McAfee aims to solve combined attacks with machine learning, AI

Chris Young, CEO, McAfee

Security has been a top priority in Las Vegas since the dreadful night of October 1 when 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire at a country music festival near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing at least 59 people and injuring hundreds. Little over two weeks, the city is abuzz with lots of discussions around security, albeit of a different nature – Cyber Security.

Referring to the recent shooting, McAfee CEO Chris Young began his keynote at its ongoing flagship cyber security event MPOWER, saying that attacks are a good way to introspect. Young said that while there’s no “silver bullet” to deal with cyber attacks, the need of the hour is to build integrated solutions as the world is seeing more and more “combined” forms of attacks. WannaCry is probably the most significant cyber attack we heard of in the recent past which spread by combining traditional ransomware with a worm.

To solve the combined nature of cyber attacks, McAfee, one of world’s leading cyber security companies announced new endpoint and cloud solutions that go beyond machine learning to take advantage of the speed and accuracy of advanced analytics, deep learning, and artificial intelligence (AI), and increase efficiency of security operations.

McAfee’s new product McAfee Investigator utilises both machine learning and AI to “increase accuracy and confidence of investigations by automating data collection and empowering security analysts of varied experience to fully assess threats in less time,” the company said in a statement.

“When organisations are uncertain about the value or insights inherent in their data — or are confronted with new information they don’t know how to interpret — machine learning can help discover business value where they may not have been able to before,” Carlton E. Sapp, a Gartner research director, wrote in a January 2017 report. “The capability to transform data into actionable insight is the key to a competitive advantage for any organisation. But the ability to autonomously learn and evolve as new data is introduced — without explicitly programming to do so — is the holy grail of business intelligence.”

New McAfee Investigator benefits include:

  • Accurate Threat Prioritisation: McAfee Investigator allows analysts to focus on the most significant threats by using advanced analytics to automatically collect, piece together and visually present suspected attack intelligence.
  • Fast and Thorough Malware Investigations: Machine learning and artificial intelligence within McAfee Investigator continually learn evolving tactics, techniques and procedures to help analysts determine the right questions and explorations to yield efficient and accurate case closure.
  • Increased SOC Efficiency: McAfee Investigator coaches analysts into implementing advanced thought processes and increases productivity with easy case content sharing.

New McAfee endpoint capabilities include:

  • Decision Making with Deep Learning: McAfee Endpoint Security (ENS) uses many layers of mathematical neurons, much like the human brain, to assist with decision making and ascertain potential threats.
  • Pre and Post Execution Machine Learning: McAfee endpoint machine learning reviews files both before and after they execute, gaining knowledge with new data and increasing protection against never-before-seen threats.
  • Machine Learning with Reach: Industry analysts note that many advanced analytics solutions require significant data to build and train models. Globally, 300 million sensors serve as a source to inform algorithms, providing a vast data set for McAfee analytics technologies to learn from.

As organisations look to transition from on-premise to the cloud, McAfee has also expanded its portfolio of technology built to run in the public cloud, enabling additional protection and advanced detection without a hardware footprint. McAfee Web Gateway will now be available to run on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and McAfee’s Advanced Threat Defence (ATD) sandboxing technology will run on Microsoft Azure.

 (The journalist is in Las Vegas on the invitation of McAfee)

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Ayushman Baruah
Ayushman Baruah is the founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Startup Observer. With 10+ years of rich experience in journalism spanning across newspaper, magazine, and news wire, Ayushman takes a conscious effort to stay away from the rat's race and the noise of breaking news. The Startup Observer is a noble initiative to serve the readers with ideas that go beyond news. In 2013, Ayushman won the prestigious 15th Annual PoleStar Award in jury's category for excellence in technology journalism. He loves writing, public speaking, observing, travelling, aquariums, and anything that makes him think. He believes in keeping his feet on the ground but eyes on the stars.