This blog was written by Allison Cerra, McAfee’s former CMO.
Conference organizers waited with anticipation.
In a sleek, high-tech conference hall glowing with McAfee’s deep signature red, a colossal scoreboard flashed the results of a real-time vote for who would take the stage and speak next. The results were a virtual dead heat. The thousands in the audience had just chosen to hear from McAfee’s own chief information security officer Grant Bourzikas – one of their tribe and “customer zero” of cybersecurity products – in a narrow victory over a high-profile presentation of issues much in the news.
Welcome to MPOWER, the first “face-to-face, on-demand conference”, where attendees voted for speakers, topics, and even product names, in real-time. From Chief Executive Officer Chris Young’s opening keynote to the breakout sessions, cybersecurity leaders from around the world were firmly in charge, and they knew what they wanted to work on: cloud security, endpoint protection, and the constantly evolving security operations centers they call home.
Spread out across the sprawling Aria Hotel and Resort on the Las Vegas Strip from Oct. 17-19, the conference pulled together an industry constantly in the headlines, where job openings can’t be filled quickly enough and sinister cyber threats loom constantly. Perhaps the most famous thought leader in the cybersecurity world, blogger and journalist Brian Krebs told the crowd in a keynote address Wednesday: “There’s never been a better time to be gainfully employed in the cybersecurity industry. It’s an incredible time.”
Young kicked off this year’s MPOWER Conference by gazing into his crystal ball (at the audience’s request, of course) where he made some bold predictions for the industry. The endpoint and cloud will be the control points of our future cybersecurity architectures. The security operations center will be one where tools support people, not where people support tools. And, customers will demand an open ecosystem approach to gain vendor choice without backoffice chaos. Within each area, MPOWER provided evidence of McAfee’s unwavering commitment to seeing this future realized.
McAfee’s latest endpoint protection platform, ENS 10.5, released at the company’s conference the year prior, is seeing tremendous success. ENS 10.5 provides machine learning, EDR and traditional signature-based protection, all within a single-agent architecture and on a common platform.
In cloud, McAfee is making virtualized IPS and web gateway capabilities available via Amazon Web Services. Conference goers witnessed a new solution to hybrid cloud challenges, McAfee Cloud Workload Security (CWS), which facilitates enterprises’ safe cloud use by discovering and defending elastic workloads within minutes.
In security operations, McAfee is shifting the narrative from an industrywide talent shortage that litters headlines to the talent efficiency opportunity in front of us. McAfee Investigator applies advanced analytics to increase the SOC’s productivity by completing the normal investigative flow of a typical analyst up to 6-10 times faster, giving SOC teams a force multiplier on productivity.
Finally, McAfee remains fully committed to fostering an open ecosystem to share threat intelligence more seamlessly and bring pre-integrated solutions to market faster for customers. The McAfee Security Innovation Alliance continues to flourish with the addition of 19 more partners, including IBM. And, attendees learned that OpenDXL and Cisco Platform Exchange Grid (pxGrid) are now integrated – allowing two of the industry’s largest messaging fabrics to share threat information and enable automation between networks and endpoints.
I want to thank our customers, partners and employees for making MPOWER such a success. Bringing to life the industry’s first on-demand, face-to-face conference was no small feat and required attendees and presenters to come together to realize the vision. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? MPOWER was a small microcosm of the tremendous power that is unleashed in our industry when people and technologies work together. Together is power.
More MPOWERs to come
That power continues as we take MPOWER international in the next few weeks:
- Tokyo – Nov. 9 at the Prince Park Tower. 50 sessions, 25 companies, more than 2,000 attendees expected. This conference is FREE. More information here.
- Sydney – Nov. 14 at the International Convention Centre. Keynote speakers include McAfee CEO Chris Young and Troy Hunt, international cybersecurity expert. This conference is FREE. More information here.
- Amsterdam – 28-29 at the Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre. This two-day meeting includes top industry keynotes and deep-dive technical breakout sessions.