Reuters reports that Intel's security division, McAfee, is planning to lay off a "small percentage" of its staff of nearly 7,100 employees. Ian Bain, a spokesperson for the security firm, would not provide additional details as to why the cuts will take place, and when.
Security solution providers like McAfee and Symantec are reportedly struggling in an industry now commanded by smartphones and tablets. With the PC sector in a "slump," firms are turning to apps to reel in customers with free services that lead to more robust, premium options.
But even on the desktop front, security firms will likely see even more pressure once Windows 8 lands on store shelves with built-in free anti-virus software. Microsoft already offers this free service – Microsoft Security Essentials (opens in new tab) – as an optional free download for Windows Vista and Windows 7 (32-bit/64-bit).
Cris Paden, a spokesman for Symantec, told Reuters that the Norton Antivirus company has no plans for layoffs at this time. Currently Symantec is in the middle of a strategic review that launched back in July by the firm's new CEO, Steve Bennett. He took over after Symantec's board fired Enrique Salem (opens in new tab) because "it was in the best interests of Symantec to make a change in the CEO."
"We evaluate conditions on an ongoing and regular basis and there are no plans as of right now," Paden told Reuters.
Intel completed its acquisition of McAfee for $7.7 billion in February 2011. The company said McAfee would continue developing and selling security products and services under its own brand. The acquisition would reportedly enable a "combination of security software and hardware" from one company.
"As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intel, McAfee reports into Intel's Software and Services Group," Intel said at the time. "The group is managed by Renée James, Intel senior vice president, and general manager. McAfee's president, Dave DeWalt, will report to James."
Michael DeCesare and Todd Gebhart have since become the new Co-presidents of McAfee. DeWalt resigned from his role as President in July 2011, and went on to serve as chairman of the board of directors at FireEye back in June.
Reuters reports that Intel is scheduled to release quarterly earnings later this month. This may give more insight as to what's going on with McAfee.
Unless Intel plans on implementing a chip level Anti-Virus solution, McAfee's consumer solutions are somewhat redundant.
You cannot stay that long in business by selling false sense of security crap. If it wasn't for computer companies (ehem: Dell) forcing on it users no one will buy this garbage.
They should also focus on GPU-assisted viruses. Those things are virtually untouchable by current AVs, especially if they don't run on the CPU or system RAM at all.
Have you seen the prices for antivirus?!?!! $70+ for an antivirus suite? seriously? For something that is often beaten by free services? Even malwarebytes is $25 FOR LIFE, not per year, and that is a great one! If they sold their services for much cheaper they might stand a chance at gaining some market share again.
Win7/8/OSX/iOS/WP7/8/Android are all relatively secure out of the box now. It is not the Pre XP-SP2 days where just hooking up to the internet would get you a virus. You typically have to either click on something, or be specifically targeted in order to get an infection. On top of that web browsers tend to have warnings for bad sites/links, ISPs are filtering more and more content, and home routers are getting pretty good out of the box (and are super secure if you flash them with tomato or DD-WRT). Plus you have the major push for app stores which filter installable content, and a ton of pressure for applicaiton and web service providers to ensure that their product is relatively secure to begin with.
And also the largest sources of viruses was from illegally downloading music and movies which were infected. Now with so many legal free/cheap/affordable web sources this is nowhere near the issue that it use to be. And even some torrent sites are monitoring torrents to boot users that are infecting the pool.
Add to all of that Intel itself, who purchased McAfee specifically to implement security on a hardware level in order to better virturalize and compartmentalize environments so that the antivirus would eventually become irrelevant. McAfee's own work will undo their main product line! which is wierd to think about
There are just so many levels of security now, that it renders most use-cases for antivirus as obsolete today. It is not 100% secure or anything, and the internet is still a very scary place in some regards, but todays issues are on a higher level of security (with businesses and web services), and there is less and less focus on end-users as targets as their systems become more secure, and the users generally become more educated.
Poor Engineering leadership was fully to blame for the death of DLP. The technology was acquired through Reconnex and was then a market leader - now it's dead in the water. It was at the very heart of the BU's strategy.
Where does McAFee get their Engineering VP's from?