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McAfee Rolls Out Threat Intelligence Tool To Thwart Targeted Attacks

McAfee’s MVision Insights will allow customers to understand what's going on from a global threat landscape perspective as well as what threat activity should matter specifically to them.

McAfee unveiled a tool to help businesses better understand what kinds of threats they should be most worried about and what they should do about them.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based platform security vendor said MVision Insights will allow customers to understand what's going on from a global threat landscape perspective as well as what threat activity should matter specifically to them, according to Ash Kulkarni, executive vice president and chief product officer for McAfee's enterprise business group.

"It's the most visceral way to get a customer to understand the value of the platform," Kulkarni told CRN.

[Related: McAfee IPO Could Come This Fall, Yield $8 Billion Valuation: Report]

Sensors in the customer's environment and indicators of compromise observable within their infrastructure help McAfee determine which threats a particular customer should be most concerned about, Kulkarni said. Using machine-learning models, Kulkarni said McAfee can assess the kinds of threats customers are most likely to face based on their physical location and the industry they're in.

Actionable guidance that provides customers with a sense of where they're vulnerable as well as what they need to do about it has long been a challenge in the cybersecurity industry, Kulkarni said. Using the ePolicy Orchestrator, Kulkarni said McAfee is able to marry what it knows about the customer's infrastructure and security posture with that threats have been flagged as relevant to its business.

Assessing the relevance of an emerging threat to an organization can be incredibly difficult since the company needs to determine who's being targeted by the malicious activity, how the threat travels, and where it most frequently seems to go, Kulkarni said. In addition, he said businesses must understand how effectively their current security capabilities defend against the particular threat in question.

"It's direct, it's actionable, and it's an immediate recipe for how you go about securing yourself and protecting yourself," Kulkarni said. "It's one of the most compelling things we've brought to our customer base."

Actionable guidance recommended by MVision Insights might include ensuring that remote users have updated their laptops with the latest version or patches of McAfee's software to safeguard against a threat, Kulkarni said.

Or McAfee Insights might provide guidance around changes that should be made to the firewall rules to better detect a specific new threat that has come to light. The recommended course of action can sometimes be automated using the McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator, according to Kulkarni.

McAfee's visibility into both enterprise and consumer operations gives the company a big advantage over other vendors with threat intelligence capabilities, Kulkarni said. Most enterprises tend to be proactive about providing training to ensure their employees don't fall for phishing campaigns or visit suspicious websites, according to Kulkarni.

But ordinary consumers tend to be much more click-happy with any URL that ends up in their inbox regardless of its origin or source, Kulkarni said. As a result, Kulkarni said the richness of the threat telemetry and data from the consumer side of the business ends up providing McAfee with a huge and sustained advantage over its enterprise-exclusive peers.

McAfee Insights should provide customers with a broader range of protection, according to Matt Beale, managing partner at Chicago-based W. Capra Consulting Group. Building up a support desk to look after customers is easier to do when a solution provider can unify around a single vendor, and Beale said he appreciates McAfee's continued effort to provide a holistic range of products and services.

"They've had a good opportunity to take a step back and look at how their products are fitting into the marketplace," Beale said. "I think it's very healthy for them to do this."

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