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McAfee conference puts spotlight on streamlined security networks

McAfee conference puts spotlight on streamlined security networks 

Mike DeCesare, president of McAfee, and Michael Fey, executive VP, general manager of corporate products and CTO of McAfee, delivered keynote speeches in which they highlighted the growing need for security analytics to go beyond merely reporting on the problem.

“Analytics is not reporting or data. Analytics isn’t done until an action is taken. Today we do analytics for a report; that’s going to change,” Fey said.

In his address, DeCesare touched on another issue that McAfee has been focusing on, due to emerging trends in technology and concerns about personal privacy: the growing need for better security on mobile devices and cloud networks.

“With the cloud, all our data is in one place, and commerce is moving across the mobile infrastructure at an incredible rate,” said DeCesare. “It’s a matter of privacy; the security industry really needs to understand privacy and start thinking in people terms, not just technology terms.”

Fey also talked about the purpose behind the partnership between Intel and McAfee: to build security into the hardware right from the get-go, so clients can rest assured that their networks and devices are protected from the moment of purchase.

Renée James, president of Intel, reaffirmed those sentiments in her own keynote address. She spoke of her vision when she acquired McAfee for Intel in 2011, and shared Intel’s new mission statement: “This decade we will create and extend computing technology to securely connect and enrich the lives of every person on earth.”

“Integrated and ubiquitous security is the goal for Intel and McAfee,” she stated.

Leon Panetta, former US secretary of defense and director of the CIA, delivered the final keynote speech at the conference. He emphasized the notion that cyber security is no longer a matter of protecting personal computers or business networks; it’s a matter of defending the state itself against hackers and attackers.

He listed three measures that citizens and governments must take to defend against cyber attacks: that people must understand that the threat is not just about hacking or identity theft, but about the security of nations themselves; that a strong partnership between the private and public sectors is needed to protect cyberspace; and that a continuous investment must be made in technology and IT professionals that can protect the nation.

“A massive cyber attack could paralyze a country by taking down power, water and transport systems,” Panetta said. “Most people don’t understand the impact viruses can have. Cyber is the battlefield of the future; it has become an important part of [the USA’s] defense plans.”


To illustrate Panetta’s points, Stonesoft, a Finnish vendor of network security solutions acquired by McAfee in May, held a Hack the Lab interactive session to demonstrate, using three scenarios, how cyber criminals do their work. The first two scenarios explained how hackers could easily access credit card information on websites by hacking passwords, or spy on individuals by gaining access to their computers through email attacks.

The third scenario showed how hackers try to attack countries by accessing their power grids.

During the conference, the company unveiled an end-to-end solution that includes several components of its Security Connected framework: McAfee’s new Advanced Threat Defense (ATD) appliance, network solutions, and McAfee Real Time. The solution finds, freezes and fixes threats all at once: using  ATD, administrators can rapidly detect threats across the network, stop the threats from infecting additional devices, and identify and remediate all infected devices through an automated investigation. The result is a more efficient threat detection process that also provides better value for businesses.

Ultimately, the theme of the conference was the need for innovation within the security sphere. Fey and DeCesare expressed that the company’s goal is to push the boundaries of technology and make security a fundamental part of hardware production.

“You don’t live to work on the next widget or application,” said Fey. “You live to work on something that redefines how computing works.”

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