McAfee New CTO Sees Simple As Better

"One of my big goals is to create as best I can, an infrastructure and a philosophy around push-button simple," said McClure, who started his new job Tuesday. "If it takes more than three steps to get up and running, we can't release it. I really want to drive the fact that security has to be simple or it won't be adopted and it won't be effective."

McClure succeeds George Kurtz, who resigned at the end of October to form his own company. Before becoming CTO, McClure led McAfee's Risk and Compliance Business Unit and a team of elite hacking specialists called Threat Research and Counterintelligence Experts (TRACE). "To beat the bad guys, you've got to think like the bad guys," McClure said. "It's the most effective way to protect yourself."

As CTO, McClure will be responsible for the company's strategy to battle malware by leveraging hardware-based security from parent Intel. McAfee has already embarked on that approach with the development of DeepSafe, an architectural layer between the computer's processor and the operating system. Developed with Intel, DeepSafe provides a direct view of the system resources typically attacked by hackers.

McAfee in October launched the first product based on DeepSafe. Called Deep Defender, the software detects nearly all kernel malware, including rootkits. McClure said much more DeepSafe-related technology is planned. "(Deep Defender) is barely putting our toe in the water," he said.

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McClure's job will also include directing McAfee's efforts at building malware-detecting technology. The company started on that path with the acquisition this month with the acquisition of Portsmouth, N.H.-based NitroSecurity. The company's technology can read activity logs in networks, databases and applications to spot abnormal activity that could indicate a security breach.