Tag: McAfee

Cryptomining malware is booming

banner_220x220McAfee has warned that cryptomining malware has seen a “stunning” growth this year.

The security vendor claimed that the number of crypto mining malware samples grew 629 percent to 2.9 million in Q1 this year, before growing a further 86 percent in Q2.

Raj Samani, chief scientist at McAfee, said: “Cybercrime is a business; and market forces, such as the rise in cryptocurrency values, will continue to shape where adversaries focus their efforts. Exploiting crypto mining malware is simpler, more straightforward, and less risky than traditional cybercrime activities – causing these schemes to skyrocket in popularity over the last few months. Crypto mining malware has quickly emerged as a major player on the threat landscape.”

He said businesses must find the right combination of people, process and technology to effectively protect their assets, detect crypto mining threats and when targeted, rapidly correct systems – across both cloud and on-premise.

McAfee said that this form of malware predominately targets PCs, but new strains have started to target Android smartphones and other internet-connected devices.

The vendor also claims that the success of the WannaCry and NotPetya attacks has seen an increase in malware targeting software exploits, with new samples of these increasing 151 percent in Q2.

AWS, VMware, Microsoft and Symantec are pants vendors

hqdefaultAWS, APC, Citrix, Huawei, McAfee, Microsoft, Symantec, Veritas and VMware are lowest-scoring vendors in a channel management survey according to research outfit Canalys.

The Canalys Leadership Matrix was based on more than 2,700 responses from EMEA channel partners who were asked to rate their vendor partners across ten areas of channel management.

Canalys divided the results into four: “Champions”, “Growers”, “Contenders” and “Stragglers”, the survey also judges vendors on how their standing in the Leadership Matrix has changed.

Nine companies were placed in Canalys’ “Stragglers” quadrant, reserved for vendors that “have shown significant weakness in areas of channel management” or “have seen a deterioration in partner relationships, either by choice or mistake”.

AWS, APC, Citrix, Huawei, McAfee, Microsoft, Symantec, Veritas and VMware were all named as channel Stragglers in the survey.

Vole and VMware, two firms which have “highly successful businesses built on sales via partners,” were named and shamed in the report with Canalys saying that there was “a growing wave of channel dissatisfaction with both brands”.

Dell EMC’s appointment as an “official distributor” of VMware licences last year dealt a blow to its resellers and distributors and likely prompted a fall from grace among partners.

Canalys claimed that Microsoft, meanwhile, has been “accused of squeezing channel margins” through its Cloud Solution Provider partner programme.

The top-scoring vendors in the survey included Fujitsu, Cisco, Lenovo, Palo Alto Networks and Veeam. Canalys said that  Cisco’s quality of technical support for partners remains unparalleled when compared with its competitors, while Lenovo’s “Channel 2.0” initiative, which sought to simplify partner incentives, was well received by the channel.

Apple’s  overall rating was still relatively low compared with its peers, and its resellers still suffer from “low margin potential” and “rigid terms and conditions” from the vendor.

 

McAfee’s top partners could be demoted

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKZAAAAJGU1N2MxODU4LTY5NmUtNGQ3Yi1hZmVhLThjODQzODZiMGE0NgRecently liberated from the clutches of Intel, McAfee has announced it expects a bit more from its top-tier partners.

Global channel VP Richard Steranka has warned that McAfee’s top-tier partners will have to meet service-certification requirements by the end of the year or be demoted.

Speaking at McAfee’s MPower Cybersecurity Summit in Amsterdam, Steranka said that McAfee is implementing the new training criteria to reward partners that have invested in the firm.

The big idea is to reward VARs who are building their business around McAfee’s software, rather than solely rewarding transactional partners who hold “more than 300” security vendors in their portfolio.

“At the beginning of 2017, it was a new requirement of being a Platinum partner to have two service delivery specialists in at least three of our product areas: end-point, infrastructure, data, or security operations. There was no incentive [previously], so we created one.”

Partners have until 31 December to obtain the necessary certifications, when their place in McAfee’s partner programme will be evaluated.

The vendor has 250 Platinum partners globally, and Steranka expects this to decrease as some current Platinum partners cannot meet the new criteria.

