McAfee to Advance Cybersecurity AI via the Cloud

McAfee this week announced the availability of McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) software on Amazon Web Services (AWS), which sets the stage of applying artificial intelligence (AI) to the massive amounts of data being collected by its endpoint security software.

To further facilitate that ability, McAfee this week also unfurled McAfee MVISION, which makes available a software-as-a-service (SaaS) implementation of the company’s McAfee MVISION ePO policy orchestration software. MVISION ePO is tightly integrated with McAfee MVISION Endpoint and MVISION Mobile software, and can deployed on a diverse range of client devices.

Raja Patel, vice president and general manager for corporate products at McAfee, noted the ability to collect massive amounts of data in the cloud creates the opportunity to apply machine and deep learning algorithms against all the data collected via its consumer and business endpoint software. That data pool allows McAfee to leverage a massive consumer base for its endpoint software to the benefit of its business customers, he said, adding that longer term, the rise of AI will increase the relative importance of endpoint security software as first line of defense within the enterprise.

Deploying McAfee ePO on the AWS cloud comes with several benefits, including eliminating the need to size and design deployments using guided set up wizards and manage backup and recovery. Automatic updates also reduce costs associated with patching and upgrading.

McAfee MVISION ePO essentially adds a managed service option through which IT organizations can automate much of the management of cybersecurity at a time when cybersecurity expertise is in short supply.

Both offerings leverage a new McAfee approach to endpoint security. Rather than compete head on with security software such as Microsoft Windows Defender, McAfee will focus on providing complementary security capabilities that, among other things, will make it easier to manage endpoint security at scale, Patel said. That approach will also make it simpler for organizations to overlay a consistent management framework across a diverse range of clients, Patel said, noting the result should be not only a better customer experience, but also improved performance, because duplication of cybersecurity functionality will be reduced sharply. Patel said McAfee endpoint security software is about 30 times more effective than current cybersecurity software that comes bundled with operating systems.

It’s becoming apparent that the next major cybersecurity battle between vendors will be fought in the cloud. The IT vendor that can apply a range of advanced algorithms to discover malware that has evaded perimeter security and automatically respond to those threats will reduce much of the manual labor associated with managing cybersecurity today. It’s not likely AI will reduce the need for cybersecurity professionals, but as AI continues to evolve, many cybersecurity professionals one day will look back and wonder what took so long to apply automation to cybersecurity.

Of course, many cybercriminals are also investigating how to leverage advanced algorithms to launch their attacks. In fact, the future of cybersecurity very well may turn out to be a contest between algorithms that, from time to time, are augmented by human intelligence when necessary.

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Michael Vizard

Michael Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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