee last June posted a YouTube video instructing viewers how to uninstall McAfee anti-virus software. Quoting the urban dictionary definition of McAfee, the founder said in the video says, "McAfee: A barely passable virus scanning program that updates at the worst possible times. It tends to render a computer completely useless whenever it starts an update, which it doesn't have to start and you cannot cancel or pause. McAfee updates at horrible times, almost like the creators want you to die."

McAfee says he's ecstatic by the name change. "I am now everlastingly grateful to Intel for freeing me from this terrible association with the worst software on the planet," McAfee told the BBC. "These are not my words, but the words of millions of irate users. My elation at Intel's decision is beyond words."

Intense Competition

The name change comes at a time when McAfee products are facing stiff competition from other security providers that offer competing products as well as alternative ways to secure information technology. Last week, breach detection provider FireEye announced its purchased incident response and remediation services company Mandiant for more than $1 billion (see FireEye Acquires Mandiant).

Besides announcing the name change, Intel is seeking to bolster its line of security products by providing free software for mobile devices. Krzanich says Intel will provide details of the free mobile device security offering in the coming months.

In his address to the Consumer Electronics Show, Krzanich said many firms with bring-your-own-device programs have prohibited Android-based devices that aren't compatible with their companies' security. He says Intel Security will offer device-protection technology that would help Intel-based Android mobile devices meet most security standards for use at home and work.

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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