VeriFone, Inc., the leading provider of payment solutions, and McAfee, Inc. (NYSE: MFE - News), the leading provider of intrusion prevention solutions, today announced an agreement to jointly develop the point-of-sale (POS) payment terminal industry's first virus protection solution.
"With the growth in Internet Protocol-enabled payment devices, we want to provide merchants with assurance transaction data will be safe from increasingly sophisticated malicious software," said Paul Rasori, vice president of product marketing for VeriFone. "VeriFone aims to provide the highest-levels of security and our IP-enabled terminals have operated without intrusions. But we are determined to improve the security in our solutions by teaming with the industry leader in network and Internet security systems to preempt the threat of malicious software."
The two companies will develop software for real-time monitoring and attack pattern update services using McAfee® VirusScan® for VeriFone IP-enabled payment devices, including those already installed in the field. VeriFone, which already supports Ethernet, Wi-Fi, 2.5G and 3G wireless IP networks in POS products, will work with credit card processors and independent sales organizations to activate and support the antivirus protection solution at the merchant level. The companies expect to make the antivirus solution available initially in North America beginning in early 2005.
"Online offenders are always on the lookout for new opportunities to spread malicious threats, so we must always be a step ahead of them," said Bill Kerrigan, senior vice president of McAfee Consumer. "By developing an anti-virus solution for the POS space, we are responding to an unfilled need in the marketplace, while also providing a high level of security to consumers and merchants. Furthermore, this partnership with VeriFone is a continuation of our goal to provide security solutions not only to the desktop, but to a range of digital devices as well." McAfee's relationship with VeriFone follows fast on the heels of McAfee's previous announcement with Japan's DoCoMo last year to be the industry's innovator in the protection of IP-connected cellular phones from similar threats.
Viruses and worms cost U.S. businesses billions of dollars annually. Recently, there has been an increased awareness of the threat that sophisticated payment devices which transport and encrypt very sensitive consumer data may be targeted. Credit and debit charges now account for almost a third of total personal consumer expenditures in the U.S., resulting in a heightened risk of wide scale virus assault on point-of-sale payment terminals could be devastating for impacted merchants.