Intel Security Goes On The Attack: From Protection, To Detection, To Correction

Solution providers can expect to see a new Intel Security in the coming months, with the security vendor rolling out a completely revamped strategy at its Focus 15 event in Las Vegas that it says will put it on the path to being partners' No. 1 security vendor.

The new strategy looks to embrace the full attack life cycle, from protection, to detection, to correction. To do that, the company will focus on working to build threat intelligence, analytics, third-party integration and a centralized management system around securing the endpoint and the cloud.

This new strategy is more important than ever, Senior Vice President and General Manager Chris Young said to the 400 partners in attendance, as a continued onslaught of breaches and security challenges show that point solutions focusing on protection simply aren't enough. Citing McAfee threat research to illustrate that trend, Young said that 10 years ago the company saw about one new threat every hour. Today, the company discovers 345 new threats every minute.

[Related: Intel Security Nabs Avaya's Worldwide Channel Chief As New Head Of Global Partners]

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"In our industry, if you're not changing, you're dying ... so we're going to change and we're going to continue to change and we need you [our partners] to change with us," Young said. "We need to make sure we are moving at the speed of security and if we don’t do that, we will find ourselves on the wrong side of this problem very quickly."

For partners, this shift demands an evolution of their business model, Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Operations Scott Lovett said. He said partners need to transform from picking and choosing best-of-breed point solutions to a business model focused on security outcomes, embracing the entire attack life cycle. From Intel Security, he said that means partners can expect a focus on thinking differently, being engaged and aggressively playing to win in sales as it looks to enable partners under this new model.

Partners at the event overall seemed to respond positively to the new strategy, although multiple partners said they were looking to hear more details of how this will play out as the high-level strategy turns into concrete actions.

"I think that they have a compelling story around security," said one solution provider executive who did not want to be named. "They're a good company and partner to work with. ... It's a ridiculously competitive market, but they have the team and the resources to be successful."

To kick off the new strategy, Intel Security unveiled two new products: McAfee Endpoint Security 10.X and McAfee Active Response. McAfee Endpoint Security 10.X is an endpoint security platform that facilitates real-time threat intelligence between endpoints for better threat protection. McAfee Active Response complements that solution with detection and remediation, providing ongoing investigation and analytics into endpoints through the central management platform. Partners also can expect to see more focus on cloud security solutions, the executives said.

"Our strategy is to really build a security platform," Intel Security CTO Steve Grobman said. "We've really stepped on the gas all the way and taken that to the next level, where we're not only building the interconnected products but building cloud interconnections."

However, with those new products will come some "tough trade-offs" around the Intel Security product going forward, Intel Security's Young said. Just this week, the company announced the end of life of McAfee SaaS Email Protection and Archiving solutions, and Young said more products will follow suit where it makes sense under this new strategy.

Executives also detailed new partner program changes to come. Lisa Matherly, vice president of worldwide partner programs, marketing and operations, detailed continued evolutions to the partner program, most notably increasing annual booking and training standards to Platinum and Gold partners as of January 2016, although partners will have all of 2016 to meet the new requirements. Intel Security also will be funneling more enablement and support to Platinum partners under the new requirements, she said.