Intel, McAfee, Cameron Diaz: Hot Topics for CIOs?

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 08-20-2010

Intel, McAfee, Cameron Diaz: Hot Topics for CIOs?

The past week has been an exciting one for tech lovers. It was highlighted by Intel's surprising plan to acquire security firm McAfee for a whopping $7.68 billion. Exactly what Intel has planned for McAfee is not clear right now, but the chip maker believes that the purchase will help bolster its services (and bottom line). While analyst views on the purchase plans are decidedly mixed, the announcement comes as news headlines are dominated by the latest Facebook scam affecting the social network's users. It is just the latest example of why you, and your IT staff, need to keep a close eye on what employees are searching for on corporate computers. Other hot topics include RIM's release of a new and improved BlackBerry App World; and HP's revelation that enterprise sales helped drive an increase in fiscal 3Q revenue, even as the company continues searching for a suitable replacement to departed CEO Mark Hurd.

CIO Perspective on Intel, McAfee Deal

The biggest news of the week was Intel's plan to buy McAfee. According to a statement released by the chip maker, the deal will make McAfee a wholly owned subsidiary and allow it to continue operating as a separate entity. Intel was also quick to point out that security will now become a key component in its "Internet-connected devices" strategy going forward.

CIO Takeaway

For CIOs, Intel's McAfee acquisition might play in your favor. Web and mobile security are becoming of increasing concern in the corporate world, as malicious hackers target Google's Android OS and Apple's iOS. Plus, with the financial backing that Intel offers, McAfee might finally have the cash it needs to compete effectively with other enterprise-security vendors. Keep a close eye on this one. By the looks of things, Intel's McAfee acquisition could result in new innovations that could help CIOs strengthen the security of enterprise networks.

McAfee's Most Dangerous Search List

Speaking of Web security and McAfee, the vendor has come out with its latest list of the most dangerous celebrity searches. This year, those who queried search engines for "Cameron Diaz" were the most likely to get hit by malware. McAfee's study might capture just a small slice of all Web searches, but it effectively highlights the dangers of seemingly innocuous searches in today's Web landscape.

CIO Takeaway

As a CIO, you need to be sure that your employees are not unintentionally engaging in dangerous search queries while using business devices. It is your job to keep employees informed of the dangers of Web searching, and verify that they take your warnings to heart by watching what they are searching for.

The Latest Facebook Scam

A Facebook scam making its rounds on the social network is dubbed the "Dislike Button." The scam pretends to let users "dislike" a status update. Upon doing so, they are asked to allow the app to access their profile, thus helping it spread across the social network. Victims are also asked to fill out a survey to help the scam's creators generate revenue from it.

CIO Takeaway

Although this Facebook scam will not put your company's sensitive information in danger, it once again highlights the risks involved in allowing employees to access social networks using corporate devices without proper use policies and enforcement in place. Social networks can be fine collaboration tools, but they can also be security hotbeds.

RIM Updates BlackBerry App World

Research In Motion (RIM) has released an update to its BlackBerry App World. The update boasts cheap paid apps, the ability to pay with major credit cards, and some design tweaks to help users find apps.

CIO Takeaway

If you are using BlackBerry OS in your operation, it is a good time to have your employees update their smartphones with the latest BlackBerry App World. And, in the process, take a look through the app store yourself. It might not be on par with Apple's marketplace, but it delivers several worthwhile corporate apps you might want to try out.

HP Has No Hurd Replacement Yet

HP released its quarterly earnings on August 19. After announcing that it performed well financially, the company's executives said that it has appointed a selection committee to find a suitable replacement for departed CEO Mark Hurd. Exactly how long it will take the firm to find a CEO is unknown, but considering how important Hurd was to enterprise-computing sales, don't be surprised if the company moves relatively quickly.

CIO Takeaway

For most CIOs, HP's CEO loss does not have a material impact on their operation. But it's probably something you should keep a close eye on. The company's strategy in the interim, as well as the strategy put in place by the next CEO, could have a direct impact on your buying and outsourcing decisions.