McAfee SecurityAlliance Partner Summit 2014: Intel Draws Closer

Intel Drawing Closer Than Ever To Its McAfee Acquisition

Intel acquired McAfee for $7.6 billion in 2010 and soon after the acquisition executives from both companies, including former McAfee CEO Dave DeWalt, were promoting the promise of hardware-based or chip-based security. McAfee DeepSafe technology was developed to provide kernel-level protection and defend against dangerous rootkits. The technology has gotten a tepid response in the market and ,until now, Intel has stepped back, letting McAfee build out its own product portfolio. CRN pulls together the key messages for partners from the 2014 McAfee SecurityAlliance Partner Summit in Las Vegas.

Intel Secuirty's Struthers Opens Partner Summit

Intel Security channel chief Gavin Struthers kicked off the Partner Summit Monday, telling partners that they were "thinking big," with 50 deals in excess of $1.1 million in the last quarter. The company's analytics and networking gear saw the most interest, with McAfee security information event management systems and next-generation firewalls growing significantly, Struthers said. Registration of new deals doubled this past year, Struthers said, adding that the company's top partners had growth of 20 percent or more -- "triple the market." A partner survey also found growth in the McAfee data loss prevention and endpoint security software and its governance, risk and compliance suite, Struthers said.

Partners Are Missing Services Growth Opportunity

Partners are squandering an opportunity by not being able to capitalize on the significant increase in demand for security services, Struthers said. Less than 5 percent of Intel Security's revenue is in professional services at a time when the services market is growing faster than the market for products, Struthers said. "Eighty percent of our products walk out the door without any services attached," Struthers said, calling the missed opportunity "criminal." Partners must move to either a true managed services model or develop a professional services practice, he said.

Partner Program Changes Ease Training Strains

The new Intel Security Partner Program reduces overlapping training and certification requirements that impacted some managed and professional services partners. The company reduced the number of competency areas to three from five, naming three categories: Endpoint Security, Network Security and Security Management. Training has also been expanded and partners can earn credits based on courses that are relevant to their product areas, Struthers said. The revised partner program also adds a Managed Services and Authorized Support specializations, integrating the McAfee Managed Service Provider and Authorized Support Provider programs.

Former Cisco Veteran Young Pledges Commitment To Channel

Chris Young, senior vice president and general manager of Intel Security who leads the integration of the Intel and McAfee product teams, told partners the channel will continue to play an important role in Intel Security's go-to-market strategy. He told partners that 80 percent of the company's revenue flows through the channel. Partners should expect new and innovative products that address critical threats, protect sensitive data and are extremely competitive in the security market, Young said.

"I would love it if all I had to worry about is the competition," Young said. "We have to worry about our competition and our adversaries. … Increasingly well-funded adversaries are more capable and smarter than they have ever been."

Young: Deliver Intel Technology Deeper Into Platform

McAfee was rebranded Intel Security in 2014, butproducts will go to market as the McAfee brand because customers know and trust it, Young said.

As Intel draws closer to McAfee, one area the joint development teams will address is the trusted execution of applications, Young said. New capabilities at the security services layer will help organizations gain visibility into the legitimacy of an application on an endpoint system, he said. The company will also take steps to produce more seamless encryption implementations using Intel silicon, Young said. The focus will be on data at rest and in motion with more "vertically oriented solutions around being able to leverage the encryption properties that we are bringing in the chipsets from Intel."

Intel Security CTO Mike Fey On New Products

Intel Security claims its new Threat Intelligence Exchange will reduce the amount of time it takes to identify and contain a targeted attack. It brings together threat intelligence, visibility into network traffic and endpoints, and enables all components on the network to share data to defend against threats, said Mike Fey, chief technology officer and general manager of corporate products at Intel Security. Fey said the product uses the newly created data-exchange layer to ensure that all McAfee and third-party partner products have bidirectional communication.

Fey told partners that the smallest deals can result in the biggest wins. The company found that after the first deal, 80 percent of new customers went back to their partner for more products.