Intel and McAfee Join Forces, Dazzle at Intel Security Innovation Summit

Wow, what an incredible week we just wrapped up. In case you missed it, April 2nd was the Intel Security Through Innovation Summit, produced by FedScoop. We could not have been more thrilled with the outcome. Nearly 1,000 attendees came, including federal government and enterprise customers, McAfee and Intel personnel, partner companies and other DC-based cybersecurity stakeholders. The Ritz Carlton in Washington, D.C. was happy to accommodate our group. Between our skilled marketing team and FedScoop’s extensive network of government IT contacts, we were able to bring in a wide range of impressive speakers for the event.

One of the major themes of the event was the role that information sharing and transparency of data play in protecting against bad actors on the web. I introduced this theme in my opening remarks when I kicked off the event with Intel’s federal director, Jason Kimery, and mentioned that we’d be hearing a lot about improvements in information sharing efforts in the public and private sectors.

After that, we heard a compelling keynote from McAfee’s president, Mike DeCesare, who shared his views on the role that actionable intelligence can play in defending against cyberattacks. DeCesare hit the information sharing theme hard, saying that soon organizations will demand that their cybersecurity providers share information to protect against threats. We’re not far from a cyber-911 unless we change our ways, he said, reiterating that we need to learn how to share intelligence. We have to move away from “islands of security” and towards collaboration. Connected security will the future of cybersecurity, DeCesare said.

One of the most highly anticipated sessions of the day was the fireside chat with DoD’s CIO, Teri Takai, who spoke with Intel’s Director of Federal Marketing Nigel Ballard. Takai noted that the Department has adopted the NIST framework with the intent of being more consistent across government. She also discussed the rationale for DoD’s Joint Information Environment, or JIE – the standard single security architecture across the entire military. She clarified that JIE does not mean standardization but rather designation of core infrastructures and the consolidation of many of those infrastructures. Takai said the Department also intends to move to a single standard for mobility, including mobile device management, certification of phones and a secure app store. Asked what keeps her up at night, she responded “being able to protect our networks from both outside threats and inside threats.”

Next Intel Security’s EVP and CTO Mike Fey gave a provocative keynote that showed why he is the company’s technology leader and chief visionary. He outlined how McAfee is combatting advanced threats with DXL, or the Data Exchange Layer. DXL is like the nervous system of a cybersecurity suite, allowing for real-time sharing of information and detection of threats from network to endpoint. Fey spoke of creating end-to-end intelligence, saying that “today our tools are selfish,” meaning they don’t share information. He said soon McAfee will release an offering called Threat Intelligence Exchange, or TIE, which he called a major example of public-private partnership. TIE will take threat intelligence from a multitude of sources – sources that can be customized according to an organization’s needs – and deliver that intelligence with incredible speed. Fey spoke of being on the verge of a next generation architecture for security, which would finally give the industry a sustainable advantage of cyber adversaries.

In any information sharing endeavor, two partners must ensure that they trust each other – the point of Roberta Stempfley’s, Acting Assistant Secretary of DHS’s Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, keynote address in the afternoon. The success of projects like the NIST cybersecurity framework depends on strong collaboration between the public and private sector, and this trust is built through a common set of shared assumptions and data. This information sharing and collaboration can lead to positive outcomes, she said, adding, “The biggest challenge to collaboration today is that we don’t do it honestly.” She urged the audience to stay in the dialogue and remain in the conversation.

We were delighted that U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel could join us for a fireside chat with FedScoop’s Goldy Kamali. VanRoekel said the most exciting stuff around is in open data and the fact that agencies are really starting to embrace it as a way of doing things better, faster and cheaper. He, too, said the federal government is producing a mobile security baseline. VanRoekel said the President’s digital government strategy is starting to take hold, and he called cybersecurity the number three priority on the President’s IT agenda.

We had a plethora of other engaging sessions, including an afternoon keynote on innovation in the private and public sectors by Intel CTO Ed Goldman. This was in addition to a host of smaller breakout discussions on cloud, mobile, threat detection, CDM and other topics. All the sessions were full, which we take as a great sign that they struck the right chord.

After months of planning, the day itself went incredibly quickly. I got to talk with many customers and other cybersecurity practitioners, but inevitably there were some I didn’t get to. I look forward to more connections and conversations as a result of the Summit. I’ll be letting you know precisely how Intel Security is driving cyber information sharing forward in all kinds of ways. Thanks to Hope Jones of my team and to everyone for participating in another outstanding Summit!


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