Feeds

Facebook snuggles with McAfee in security spree

Symantec unlikely to like updated relationship status

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Facebook has partnered with McAfee to offer users of the social networking site a free six-month subscription to its security software.

The year-long exclusive deal, announced Wednesday, also involves a special (unspecified) discount for McAfee's Internet Security Suite software once the six months trial is over.

Facebook and McAfee emphasise that the deal is part of a wider consumer education effort, and improvements to the social network's account recovery and internal security procedures, focusing on the detection and blocking of suspicious behaviour.

The deal's greatest significance, however, is in creating a new channel for the distribution of consumer security software. Security firms such as McAfee and Symantec have traditionally bundled 30-day (or sometimes three month) trial versions of their software with new PCs, with computer manufacturers getting a slice of the revenue from the resulting deals. The Facebook agreement is different because it involves a much longer trial period and no revenue share.

The huge user base of Facebook means that the social network could become a major conduit for free consumer security software. Together with the recent launch of Microsoft's freebie Security Essential software this puts a further squeeze on the likes of AVG and Avast. A sizeable presence in the consumer market results in intelligence that can improve the effectiveness of enterprise packages, as well as raising the profile of brands.

The deal is therefore something of a coup for McAfee against arch-rival Symantec. Whether the agreement offers Facebook security bragging rights is more debatable, especially in the wake of its recent privacy changes that made photos and personal information available to everyone, to say nothing of last year's Beacon advertising debacle or ongoing problems with rogue apps.

McAfee Internet Security Suite software is on offer to Facebook users in the US, UK, Australia, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. Roll-out to other countries is expected in Q1.

The McAfee download portal on Facebook could not be accessed at the time of writing, presumably as a result of high demand. McAfee's statement on the deal can be found here and Facebook's take here. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.