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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mcafeesecurityintel

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Xiro Drone Xplorer V -3 Axis Gimbal & 1080p Full HD 14MP Camera

Learn more >

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things


Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on Good Gear Guide

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?