McAfee Targets Enterprise Security Pain Points

McAfee, the security company Intel paid almost $8 billion for in 2010 to primarily focus on hardware-assisted security, is making a number of product and partner announcements at this week’s FOCUS 12 conference, including a real-time asset discovery solution and a print protection bundle in partnership with Xerox.

Security is only going to become a much bigger headache, says Roger Wood, director of product management, McAfee. The company’s threat report for the last quarter detected a 1.5 million increase in malware since Q1 2012. The run rate for new vulnerabilities is currently 21 a day, which works out to several thousand a year, and with analysts putting the number of devices connected to the Internet as 50 billion by 2020, “you start doing the math, and that translates into a real problem” .

Wood says there are 8-10 companies competing in the vulnerability protection segment, but where the market standard falls short is in real-time. “We think we do it better and more thoroughly than anybody else.”

Due out next quarter, McAfee Asset Manager, a new component of the McAfee Vulnerability Manager, automatically discovers and inspects assets – including mobile phones, tablets, virtual machines, and travelling laptops – as they connect to the network, and is intended to help eliminate vulnerability management gaps and identify policy violations. In addition, it also passes asset information directly to McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator software to bring unmanaged systems under security management.

Also new are enhancements scheduled for availability in Q4 to McAfee’s Endpoint Security offerings, including: ‘dramatically’ increases scope of day zero root kit protection to include Master Boot Record rootkits in the latest version of McAfee Deep Defender, the jointly developed Intel and McAfee hardware-enhanced endpoint protection product; reduced overhead to near zero performance impact on SSD drives using Intel’s AES-NI technology for McAfee Endpoint Encryption for PC or Mac; integration with Intel AMT technology and McAfee ePO Deep Command for secure and remote management of powered off or disabled devices including devices using Windows 8; three-level approval technology in McAfee Application Control that control how a non-whitelisted application can be approved; Apple iOS 6 support in McAfee Enterprise Mobility Manager, as well as integrating the newest version of McAfee Secure Container for Android 2.0.

The Xerox and McAfee security solution, the first networked multifunction printer to use McAfee Embedded Control software, reportedly simplifies processes for IT administrators by providing an immediate alert and audit trail to track and investigate the time and origin of security threats – and take appropriate action. According to the two companies, networked printer security is a huge concern. A recent survey found more than half (54%) either don’t always follow their company’s IT security policies (33%) or aren’t even aware of the policies (21%). Xerox WorkCentre and ColorQube product lines protected and managed by McAfee Embedded Control and McAfee Embedded Management software will become available beginning in Feb. 2013.

There has been a ton of turmoil over at McAfee in recent years, says John Kindervag, principal analyst of security and risk management, Forrester Research. “What this announcement signals is that they are making proactive movements to create or acquire technology that is more responsive to the new threat landscape. They’ve been reliant on anti-virus so long as their financial backbone that many in the previous leadership team was loathe to pursue other revenue streams. This seems to be changing in the post-acquisition leadership era.”

Clearly McAfee has substantially more financial resources under Intel today, he says. “The jury is out on whether McAfee and Intel can leverage this relationship in any kind of game-changing manner.”

Author: Steve Wexler

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