McAfee outlines its plan to secure the Internet of Things

The Intel Security subsidiary said that to ensure the foundation of IoT security, IP-connected devices must be designed with protection standards built into the devices, and not as an afterthought.


McAfee on Wednesday outlined what the IT security giant said is its "strategy for enabling the secure Internet of Things." As a subsidiary of Intel Security, McAfee is supporting Intel's recent IoT push with the chipmaker's co-formation of the Industrial Internet Consortium .

McAfee is working under the assumption that by the end of 2020, the IoT will include approximately 212 billion "things" and its objective is to maintain the trust of those devices while allowing them to perform as intended, but with a richer experience.

But that high level of connectedness also creates unprecedented security challenges in data privacy, safety, governance, and trust. McAfee said the way around that issue is to design security within IP-connected devices, instead of addressing it as an afterthought.

A breakdown of its IoT strategy looks like this:

  • Assurance that devices are operating as intended by the manufacturer and have not been corrupted
  • Life cycle security across the device, network, and data center
  • Support for industry standards and device interoperability
  • Ability to solve Information Technology/Cloud services challenges in connecting legacy and new systems to new and future services
  • Provide technology to assure individual privacy

McAfee also said it is working closely with the broader Intel and Wind River companies to provide security solutions to ensure protection of connected devices, systems, applications, and data. Last week, Intel introduced the Intel Gateway Solutions for IoT, a family of platforms based on Intel Quark and Atom processors, as well as McAfee and Wind River software that enables companies to interconnect industrial devices into an IoT-ready system of systems.

Michael Fey, worldwide chief technology officer for Intel Security, said in a statement: 

Security needs to be built in as the foundation of the Internet of Things. Any disruption to these IP-connected devices can cause damage to the business and our daily lives. We need to have foresight into what is coming so we can prevent against threats and securely manage these devices. McAfee is enabling the future and the possibilities that the Internet of Things brings to our daily lives.

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