McAfee CEO Unveils 'Predictive Security' Vision

During RSA keynote, Dave DeWalt discusses company's vision for the future of digital security

April 23, 2009

3 Min Read


SAN FRANCISCO --(Business Wire)-- Apr 22, 2009 -- McAfee, Inc. (NYSE:MFE) President and Chief Executive Officer Dave DeWalt in a keynote address today unveiled McAfee's vision for the future of digital security.

"The traditional approach to enterprise security simply doesn't work - it leaves security holes, its unmanageable and is too costly," said DeWalt. "Many companies still wrestle with a patchwork of incompatible products from multiple vendors, which leaves them exposed. To provide the best security in today's world of increased cybercrime, a myriad of compliance requirements and staggeringly complex networks, we need to move to an approach where all security products exchange intelligence and provide real time, all the time visibility."

McAfee is innovating to provide predictive security. This approach comprises interconnected security technology at multiple layers in the technology stack, backed by global threat intelligence. Predictive security will allow security products to intelligently block attacks much sooner than is currently possible with traditional approaches. A real-time, in-the-cloud foundation will allow multiple security products to communicate with each other, leading to new levels of security.

DeWalt drew a parallel with advances in meteorology as an example of where digital security should move. Weather sensors everywhere, from oceans to satellites, gather information that is brought together, analyzed and distributed as a weather forecast, allowing people to know days or weeks ahead to get ready to "hunker down for a storm," or "pack for the beach."

Predictive Security Starts with Global Threat Intelligence

Security technology in the future should be embedded everywhere, from silicon to satellite. All these security "sensors" would report threat data to a Global Threat Intelligence system for analysis. Going beyond meteorology, the Global Threat Intelligence system would then send back data to the sensors to provide smarter security. Reputation management is a key part of global threat intelligence, assigning reputation scores to Internet hosts, senders, domains, URLs and messages based on behavior, much like a credit bureau assigns credit ratings to consumers.

As an example, DeWalt discussed how intelligence learned from a simple spam e-mail can allow a threat intelligence system to update security protection across an enterprise. For example, the firewall could block attacks emanating from the IP address used to send the e-mail, a Web gateway can blacklist the Web site advertised in the spam message and antimalware protection can be alert on any potentially included pests.

McAfee's vision for predictive security is already becoming a reality. McAfee's Global Threat Intelligence today supports best in class protection across most of the McAfee product portfolio. In the future, McAfee plans to invest in its threat intelligence to boost the level of protection and fundamentally move from proactive to predictive security.

About McAfee, Inc.

McAfee, Inc., headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is the world's largest dedicated security technology company. McAfee is relentlessly committed to tackling the world's toughest security challenges. The company delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that help secure systems and networks around the world, allowing users to safely connect to the Internet, browse and shop the web more securely. Backed by an award-winning research team, McAfee creates innovative products that empower home users, businesses, the public sector and service providers by enabling them to prove compliance with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities, and continuously monitor and improve their security.

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