Intel has announced plans to purchase security firm McAfee for $7.68bn (£4.9 bn).

Under the deal, which has been approved by the board of directors at both of the companies, McAfee will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intel and report to Intel's Software and Services Group, which is headed up Renée James, Intel's senior vice president.

Intel highlighted the importance of mobile security in today's annoucement "With the rapid expansion of growth across a vast array of Internet-connected devices, more and more of the elements of our lives have moved online," said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO.

"In the past, energy-efficient performance and connectivity have defined computing requirements. Looking forward, security will join those as a third pillar of what people demand from all computing experiences."

"The addition of McAfee products and technologies into the Intel computing portfolio brings us incredibly talented people with a track record of delivering security innovations, products and services that the industry and consumers trust to make connecting to the Internet safer and more secure."

Dave DeWalt, president and CEO of McAfee, which was founded in 1987, said the cyber threat landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years, with millions of new threats appearing every month

"We believe this acquisition will result in our ability to deliver a safer, more secure and trusted internet-enabled device experience."