US cybersecurity firm McAfee eyes digital wallets as users pile in for e-payments

US cybersecurity firm McAfee eyes digital wallets as users pile in for e-payments
Photo Credit: Reuters
21 May, 2018

US cybersecurity software-maker McAfee is now turning its attention to digital wallets as a new revenue stream, against the backdrop of more and more people signing up for these services, The Economic Times reported.

According to the report, McAfee, which has over 25% of its global workforce based in its Bengaluru office, is targeting the space as the number of digital wallet users spiked after the government's demonetisation initiative.

“India has a large number of digital wallets compared to other countries. While these wallets are expanding to the nether regions of the country, the number of scams is also increasing by the day,” Anand Ramamoorthy, managing director, South Asia, McAfee, was quoted as saying.

“The scale is quite large and so building security features becomes difficult,” he said. “There are various issues a user faces starting from fake apps, fake transactions and a lot more, which are unique cases in India. Looking at all these cases, we are trying to build security that solves it all levels,” he added.

The Economic Times had earlier reported that several scammers were committing fraud by sending false payment confirmation messages to merchants.

Explaining digital wallet security, Ramamoorthy said that the company first tracks how apps are reading into personal data of users on the phone such as address book and photos and then secures that data. He said that in order to add another layer of security, McAfee tries to find the device on a map faster than usual and then backs up the data, locks the device and wipes out the data from the device.

The company is already working with mobile wallet companies but is now sharpening focus to secure the back-end as well as the front-end for consumers.

In another strategic move in March, the company had said that it was extending its cloud security platform to protect Microsoft's Azure platform that provides cloud services.

Interestingly, this was McAfee's first joint solution following its acquisition of Skyhigh Networks, a specialist in the cloud security, in November 2017. According to McAfee’s 2017 cloud adoption and security report, nearly 93% of organisations use some form of cloud services.