New certifications have been added to the programme; partners are still given rebates depending on how they perform against set quarterly revenue targets.

Partners hitting 80 to 100 percent of their sales target get a two percent rebate, those achieving 100 percent to 150 percent make four percent, while those exceeding 150 percent of sales can earn an eight percent quarterly rebate.

McAfee acquires Skyhigh Networks

mcafee-antivirus-plus-screenshot.pngMcAfee is celebrating its liberation from the claws of Chipzilla by writing a cheque for Skyhigh Networks.

Skyhigh Networks is a cloud access security broker (CASB).  For those who don’t know CASB is supposed to be a hot ticket, at least according to Gartner. Oracle, Forcepoint, Cisco and Blue Coat all making CASB acquisitions.

Skyhigh CEO Rajiv Gupta will join McAfee’s leadership team, and its organisational structure will “remain intact”, according to McAfee.

McAfee CEO Chris Young said: “Skyhigh Networks had the foresight five years ago to realise that cybersecurity for cloud environments could not be an impediment to, or afterthought of, cloud adoption.

“It pioneered an entirely new product category called cloud access security broker that analysts describe as one of the fastest-growing areas of information security investments of the last five years – where Skyhigh continues to innovate and lead. Skyhigh’s leadership in cloud security, combined with McAfee’s security portfolio strength, will set the company apart in helping organisations operate freely and securely to reach their full potential.”

McAfee became an independent outfit again eight months ago after Intel span out its security assets to PE house TPG Capital.

Atos launches first prescriptive security operations centre

Three-Musketeers-The-1973-1605x903Systems integrator and second musketeer Atos has launched what it has dubbed the world’s first prescriptive security operations centre (SOC).

The SOC, which is available as a solution in Atos’ 14 SOCs globally, combines big data analytics and machine learning with McAfee security technology to bring down threat detection times from 190 days on average to less than a minute, according to Atos.

This is one of the first things to emerge from Atos’ McAfee partnership which was announced in November. The big idea is to offer threat detection and remediation in the form of a managed security service.

Pierre Barnabé, chief operating officer of big data and security at Atos, said: “By combining big data, security analytics and supercomputing, Atos offers its customers the opportunity to be one step ahead of cyber attacks.

“The deep data analytics and monitoring in real time allow a unique and continuous prescriptive security. Customers can now predict and neutralise threats before they reach their goal.”

It is built using Atos machine-learning technology and uses McAfee threat defence to learn from previous threats and automate responses in real time. Atos claims that total response and recovery times can be reduced from two months to just “a few minutes”.

AV market heading back to the 2000s

back-to-the-futureIn the 2000s McAfee and Symantec ruled the AV market, and now the latest figures suggest they could be back again.

Symantec and McAfee lost ground in the IT security market when they were outevolved by next-generation technology and more agile start-ups. Now the pair think they are ready to rule again.

They have a long way to climb in 2005, Symantec held the top spot with 32.2 percent of the worldwide security software market by revenue, and McAfee held 12.4 percent at No. 2, with both seeing double-digit year-over-year growth, according to Gartner. Ten years later, Symantec and McAfee still owned the top two spots in the security software, but their share of the market had dropped dramatically.

After three consecutive years of revenue decline, Symantec held 15.2 percent of the worldwide security software market in 2015, while McAfee was at 7.9 percent after a year-over-year revenue dip.

The pair carried out some major restructuring spinouts, acquisitions and senior management changes.

The security market is growing at a rapid pace, expected to hit $202.4 billion by 2021, up from $122.5 billion in 2016, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.

Symantec and McAfee are returning in force into the market with a platform security strategy and are targeting the core of a company’s security infrastructure.

Both claim single, integrated platform bases with their own broad set of products with those of third-party vendors. They want to drive analytics and automation, while reducing complexity.

They both have a different cunning plan as to what part of the security set-up they want to control.

McAfee is looking to drive focus on what it calls the “threat defence life cycle”, including endpoint, data centre, data protection and cloud security, as well as investments around overarching analytics and automation. The idea is to integrate with the company’s Data Exchange Layer (DXL) offering.

