LAS VEGAS — McAfee kicked off its Mpower customer and partner conference here Wednesday by unveiling what it calls Mvision — an update on its product strategy and roadmap that puts the cloud front and centre.
CEO Chris Young called the new family “a whole new frontier” for McAfee, bringing together many of its biggest product, including e-Policy Orchestrator (EPO), Endpoint, and cloud security into a common framework that’s “cloud-led and management-oriented.”
“We promised you we’d delivered on a cloud-first future, and we’ve delivered on that promise,” Young told attendees, referring back to his own roadmap presentation at Mpower (then Focus) two years ago. “It’s simple, it’s flexible, it’s comprehensive, it’s fast, and it’s everywhere.”
Mvision brings together (so far) five of the company’s key offerings – EPO, Endpoint Security, Mobile Security, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), and Cloud Security – and aims to create a “single pane of glass” for customers’ security position.
“It’s a single place to go to to manage your security across the board,” Young said. And that place happens to be in the cloud.
In a post-keynote session with press, Young said the idea of unifying security products under the cloud is not a necessarily a new one, but it is one that the market is ready for. As recently as two years ago, the CEO said, “most of our enterprise customers wouldn’t have wanted EPO in the cloud — they were hugging their EPO server.”
Fast forward to 2018 — and that’s not so much the case. Today, he said, that mentality has been turned on its head.
“In today’s world, we’re getting RFP after RFP that require the ability to manage their security franchise in the cloud,” he said.
The goal of bringing things together under the cloud with Mvision is to help customers spend less time managing their security management, and more time spending security, Young said, providing the ability to control as much across the enterprise as possible.
“It delivers on the promise that’s been around for a long time, but has never really been fulfilled — true security as a service, the ability to manage your security from the endpoint to the cloud, from within the cloud,” he said.
But it is a journey. While most of the current five components are in place today, Young said the critical EDR element is set to go into beta next month with likely debut in the first quarter of 2019.
The move towards the cloud by McAfee echoes similar moves in its channel community, Young told press, as many McAfee partners are “less around being VARs, and more about being service and solution providers in their customers’ environments.” The new philosophy and capabilities of Mvision will open up new types of services for solution providers, “higher order work, and work they’re excited to get in on.”
That includes a “huge opportunity” around offering managed EDR as a service. Today, many partners are already offering incident response and forensic work for customers, and Young said McAfee will be working with partners “to help them build services around EDR.”
Young identified another potential partner growth opportunity around watching the cloud access security broker (CASB) capabilities in its Mvision Cloud offering, which came out of its purchase of CASB pioneer Skyhigh Networks earlier this year. With expertise in high demand, Young suggested partners would find new high-value opportunities in offering managed services on top of CASB.
Young stressed that openness is a key value of the platform, and suggested there were opportunities for many of the company’s 150-plus ISV partners in the Security Innovation Alliance (SIA) to also plug into the Mvision environment to make it an even more omnipresent portal for managing security.
The CEO also provided a glimpse to where he sees the company going with Mvision two years out. “We’re setting our sights on insights for you,” he said, painting a picture of using knowledge gleaned from its own threat intelligence gathering, sensors across its customers networks, and a variety of other sources to help provide more actionable intelligence to customers. For example, he said, the goal was to not just show a customer that a machine was infected, but to tie that infection back to its entry point, and cases where an attack may come from a supplier, to identify which suppliers in the customers’ ecosystems saw the attack first, to identify the likely original entry point.
“These are insights that uniquely McAfee can bring to you, and we’re excited about what you can do with that,” he said. “Mvision is a strategy and a platform, and there are more pieces to come. Think of it as the platform for delivering security management.”