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Intel Security to become McAfee in April 2017

Intel Security has detailed a wave of product innovations at Focus 2016, but promises more to come when it is spun out as an independent company under the McAfee banner

Intel Security is set to become McAfee in April 2017, according to Chris Young, Intel Security general manager and future chief executive of the new company, in which Intel will retain a 49% stake.

“When we become an independent company, we will be one of the largest pure-play cyber security companies in the world,” he told Intel Security’s annual Focus conference in Las Vegas.

“Not only will we be one of the largest, but we will not rest until we achieve our goal of being the best,” said Young.  

This is the first Focus event since Intel announced plans to spin off its security business as an independent company in partnership with investment firm TPG, five years after acquiring McAfee.

Young focused on his vision for the new company, its roadmap for achieving that, the need for rapid innovation and the importance of cross-industry collaboration.

“One of the things I love about this conference is that we all come together to find ways to win, to work together,” he said.

First, Young highlighted the publication of the book The Second Economy – the race for trust, treasure and time in the cyber security war.

The main objective of the book is to help chief information security officers (CISOs) communicate the battles facing everyone to others in the c-suite.

“So that we can recruit them into our fight. We need to enlist others on our journey if we are to be successful,” he said.

Challenging assumptions

The book is also aimed at encouraging information security professionals to challenge their own assumptions.

“I plan to send two copies of this book to the winner of the US presidential election, because cyber security is going to be one of the most important topics they could possibly face,” said Young.

“The book is about giving more people a view of the dynamism of what we face in cyber security, which is why we have to challenge our assumptions continually,” he said. “That is why we challenge our assumptions in the book as well as our assumptions about what we do every day.”

Young said Intel Security had been asking thousands of customers to challenge the company’s assumptions over the past 18 months so it can improve.

“This week, we are going to bring a lot of that feedback to life in the delivery of a tremendous amount of innovation across our entire portfolio,” he said.

Young then used a video to underline the message that the McAfee brand is built on the belief that there is power in working together, and that no one person, product or organisation can provide total security.

By enabling protection, detection and correction to work together, the company believes it can react to cyber threats faster.

By linking products from different providers to work together, the company believes the security of networks becomes better. By bringing companies together to share threat intelligence, better ways can be found to protect each other.

The company said cyber crime is the greatest challenge of the digital age, and this can only be overcome by working together. It revealed a new tagline: “Together is power”.

The video also revealed the new independent company’s logo, which Young called a symbol of its new beginning and a visual representation of what is core to the company’s strategy.

“The shield means defence, and the two interlocking components are a symbol of the togetherness we are about in the industry,” he said. “The red colour is a callback to our legacy in the industry.”

Three main reasons for independence

According to Young, there are three main reasons behind the decision to become an independent company.

First, is to be completely focused on cyber security at a company level, solving customers’ cyber security problems and dealing with customers’ cyber security challenges.

Second is innovation. “Because we are committed and dedicated to cyber security alone at company level, our innovation is centred around it,” said Young.

Third is growth. “Our industry is moving faster than any other sub-segment of IT. We have to grow as quickly, if not more quickly than everything that is happening in our space,” he said.

The new company will have 7,500 employees and more than $2bn in revenue with a growing profit base.

“Because we are committed and dedicated to cyber security alone at company level, our innovation is centred around it”
Chris Young, Intel Security

“The challenges in our industry have moved on and so must we,” said Young. “We are looking forward, and will accelerate what we are doing as a new organisation so we can be better at solving security challenges in the future.”

He added that in the past year, the company has invested more than $500m in research and development.

Record numbers

According to Young, the company also has 21% more engineers than at the start of 2016, as well as 25% more product managers and 19% more professional services staff, with another 11% to come in the next few months.

“This week, we are announcing 18 new product and partner innovations – a release across every single part of our product portfolio, in addition to the integration of new partners. It is a record number of solutions and innovations for any year in this company’s history,” he said.

He detailed some of these innovations, before announcing the company’s decision to make the McAfee data exchange layer (DXL) available to everyone in the industry for real-time threat intelligence sharing between different point products in their infrastructure.

“We are doing this because it is the right thing for our industry in order to move forward,” he said, calling on attendees to challenge every supplier they do business with to integrate with DXL.

“There are no more excuses. In the past, suppliers said they could not integrate with DXL because they first had to become members of the Intel Security Innovation Alliance. But there is no excuse now. It is open. Everybody can use it,” said Young.

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