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McAfee Announces Alexa Skill for Home Security, Gets Access to Alexa Notifications

McAfee today announced a new Amazon Alexa skill for home security. The skill is not yet live and the product it supports won’t exist until the second quarter, but the intent behind the product is interesting and the fact that McAfee is getting access to Alexa notifications which are not broadly available today. Cybersecurity for the home is an emerging segment as consumers have increased the number of connected devices and household routers have become targets for hackers. McAfee is looking to capitalize on this trend. The media release announced the new Alexa skill stated:

“With the growing amount of personal information flowing to and from connected things in consumers’ homes, it’s imperative that security is extended to all those things. New devices like game consoles, home security systems, thermostats and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices must be secured to avoid becoming a target for cybercriminals.”

Some features of the forthcoming Alexa skill include:

  • “Alexa, ask McAfee how many devices are online right now” – to determine what devices are currently accessing the home network.
  • “Alexa, ask McAfee to scan my network” – enables a network scan on connected devices and pushes a notification through Alexa if a device vulnerability is identified. In case of a botnet attack, McAfee says the solution blocks the attack and informs the user through an Alexa notification and via the McAfee mobile app.
  • “Alexa, ask McAfee to block/unblock {Device1}” – enables customers to block or unblock a device on the network using the device name as a parameter.
  • “Alexa, ask McAfee to pause the internet for {kid1}” – allows customers to block access to the internet as desired, on an individual or group basis. Parents also have the ability to select time controls on a per child basis.

Integrated into D-Link Router

The solution will first be accessible to owners of the D-Link AC2600 Wi-Fi router which is due to ship in Q2 2018. It does not appear that the McAfee Secure Home Platform can be used without a supported router. The announcement indicates the solution is available today to router, gateway and networking device OEMs to integrate into their products.

I have requested whether a Google Assistant app for Google Home is expected in the future and will update this article when I hear back.

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