McAfee LiveSafe Uses Biometric Protection for Storage
McAfee is mixing the worlds of biometrics, security and storage in its new LiveSafe offering set to be available next month.
The LiveSafe service is meant to be a step toward delivering on McAfee's joint vision with Intel to enable consumers to protect their data and identity on all their devices. As part of the service, users will be able to leverage voice- and facial-recognition technology to protect data hidden away in a "Personal Locker."
"The Personal Locker feature provides a 1GB safety deposit box in the cloud where users can store copies of sensitive personal information like passports, credit cards, deeds and wills," Yogesh Jain, group product manager at McAfee, told eWEEK. "Then, the user can access the files by proving their identity using multi-factor authentication using three factors: face, voice and a PIN."
A user's picture and voice recording are taken during activation of the Personal Locker and then encrypted and stored in the cloud server, Jain said. When personal files need to be accessed, users are authenticated by taking a picture and voice recording and inputting their PIN, all of which are encrypted and sent to the cloud for an authentication decision when verified against the biometrics that are stored on the cloud server.
"The communication between the user's device and the cloud server happens through an encrypted channel, and when a match is found in the database, the user is authenticated and the associated vault belonging to this user's profile will be opened for access," he said.
He added that a two-step check is performed on voice recognition to identify the "liveness" of the user. In addition, the voice-recognition algorithm has been tested and tuned by taking samples from various languages in different regions.
Included with the service are anti-malware, anti-spam and other capabilities for supported devices such as Macs, smartphones and PCs. A Web-based console is used to monitor and manage security across multiple end points, and can tell users if there is a security issue with a machine such as a firewall being off, Jain said. Users can add the devices they want to manage and download the necessary software.
The service will initially be available exclusively on pre-installed Dell PCs starting June 9. On July 1, it will be available through selected retailers to customers buying new PCs and tablets, as well as a retail standalone product and other hardware manufacturers later in the year. When purchased with a new PC or tablet, the service will cost $19.99 for a 12-month subscription. The price goes up to $79.99 for a 12-month subscription to protect an unlimited number of consumers' existing PCs and tablets when purchased on its own.