Symantec is looking to own more of the pieces including secure web gateways to email to data loss prevention to multifactor authentication. This will allow customers to choose a single, fully integrated platform, as well as the possibility to integrate with third-party solutions.

Intexit McAfee looks to channel for new life

mcafeeHaving escaped Intel’s clutches, security outfit McAfee is looking to its channel to provide it with a way forward.

Intel bought McAfee for $7.7 billion back in 2010 and announced last September that it had agreed to sell its stake to TPG Capital for $4.2 billion. Thoma Bravo has also become an investor through an agreement with TPG and former Intel Security general manager Christopher Young has been named McAfee CEO.

McAfee is sticking with a current partner programme that runs through until 2018 along with its existing product plans.

But the outfit is claiming that the “new” McAfee will be reacting differently to threats and creating more opportunity for its channel partners.

The firm has a well-established and loyal channel and a brand that is already well known by partners and customers.

Young indicated what could lie ahead saying that as a standalone company with a clear purpose, McAfee gains the agility to unite people, technology and organisations against our common adversaries and ensure our technology-driven future is safe.

Botched McAfee deal claimed Renee James’ job

jamesThe dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn that the high profile exit of Renee James, president of Intel and head of the software group was because of the silly McAfee deal.

When Chipzilla wrote a check for McAfee  many people wondered why, and suspected it was about getting security onto the chip and other such plausible reasons. However since very little has emerged as a result of this deal, there were whispers that suggested that the whole McAfee thing was stupid.

Officially James is leaving to pursue an “external CEO role.” James will remain with the company until January to help out.

However that is not really how it works. Executives don’t announce what they are doing and they certainly don’t stay on if they are going to work for a rival.

Citibank research analyst Christopher Danely, James wasn’t doing all that well at her main job.

James was largely responsible for leading Intel’s $7.7 billion acquisition of McAfee in 2011, a merger that made absolutely no sense to anyone but a McAfee shareholder.

Intel’s software business had grown just 2.5 per cent  in the last three years, Danely pointed out.

When Intel bought the McAfee business it generated 2010 revenue of $2.1 billion with operating margins of roughly 11 percent. McAfee revenues have remained roughly flat since the company was bought, while operating margins have declined to the mid-single digit range, Daneley said.

It is starting to look like James took the fall for the waste of money on McAfee and underperforming software group.

It is also possible that Intel will have to do something with its underperforming security arm. Last week it borged McAfee and stopped it being independent any more, as our sister publication TechEye faithfully reported.

Security appliance market surges

Cisco FirewallOn the day that IBM revealed that a billion individuals had their data leaked in 2014, a report said the security appliance market saw double digit shipment growth in the fourth quarter of last year.

IDC said that worldwide, both factory revenues and shipments grew with revenues growing 8.6 percent compared to the same quarter last year, amounting to $2.6 billion.

But shipments grew twice as fast as revenues at 16.7 percent, representing 635, 933 units.

IDC said that’s the fourth consecutive quarter of shipment growths. For the whole year, revenues and shipments grew 8.4 percent and 8.3 percent respectively, amounting to $9.4 billion and 2.1 million units.

All geographies showed growth, but in Europe security appliances represented 26.9 percent of worldwide revenues.

The leading beacon in the market is Cisco – it has a 16.6 percent share of worldwide revenue. Check Point checked in at number two, with 13.2 percent revenue share. It grew by 25.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014.

In third place was Fortinet, which is the largest appliance vendor in shipment terms.

Palo Alto Networks, Blue Coat and McAfee were the other contenders in the top five position, with the last two tying in worldwide revenues.

 

US tech economy suffering because of paranoia

Senator McCarthy On 'Face The Nation'The US economy is officially suffering because its government is not reigning in its paranoid security services.

One of the world’s biggest markets, China, has said that it is no longer using high-profile US technology brands for state buys, amid ongoing revelations about mass surveillance and hacking by the US government.

That means that key brands, including Cisco, Intel, Apple and McAfee — among others — have been dropped from the Chinese government’s list of authorised brands.

