No Longer a Nuisance, Malware is now a Nightmare

My nervous energy gave way to excitement as I took the stage on the eve of RSA on Monday night.  I was about to spend the next hour sharing our innovative comprehensive malware protection (CMP) strategy and how our latest product enhancements are contributing to a more connected, holistic anti-malware security effort – an approach that no other competitor can claim.

Most of the seats were filled and the audience settled in as they watched our opening video showing highlights of the Fed hack attack on CNBC’s Closing Bell, inconceivable statistics on the increase in cyber threats, clips of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussing cyber security, and the evolution of comprehensive malware protection.  “The enemy has evolved and your data is their target.”

In the room there was a mix of reporters and analysts– each with their own motivation for coming.  But, regardless of where and how they share the message, I wanted to make sure it’s the right message.  So, I structured the presentation around three main points:  McAfee is growing its already-competitive and effective malware strategy through CMP, we currently have the breadth and depth of products necessary to create a malware protection ecosystem, and we have independent test results to prove our products are leading-edge.

Knowing that the idea of CMP may be nebulous to some, I started my presentation with our “Anatomy of an Attack” animation sequence in which Joe the CFO is the unwitting rootkit target.  The animation shows how advanced malware might enter a trusted network with the malicious intent to exfiltrate sensitive data.  Yes, McAfee has sophisticated products designed to combat and protect organizations from threats like the fictional one that hit Joe the CFO – but without an integrated, end-to-end anti-malware platform and comprehensive visibility and control, the defense may have vulnerabilities.

McAfee is no newcomer to anti-malware technology.  But, CMP is designed to create a paradigm shift with a security ecosystem that connects all of our products and our advanced malware protection.  I’m thrilled to punctuate this strategy by announcing that we’ve made 38 anti-malware enhancements to 9 network products and how these upgrades enable interconnection to deliver a much more comprehensive security solution.

Then, I get the pleasure of boasting about the efficacy of our enhanced products including the McAfee Network Security Platform (NSP) 7.5 where we scored a combined rating of 96 percent for advanced threats from an independent testing company.  Additionally, our latest release of McAfee Web Protection was tested and we made a strong showing– scoring 95 percent accuracy for zero-day protection. Finally, our DeepDefender solution had a 100 percent efficacy rate in stopping rootkits. But, our pursuit of improvement didn’t stop there as I explained how we also made a strategic acquisition to fill a gap in CMP through sandboxing technology.

Returning to a revised view of the “Anatomy of an Attack” animation, I show how our newly-enhanced products work together to identify, contain, and mitigate the malware – illustrating why organizations will never be fully protected from malware without a connected security architecture that protects against all attack vectors.

After wrapping up, several analysts validated that this strategy was on target and that point players will have a hard time competing.  I also had a nice chat with CNBC’s Eamon Javers who interviewed me about cyber security in the U.S. and how McAfee is defending against malware threats.  But the next day, after reading some of the media coverage, I wasn’t sure if the press really recognized the importance of CMP as an industry game-changer.  But, I am confident that from a breadth and depth perspective, we are the only security player who can provide comprehensive malware protection from the endpoint to the network to the data center.  Standing on stage announcing that was definitely worth the price of admission.

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