Intel and McAfee have been explaining how security will be bolstered by building better links between security software and hardware.
George Kurtz, McAfee's chief technology officer, explained during his keynote at the RSA Conference that security will have to move through the seven layers of the Open Systems Interconnection model down to the first layer of silicon components.
"The existing security model is broken. The point of migrating down the stack is for visibility. If you can peer under the operating system you can see malware very easily. You have much better visibility," he said.
Malware needs to get on to a target system and execute in order to be effective, so the presence of malware isn't a problem if execution can be blocked, he said.
By creating a "root of trust" between software and silicon, the effects of malware can be greatly mitigated, according to Kurtz.
Intel will also work with Symantec on a similar system. George Thangadurai, general manager of Intel's PC Client Services Group, explained the thinking behind the move during a separate keynote session.
Intel has traditionally been built around the two pillars of performance and energy efficiency, Thangadurai explained.
However, security is now the third pillar of Intel's philosophy and the company is looking for ways for make computers more secure on a chipset level.
"We don't want to have to make people carry tokens or smartcards. As we go forward, enterprises will get over the barrier of two-factor authentication in an easier fashion," he said.
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