Feeds

Facebook snuggles with McAfee in security spree

Symantec unlikely to like updated relationship status

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

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. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.