Intel mulls selling cyber security business

Chipmaker Intel Corp is mulling the sale of its cyber security business, earlier known as McAfee, the Financial Times yesterday reported.

Intel established Intel Security after acquiring McAfee, the world's second-largest security software company, in 2011 for $7.68 billion.

Intel has spoken with several bankers to find a buyer for Intel Security, the report said.

Private equity firms are recently shown keen interest in cyber security companies since it brings in strong cash flows as corporate customers become increasingly worried about protecting their business from cyber attacks, the report added.

A group of PE firms might form a consortium to buy Intel Security if it is sold for the same price or higher than the $7.68 billion Intel originally paid for it, the report said.

Santa Clara, California-based Intel is the world's largest chip maker and its chip run more than 80 per cent of the world's personal computers. If its chips were to be embedded with McAfee's anti-virus software, it would be difficult for other security software companies to forge alliance with PC-makers to buy their software.

Intel's acquisition of McAfee is believed to have been aimed to not only add security features to its PC chips, but also to expand into new areas, such as mobile phones and other personal electronic devices since security is now a fundamental component of online computing.

But Intel failed to embed McAfee's cyber-security protocols within Intel's chips and two of Intel Security's CEO left the company and is now led by Chris Young, a former Cisco senior vice-president.

McAfee has a suite of software-related security solutions, including end-point and networking products and services that are focused on helping to ensure Internet-connected devices and networks are protected from malicious content, phony requests and unsecured transactions and communication.

Intel said in April that it is cutting 12,000 jobs in order to focus on making chips for data centers and Internet of Things devices.