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Trellix XDR platform forged out of McAfee, FireEye union

The private equity owners of McAfee Enterprise and FireEye are merging the companies into a new entity to ‘define the future’ of cyber security through XDR technology

Symphony Technology Group (STG), the private equity firm that bought out McAfee Enterprise and FireEye in quick succession, is to bring the two companies together to form a new entity called Trellix, that supposedly will directly align to “imminent needs” to face the current threat landscape and define the future of security.

A “pure-play” cyber security company, Trellix will “create a resilient digital world than enables trust and success for all” through a “market-leading” core extended detection and response (XDR) service.

The owners claim it will bring a “fresh and necessary” approach to implementing prevention, detection and response at the core of its customers. At launch, it will by design boast more than 40,000 customers, 5,000 employees and $2bn in sales.

Its name supposedly evokes a garden trellis, providing a “strong and safe” framework to support the structured growth of trees and plants, or in this case businesses. STG said the XDR ecosystem would accelerate the effectiveness of security teams by helping them ingest over 600 combined native and open security technologies, providing them with better insight, more control and a comprehensive view of threats in context, saving time and prompting decisive action.

“We are incredibly excited to have Trellix in the STG portfolio,” said William Chisolm, managing partner at STG. “Customers should expect Trellix’s living security platform to deliver bold innovation across the XDR market.”

McAfee Enterprise and FireEye CEO Bryan Palma, who retains his role as CEO of Trellix, added: “As today’s organisations push to achieve digital transformation, a strong security foundation is required to ensure continued innovation, growth and resiliency.

“Trellix’s XDR platform protects our customers as we bring security to life with automation, machine learning, extensible architecture and threat intelligence,” said Palma.

“The promise of XDR dramatically improves security efficacy, and the vendors that can deliver on that promise will capture market share,” said Frank Dickson, programme vice-president of cyber security products at IDC.

“However, integrating context and delivering outcomes takes resources and work. It is a monumental effort made possible with the right security partner. With a combined product portfolio that spans endpoint, network, messaging, data protection and cloud services, Trellix has an impressive multi-technology portfolio to address the promise of XDR.”

The mashup of McAfee Enterprise and FireEye was first revealed in September 2021, when STG said it was working on combining their product lines into a single group. Market watchers and analysts had already been speculating that such a move was inevitable.

“FireEye and McAfee are established, respected brands who will need to have a maniacal focus on customer success to retain their account base while rationalising their collective product portfolio to then communicate to the market the go-forward strategy,” Doug Cahill, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), a division of Computer Weekly parent TechTarget, told our sister title SearchSecurity at the time.

“There is a clear platform play with the combination of endpoint, network, email and cloud security unified with share threat intelligence and security analytics.”

Others were less enthusiastic, with Omdia’s Eric Parizo forecasting STG would face challenges bringing the two portfolios together given “potentially calamitous” product overlap in some areas.

In the short term, enterprise users can continue to rely on both firms without disruption to their businesses, said McAfee Enterprise chief revenue officer Adam Philpott.

“Our intention is to share back-office capabilities and ensure the transition is seamless for every customer. We will continue to work closely with each customer to understand their challenges and showcase how Trellix’s solutions roadmap will meet their evolving needs,” he said.

“Customers can expect to see accelerated product releases from our focused engineering teams. Trellix’s native and open XDR solution will be focused on combining the best of our endpoint, email, network, cloud and security operations capabilities into a single platform that learns and adapts through a living security platform that disrupts active threats,” Philpott added.

“We aim to bring the two existing portfolios together in a seamless and integrated way and ensure that all our customers have security built into their DNA, with prevention, advanced detection and response at the core.”

Philpott stressed that maintaining business continuity and relationships with current customers would be a top priority for the new entity, with all relationships and contracts maintained.

“We will work with each of our customers to support them in the transition to new solutions as our portfolio evolves in the near and long term. This work will be delivered to users in phases, and any updates to our roadmaps will be reflected each quarter,” he said.

It is also understood STG is planning to launch McAfee Enterprise’s secure service edge (SSE) portfolio, which includes cloud access security broker (CASB) services, secure web gateway (SWG) and zero-trust network access (ZTNA), as a separate entity in the spring of 2022.

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