Three of the biggest names in PC security have come out in defence of their trade, following further accusations from Intel that software alone is no longer able to handle the cyber threats of the modern age.
The hugely wealthy chip giant raised alarm bells within the sector after its acquisition of security specialist McAfee in August, announcing that it would be moving into the market, and claiming that the current software-based offering “does not fully address” the dangers.
“Standalone software services have always been broken or bypassed sooner or later, so providing hardware solutions to work with software is the best way to deal with security,” Intel’s general manager for anti-theft services Anand Pashupathy told PCR this month.
With Intel looking ready to park its tanks on the lawns of vendors such as Kaspersky Lab, the Russian firm’s senior security researcher David Emm told us: “We believe that IT security is a specialised business and that specialised vendors, whose primary focus is in securing IT systems against malicious code threats via any network will succeed in the long run.”
His words were echoed by Symantec’s Norton product marketing director for EMEA, Con Mallon: “Security is all about a changing threat landscape and the ability to be agile and nimble to respond in an effective and appropriate timescale. Although we do the job of security quietly and discreetly in the eyes of the user, security software will always have a front and centre profile in any internet connected platform.”
BitDefender’s sales director for the UK and Ireland Simon Geach warned that Intel might have difficulty establishing itself in what is already a very competitive marketplace.
“Choice, trust, functionality and cost will still impact the choices made by a consumer to protect their systems,” he commented. “Protecting a chipset or protecting a device with that chipset has been done before with limited success. It still leaves a computer vulnerable if the protection isn’t good enough or doesn’t offer the functionality that a consumer wants or knows how to use.”
Meanwhile, Intel’s Pashupathy told PCR it will be leveraging its considerable financial muscle towards more than just anti-theft initiatives: “There are multiple areas of security that Intel is looking at from a strategic point of view. This new anti-theft technology is just the beginning.”