McAfee FOCUS 12 Recap: Insights from Las Vegas

At long last, we have come to the end of our week in Las Vegas. After all the hard work put in by our McAfee team, customers, partners and sponsors, I truly feel that the FOCUS 12 event lived up to its hype. Was it the premier security event of 2012? You be the judge, but I think you know where I stand.

Day 1 Keynote: Mike DeCesare and Eva Longoria

The conference kicked off with a first day keynote with McAfee co-president Mike DeCesare, who spoke on the future of our company in conjunction with Intel, and the future of our industry as a whole. “At McAfee, we believe dreams are a serious thing,” he said, “and we dream of making the world a safer place.”

He went on to describe the realities of today’s threat landscape – the fact that in Q2 alone, McAfee Labs found over 1.5 million new pieces of malware; the fact that cyber attacks are no longer the realm of a few tech enthusiasts writing code in a dorm room. In fact, cyber threats have already reached global scale, and cyber security must go hand in hand with national security. As we see more and more instances of large-scale attacks like Operation High Roller and Shamoon, we’re looking at a future that will not only be led by technological innovations, but dictated by it.

As Eva Longoria took the stage, we found ourselves learning more not only about a Hollywood celebrity, but also an articulate philanthropist and businesswoman with dreams not unlike our own. She spoke on her charity, Eva’s Heroes, an organization dedicated to helping teens and young adults with special needs integrate and flourish in society.

Day 2 Keynote: Mike Fey, Mike DeCesare and President George W. Bush

Our second keynote of the week kicked off in a different mood entirely. The excitement was palpable as attendees took their seats, very aware of the extra security that comes along with a visit from a former Commander in Chief.

Mike Fey took the stage to what can only be described as an intense introduction – complete with music reminiscent of what many of us would sing along to later that night. He spoke about his 6-year-old daughter and how she will grow up more connected than our generation could have ever imagined. She will never learn to write in cursive, but she will learn to code before the age of 10. Technology is all around us, and there is no turning back – only moving forward.

At long last, a pause in the conversation indicated the moment we were all waiting for. A photo of the White House displayed in the background, and President Bush took the stage to a standing ovation from our crowd. For the audience, many of whom had only seen Bush through the eyes of the media, the reaction was immediate. Attendees interacted and laughed as an articulate and downright witty former president addressed the FOCUS community. He spoke about himself, his goals, and his time in and out of office, but also on a few key issues facing our industry as it relates to national security.

FOCUS Sponsors and Partners Leading the Way

Next up, we were fortunate enough to spend time with many of our sponsors and partners this week, both in sessions and in the FOCUS Expo Hall. The innovation showcased throughout the conference was more than impressive, and we captured the moment in video along the way. The interviews below are an example of how we’re working together not only with our parent company Intel, but with all of our partners to keep our industry moving forward.

We were also honored to speak with a few of our SIA Partners on the show floor, and you can see interviews with TITUS, Bromium, Tiversa and FireMon on YouTube.

Our SIA Partner of the Year Awards announced during the McAfee SecurityAlliance Developers Conference were also a highlight of our week. I’d like to extend heartfelt congratulations to all of our winners and finalists.

Professional Networking: It’s Not All Suits and Ties

Of course, there’s no way we could end a FOCUS 12 recap blog without mention of this year’s spectacular special events. I think the highlight of everyone’s week was the private concert with Billy Idol (also featuring none other than Steve Stevens and Billy Morrison!)

And as if the concert weren’t unforgettable enough, The Hard Rock itself was decked out in FOCUS regalia. Attendees were spotted sporting temporary tattoos, visiting Vegas fortune tellers, and mingling with a few famous faces.

Other special events this year included The Place After Dark, our Star Wars-themed Welcome Reception, the Global SecurityAlliance Welcome Reception, and our Partner Appreciation Party at the TAO Las Vegas.

Photos from all our events are now live on both Facebook and Flickr, so be sure to check them out, download your favorites, and tag yourself and your team members.

And speaking of shout outs, I’d once again like to thank everyone who put in so much time and effort to make this year’s conference such an overwhelming success. My hope is that every attendee took away something of value – from technical understanding to a new way of thinking about how our industry will evolve in the coming years.

In the end, conferences like FOCUS are all about collaboration. From technical labs to our keynote sessions, it’s about bringing together global leaders in the field to advance our knowledge and understanding, ultimately driving positive change.

See you next year!

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