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Intel and McAfee team on cloud single sign-on

Busy year as security merger bears fruit

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Intel and MacAfee have been talking about the fruits of their merger and their plans for a cloud to computer security network that will be built into new systems.

Jason Waxman, general manager of Intel's Cloud Infrastructure Group, said that over the last year or so he'd been inundated with questions about what Intel was going to do with McAfee since it lashed out $7.68bn for the security firm, during an industry-wide buying spree on cyber-security companies. Chipzilla's been intentionally quiet on the subject, but was now ready to talk, he said.

What Intel is planning is a cloud-to-desktop security strategy, mixing hardware and software features in a federated framework designed to make cloud computing safer, locking down the desktop and, coincidentally, giving IT managers another reason to specify Intel's systems during the next upgrade cycle.

"I think, of the public cloud providers, there are many that are doing an excellent job at security," Waxman said. "In fact, when I look at how enterprises do they are as good if not better. But the reality is that there's a perception of poor security."

Intel wants to mate its Trusted Execution Technology (TET) that's built into the Xeon E5 processor family with software controls from McAfee. The chipset will work with McAfee's ePolicy Orchestrator to analyze networks and enforce policy while updating and protecting the larger environment.

The two companies also released a new antivirus tool for the cloud, dubbed McAfee Management for Optimized Virtual Environments AntiVirus. This seeks out malware and uses application controls to limit infection spread and downtime, while pushing out updates as and when. A connections manager also monitors data entering and leaving the datacenter for signs of infection.

At the user end, Intel is linking in with features in the Core i3, i5 and i7 processor ranges to try to keep systems clean, and there'll be some integration with the cloud systems, including a single sign-on mechanism.

Intel's reaching out to the relevant standards organization to pull in other partners, and has announced talks with the Cloud Security Alliance and Open Data Center Alliance. El Reg suspects a lot of people will wait and see how the architecture stands up in the real world before jumping on board. ®

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