Feeds

Facebook snuggles with McAfee in security spree

Symantec unlikely to like updated relationship status

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.