It’s still early in the year and already McAfee is setting out its stall for the coming months. Outlining details about its Security Connected platform, McAfee said that it will be working over the coming year to build an integrated security management framework that will work across mobile devices, endpoints, servers and enterprise networks.

Emerging Security Threats, McAfee

There is nothing new today in the announcement in terms of new product releases, but the concept of Security Connected, which is a framework rather than anything else, appears to suggest more advanced thinking by McAfee in terms of a joined-up security strategy.

That such a strategy has not been articulated by McAfee already has more to do with the way the information management market is changing, rather than anything remiss in McAfee's approach to security. Now, with enterprises using more and more technologies, the gaps between these technologies and how they interact are creating security issues.

Security Connected responds to that by providing integrated management across disparate silos and potential security weak spots in mobile devices, endpoints, servers and, of course, the enterprise IT infrastructure.

The idea is to use existing McAfee products to protect businesses from new forms of attacks. Where it doesn't have the technology to do so, it will build new capabilities through strategic acquisitions and the development of key partnerships. 

Learning Opportunities

Security is now a boardroom level discussion…The stakes are high, and businesses require a new model that gives them a comprehensive picture of their entire IT infrastructure.The industry has been built on a historical thought process that will not support the demands of the future.We must move to a real-time understanding and response capability if we are to meet the needs of the future,” Michael Fey, McAfee’s CTO said.

Two things in this statement really stand out. The first is that security has finally reached the boardroom level, which seems a little bit tardy given the cost of security breaches for enterprises. The other is the suggestion that current ways of dealing with security issues are not going to make the grade when dealing with security in the future.

Security Connected Framework

For the moment though, the Security Connected framework is the focus of McAfee’s attention. At the core of it are the principals of providing integrated solutions, built-in intelligence and advanced management.

MacAfee already has a number of different products that push this strategy along and it seems as if more are on the way. Some of the products specifically talked about include:

  • ePolicy Orchestrator platform: An advanced, scalable security management product running on over 60 million endpoints globally.
  • McAfee Enterprise Security Manager:  A product for real-time identification of critical threats as well as compliance monitoring. There will be a major announcement around the security management solutions in the coming weeks.
  • McAfee Network Security: IPS and next generation firewall, DLP, Web and network email security.
  • Endpoint Security: This is a device security solution with an integrated security system that includes virtualization security, mobile protection and endpoint email security. In Q1, McAfee will announce enhancements to build out its advanced malware protection offerings.
  • Global Threat Intelligence: Monitors the behavior of websites globally along with associated domain assets to identify potentially dangerous behavior.
  • Hardware-Enhanced Security: Protects businesses from emerging stealth and targeted attacks that take place below the operating system.

These are just the products that we know about, and the possibility of strategic acquisitions over the year should make this an interesting place to be. While the Security Connected framework in itself is an interesting strategy for the beginning of the year, the real money is on the details of this strategy as they unfold over the next 12 months.