Senior Vice President and General Manager, Network Security Pat Calhoun is responsible for defining and executing ...
Earlier this month, I had the honor of presenting the keynote at the Cyber Defense Symposium 2012. I was invited to share the McAfee strategy and my vision around how we’re working to develop network protection against growing global cyber security threats and protect critical information networks of our financial markets, power grids, intelligence and defense systems. Not only was I excited to be part of this cause, but I was very interested to hear the ideas from other business leaders around this world-impacting topic.
During my 20-minute speaking slot I shared a bit of background on the security landscape, what McAfee has learned from years of threat intelligence and analysis, and the protection we’ve developed. I then moved into our vision of creating a future of even greater business confidence. I wanted the audience to understand, given the growing impact of highly targeted attacks, that the industry needs to get out of the mode of ‘reacting’ to threats. I explained that McAfee has focused, and will continue to focus, on creating solutions that can anticipate all strains of cyber attacks and implement preemptive measures. With this intelligence, we can then develop and deploy sophisticated and targeted protection in advance of the malevolent actors.
After I took my seat, I was able to listen to the presentations from other business leaders throughout the industry. The information was good, but I learned that at least one security provider believes that it’s unnecessary and archaic to integrate people into the cyber security foundation. This intrigued me. In my opinion, and in line with the McAfee philosophy, it’s absolutely critical to invest in human middleware to provide proactive security. Expert researchers are the key to identifying and preempting zero-day attacks. Of course, a vendor that cannot afford the high cost associated with security research will try to argue that compute cores and software can deliver a similar level of protection. I say, “Show me the money.”
Yes, I am proud of our innovations – in finding new ways to help enterprises actually prevent the negative impacts of attacks whether they are botnets, malicious URLs, malware or anything else. But I am even more proud of our people. I know we have the best team in place to create a platform that can anticipate the strikes, which is why we invest heavily in human capital. We know that it’s critical to integrate predictive protection against the multiple threat vectors and attacks being created and injected into business networks through dozens of new entry points. It was my intention to encourage enterprises to rethink their security architecture and refrain from a very common and pervasive reactionary strategy. Putting people at the core of network security will augment the holistic approach McAfee believes will protect million-dollar enterprise networks from the typical (but stealthier) dime store hacker.