SMB Cybersecurity

New consumer and small business users of CenturyLink leased modems will be protected by McAfee security technology.

CenturyLink says that modem protection will be established for “qualifying” customers for Internet-connected devices once they are plugged into the wall and the modem is turned on. Other devices, such as tablets and smartphones, are protected once client software is downloaded.

The protection is provided to eligible modems via McAfee Secure Home Platform and McAfee Multi Access, which are powered by McAfee Global Threat Intelligence (GTI), an always-on artificial intelligence-based service. The platform is designed to detect and destroy threats such as viruses, malware, ransomware and spyware. The offering includes antivirus, Web protection, malicious site blocking, parental controls, IoT security and botnet detection, the service provider says.

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“Through our partnership with McAfee, we now provide our customers with security for virtually all of their connected devices through the compatible CenturyLink modem. This security not only helps to protect PCs, laptops and mobile phones, but also gaming systems, smart thermostats, robotic toys, smart speakers, smart TVs and other connected devices, as well as the modem itself,” Brook Kolluri, the director of CenturyLink’s Product Management Innovation Team, said in a press release.

Service providers are facing an increased need to protect the growing number of Internet-based home devices. Indeed, the requirements of a modern home have grown to the point that a service aimed this group can also serve small businesses, as the CenturyLink/McAfee offering does.

As the COVID-19 pandemic grew, several service providers launched work from home (WFH) services that provide discreet business class security to homebound workers. It is also clear that residential connectivity has increasingly been used for business purposes.

Last November, Comcast “Xfinity Cyber Health Report” found that users had an average of 12 connected devices per home, two more than the previous year – and 61% of respondents said they planned to add at least one more device during the holidays that were approaching.

CenturyLink, now a part of Lumen Technologies, and McAfee have a relationship dating back at least as far as 2014, when the service provider used the vendor’s email and endpoint protection in its Managed Office software package.

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