One of our three Platinum Sponsors for the 2013 Secue360 Conference includes McAfee, the world’s largest dedicated security technology company. We recently interview Chris Cole, Director, Sales Engineering – West, about the company and trends in security solutions.
Secure360: Can you give us a brief background of McAfee and the key services the company provides?
Chris Cole: McAfee was founded as an antivirus company in the late 80s as McAfee Associates – since then the threat landscape has significantly expanded to target individuals and businesses of all kinds. McAfee’s mission is to provide protection at all levels to thwart malicious activity and keep customers safe. The key solutions include endpoint, network, content and compliance with a services arm that helps customers achieve security optimization for what they are trying to protect.
Secure360: What’s trending in security solutions compared to 5 or 10 years ago?
Chris Cole: 10 years ago the threat landscape was rather simple – There were much less exploits and the internet was not as far reaching as it is today– this was a limiting factor in the speed to which malicious code could spread, but as the speed and magnitude grew it opened up more and more conduits that malicious people could exploit. At that time, there were only a handful of known viruses that would cause trouble to a business or an individual. For example, to date there are over 25 million unique variants of Zues that McAfee Labs has collected – a known Trojan that is tied into botnets. Roughly, 5 years ago McAfee realized the speed to which threat intelligence was being provided to its customer was not sufficient nor was the speed of the analysis of malicious code – this unsustainability drove innovation and the advent of the McAfee Global Threat Intelligence (GTI) cloud was born. GTI provided near real-time feedback capabilities to the endpoint and the network for malicious files, IP, URL and mail sender reputations that provided exponentially faster understanding of the threat and thus provided blocking capabilities. Truly a breakthrough in the speed to which McAfee solution protect its customers.
The trend is now going against the grain of Defense in Depth to more of a vendor in depth “security connected” model that is real time. It based on the context of the endpoint, the network and the known vulnerabilities of the environment to show where the customer may be strong and weak. This context allows for cost savings while driving up the overall security posture of the environment. The real-time means that with much agility the customer can query his environment for “indicators of compromise” such as hashes and URLs to understand how they are being affected by a zero day threat as a result of strong correlated data. The key here is proactive vs. reactive.
Lastly – the innovation comes with Intel. Never before has there been a truly different approach – McAfee is now leveraging the hardware to provide superior protection and manageability to the endpoints based on a new platform called “DeepSafe”.
Secure360: What key product/service areas does McAfee provide and how do these interact together?
McAfee breaks itself into several key product areas – those being endpoint, network, risk & compliance and content security (dlp, web & email). The products are all driven to be best of breed solutions and are built to scale to any environment such as consumer, SMB, enterprise and our partner ecosystem if relevant. The vision here is provide those best of breed solutions to each vertical and at any level. Based on the customer type the solution are built to work on premise or off premise or for some customers McAfee has built award-winning SaaS solution so the customer does not have to own the infrastructure – a known cost savings.
The major differences are consumer vs enterprise – in the consumer model the endpoint solution much be completely self-contained and autonomous – in simple terms “it should just work” and keep the consumer safe. Regarding the enterprise – the environment is very connected with many moving parts – the solutions should be scalable and should leverage data from one another so that the technology works seamlessly together to provide protection. McAfee delivers on this today.
Secure360: Where can readers go to get additional information about McAfee?
Chris Cole: We offer product information online and are also connected through social networks. Some of our online information includes: Threat landscape, Intel DeepSafe, Security Innovation Alliance and Product Portfolio. You can also view our 2013 Threat Predictions and Security Connection or connect with us on Twitter or Facebook.