Intel's McAfee brings biometric authentication to cloud storage

McAfee's LiveSafe requires authentication via face and voice recognition to access files online

Intel is introducing new ideas to secure the public cloud, offering a service in which online files can be accessed after users are verified by an authentication scheme including face and voice recognition.

McAfee, a unit of Intel, is adding a product called LiveSafe that will offer 1GB of online storage that can be accessed through biometric authentication. LiveSafe has a Web-based management dashboard, and users can be authenticated through face recognition, voice or by punching in a PIN. LiveSafe also includes antivirus and other security features.

McAfee likens the service to an online vault in the cloud where sensitive documents can be stored. The service can be accessed through tablets, smartphones and PCs, and the authentication schemes vary depending on the device.

Multifactor authentication is critical for files stored in the cloud, McAfee executives said.

The biometric authentication features are tied to antitheft and identity-protection features in laptops with Intel chips, which adds additional layers of security, said Gary Davis, vice president of global consumer business at McAfee.

"A big part of this announcement is collaborating with Intel," Davis said.

A PC needs to have a webcam and an Intel processor to use voice and face recognition. Not all forms of biometric authentication will work on Macs, mobile devices and PCs using Advanced Micro Devices' x86 processors. In cases where biometric authentication functions are not available, users can access files after punching in the correct PIN. LiveSafe will also work with Android and Apple's iOS operating systems.

The software is priced at US$19.99 for a 12-month subscription on new PCs, after which users have to pay $79.99 per year. For existing PC users, a 12-month subscription costs $79.99.

The secure files are stored in McAfee's data centers, Davis said.

"We needed to make sure we put [files] in the absolute securest location," Davis said.

McAfee software like Total Protection has a feature in which files can be stored in secure locations on local storage. LiveSafe will not synchronize with files stored in secure file vaults created on local storage.

Intel completed the $7.68 billion acquisition of McAfee in early 2011, after which it took steps to bring some of the security company's assets to the chip level. One combined offering is DeepSafe, in which a security layer on Intel's chips allows McAfee's malware protection software to identify and block threats such as rootkits, or analyze stealth behavior of potential malware.

Intel has also said it would use McAfee's assets to integrate security features at the chip level to differentiate its products from the competition. Some of the features are expected to be embedded in Atom chips, which will then help secure smartphones and tablets.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mcafeesecurityintel

More about Advanced Micro Devices Far EastAdvanced Micro Devices Far EastAppleIDGIntelMacsMcAfee Australia

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Agam Shah

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place