Top 5 Highlights from MPOWER 2019

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Fellow security experts gathered at MPOWER 2019 to strategize, network, and learn about the newest and most innovative ways to ward off advanced cyberattacks. This year’s attendees had a special opportunity to hear from cybersecurity thought leaders as they shared their insights on our ever-changing industry. The latest applications, workload and infrastructure designed to protect your data from the device to the cloud were also spotlighted, giving attendees a first look at McAfee’s newest innovations.

Here are the top five highlights gleaned from three jam-packed days of MPOWER at the Aria in Las Vegas.

1. The most valuable resource we all share—Time

This year’s MPOWER had an overarching theme of time. According to our recent research, threats are multiplying at unprecedented rates—as fast as five per second, resulting in customers feeling the mounting pressure of time in the never-ending race to do more, secure more, defend more and save more.

In the opening keynote for MPOWER 2019, CEO Chris Young pledged to make every second count at MPOWER and emphasized that, at McAfee, “… time is the underpinning factor in our investment strategy—in protecting the digital experience, from the device to the cloud.” Young went on to say that time is the one constant we can’t change and the one constraint we can’t ignore. Time, he reiterated, “remains our one resource that can burden or empower.” In closing, he stated, “I, for one, choose empowerment. I choose to seize our collective destiny today—a safe, secure future. Our pace is fueled by a passion and a commitment I share with nearly 7,000 McAfee employees each day—we are pledged to create the future that you and we deserve. It’s about time.”

2.  Announcing Unified Cloud Edge, MVISION Insights and Advancements MVISION Portfolio

During MPOWER, Young and Senior Vice President of the Cloud Security Business Unit Rajiv Gupta introduced Unified Cloud Edge, an industry-first initiative, to address the security concerns of the cloud. By converging the capabilities of its award-winning McAfee MVISION Cloud, McAfee® Web Gateway, and McAfee® Data Loss Prevention offerings—all to be available through the MVISION ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) platform—Unified Cloud Edge will offer a borderless IT environment. This frictionless environment will enable security professionals to reduce risk and increase productivity for organizations as they move to secure cloud adoption.

During Day Three of MPOWER, Young and CTO Steve Grobman offered a sneak preview into the MVISION Insights platform. Geared to help organizations move to an action-oriented, proactive security posture, the MVISION Insights platform will pinpoint threats that matter, offer insights into the effectiveness of their defenses and provide the ability to respond quickly and accurately to these threats. Security teams will soon be able to coordinate the data gathered by McAfee’s one-billion-plus sensors worldwide with their own threat data to provide the information needed to battle threats targeting their systems and data, while also preparing defenses against threats that have yet to be seen in their environments.

Lastly, Young announced the latest enhancements to the MVISION portfolio— a first-of-its-kind, cloud-based product family that allows organizations to deploy security on their terms as they move to the cloud. The new features and functionality lie within McAfee MVISION CloudMcAfee MVISION EndpointMcAfee MVISION EDR and McAfee MVISION ePO, and have been purpose-built to help organizations protect data and stop threats across devices, networks and the cloud. Also announced at MPOWER, the latest version of McAfee Endpoint Security—10.7—now features a visualization tool to help security pros trace the root cause of attacks and rollback remediation to enable customers to easily and quickly reverse the effects of malware and return a device to its former healthy state.

3. New Ransomware

McAfee’s Advanced Threat Research team (ATR) observed a new ransomware family in the wild, dubbed Sodinokibi (or REvil), at the end of April 2019. During MPOWER, the ATR team posted the first and second episodes detailing the Sodinokibi ransomware. In the first installment, they share their extensive malware and post-infection analysis and visualize exactly how big the Sodinokibi campaign is. The second installment shares an analysis of Sodinokibi and its connections to GandGrab, the most prolific Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) campaign of 2018 and mid-2019. (Check back on Securing Tomorrow to see Episode 3: Follow the Money and Episode 4: Crescendo.)

4. SIA DEV CON

Tuesday afternoon, our ATR and SecOps Engineering team hosted our first ever interactive game, “Defend The Flag,” in which 65 customers competed to win a brand-new challenge coin. The game consisted of defending an organization against a real-world adversary like APT29. Through simulated attacks and scenarios based on the MITRE ATT&CK framework, the participants leveraged a combination of McAfee solutions and best-of-breed open source tools to prevent, detect, triage, investigate and hunt for the presence of the adversary. Players practiced their security skills through a series of questions and challenges ranging from basic to advanced, and earned prize points, unique swagger and bragging rights.

5. Building a Culture of Security

Throughout the morning keynotes, guest speakers and McAfee leadership enthusiastically supported the notion of creating a culture of security. Throughout the presentations, several essential elements emerged: getting young people excited about the work McAfee and other companies are doing; opening up immigration policies to welcome new talent; increasing government investment in technology initiatives and infrastructure; and reaching out to allies across the globe rather than taking an isolationist stance. When CMO Allison Cerra addressed MPOWER attendees, she discussed her contribution to building a culture of security. Her goal is to use her communications expertise to start a conversation on how organizations can build a stronger cybersecurity culture in the face of relentless attackers. This led to her writing a playbook for every employee, every functional manager and every leader in organizations big and small, private and public. The book, titled The Cybersecurity Playbook: How Every Leader Can Contribute to a Culture of Security, was published in September, and every MPOWER attendee received a copy.

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