McAfee has introduced an encrypted cloud storage service secured by biometric locks as part of its new all-in-one LiveSafe security software suite.
The suite offers users a one-click password manager, mobile security features such as remote lock, locate, and wipe, antivirus and firewall protection software, and the Personal Locker storage service.
McAfee sees biometric security as the future of digital life protection, where users and their data are protected no matter what device they are using, where they are connecting, and what they are doing online.
Security is no longer something that users can just run and forget about, and McAfee is working to increase its visibility, Gary Davis, McAfee's vice-president of global consumer marketing, said. However, the goal is to make security "a natural course of activity," Davis said.
What is more natural than using your face and voice to authenticate yourself? For example, logging into the computer may become as simple as sitting down in front of the computer and using the built-in microphone and camera to log in. McAfee is banking on biometric security as the future of authentication, where users rely on voice and facial-recognition technology to access their laptops, desktops, and mobile devices, Davis said.
"If you value your digital life as much as you value your car and house, why are there no locks?" Davis asked. Digital life protection will eventually extend to where "you are the password," Davis said.
While McAfee is not quite there yet, the company took a first step with the introduction of the LiveSafe software suite.
In order to access the personal documents stored on Personal Locker, the user has to pass facial and voice-recognition challenges. Users activate the online safety deposit box by selecting a PIN to use on the mobile device, submitting photos of their face and recording their voice reading some phrases. All three elements are combined into a unique lock to protect the data. From a mobile device, the user has to enter the PIN, take a photo using the camera, and read aloud two different sentences. The process is the same when accessing Personal Locker from a laptop or desktop, except for the PIN, Davis said.
Davis demonstrated the service by reading two sentences aloud to verify voice and then taking a picture of someone else with the smartphone's camera for facial recognition. Since the picture did not match what was on file, Personal Locker blocked access. When he tried again with his own picture, he was able to log in.
The suite is compatible with Windows laptops and desktops as well as iOS and Android mobile devices. Unlimited device support means users can use LiveSafe to secure all their devices — no matter how many they have — with a single subscription. Technical support is also included in the subscription.
Some of the LiveSafe features will take advantage of anti-theft and identity protect technology features baked into Intel's Haswell chips when that hardware becomes available, Davis said.
LiveSafe includes a dashboard to manage all its features and see which devices are being protected. The antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing, two-way firewall, identity protection, and parental controls are all available for Windows PC and Macs and can be managed from the dashboard.
The suite will be available to consumers buying Dell PCs and laptops starting 9 June. Other partners will be added at a later date, with plans for selling it as a standalone product in the works.
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