The number of approved foreign technology brands fell by a third, based on an analysis of the procurement list. Less than half of those companies with security products remain on the list.

Chinese companies were said to offer “more product guarantees” than overseas rivals. Some claim it has cost the US government many billions of dollars figure on the impact of the leaks.

US companies have been moaning that the activities by the NSA are harming their businesses in crucial growth markets, including China. However, the US government has claimed that its aggressive spying plan meant that Americans were safer and spying on everyone was the only way to catch terrorists.

This included backdoors being placed in US products sold overseas. Those revelations sparked a change in Chinese policy by forcing Western technology companies to hand over their source code for inspection. That led to an outcry in the capital by politicians who accused Chinese companies of doing exactly the same thing, when they hadn’t.

Microsoft said its fourth-quarter earnings that China “fell short” of its expectations, which chief executive Satya Nadella described as a “set of geopolitical issues” that the company was working through.

HP said its fiscal first-quarter earnings had “execution issues” in China thanks to the “tough market” with increasing competition from the local vendors approved by the Chinese government.

However Cisco has been suffering the most. Earlier this month at its fiscal second-quarter earnings, the networking giant said it lost 19 percent of its revenue in China, amid claims the NSA was installing backdoors and implants on its routers in transit.

Security appliance market continues to blossom

Cisco FirewallUnit shipments of security appliances grew 10 percent in the third quarter over this year, accounting for revenues of close to $2.4 billion.

And this is the 20th consecutive quarter of positive growth, according to analysts at  the International Data Corporation (IDC).

IDC said shipments were up in the quarter, compared to the same quarter in 2013 by 7.3 percent, amounting to 520,752 units.

The market is growing mostly by cyber security products intended to perform a number of different security problem in one box.

Cisco is the leader of the security pack, with 15.9 percent of the market, followed by Check Point, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet and McAfee.

Unified threat management (UTM) is the dominant leader of the pack in both revenue and sales volumes, said IDC.

Intel buys password company

Intel-logoChip giant Intel has bought a Canadian company that attempts to take the pain out of passwords.

Intel Security – which includes the McAfee unit – didn’t say how much it paid for PasswordBox, which only started business in June 2013.

It’s unclear how many of the company’s 44 employees will be employed by Intel.

Intel will give new and existing customers a premium subscription at no cost until it gets round to releasing products under its own branding.

PasswordBox has around 14 million users worldwide.  The software lets you coordinate different logins and passwords in a sort of digital wallet so you don’t have to remember – or write down – all those different passwords that are easy to forget.

McAfee dabbles in democracy

McAfee HQ in Satan ClaraSecurity company McAfee, which is a subsidiary of the Intel Corporation, has given us its thoughts about how we could vote online or e-vote in the future.

Online voting isn’t particularly new – Baltic country Estonia held national elections using an e-voting system.  Other countries including India, France, Brazil and Australia have introduced electronic voting machines.

Yet Michael DeCare, president of McAfee said that wasn’t quite enough.  He said: “A greater emphasis on security could empower a new era in digital democracy.  People need to have trust and confidence in the process. Pilot programmes could be the route to earning public trust on a small scale.”

He claims obstacles to online and e-voting are largely hard to overcome and has little public acceptance.

People, he said, are worried about hacking and “lost votes cannot be regained”.

He doesn’t seem to have an answer to this question of public trust. But as people are wary following the thousands of security breaches that take place every year, it’s down to vendors like McAfee not to pose such questions but to provide the answers.

Cisco rules the security appliance roost

ciscologoWhile there was only moderate growth for security appliances in EMEA during the second quarter of this year, Cisco has the most market share.

That’s according to technology market research company IDC, which said the market in Q2 was worth $654.80 million, a rise compared to the same quarter in 2013 of 6.2 percent.

Cisco has 20.2 percent revenue share, up one percent year on year.

The runners up in shipments during the quarter were Check Point (17.5%), Fortinet (8.5%), McAfee (6%) and Juniper (5.5%), with the others commanding 42.3 percent.

However, McAfee’s growth between Q2 2013 and Q2 2014 was a massive 66.9 percent, IDC said.

Unified threat management (UMT) was the fast growing security appliance product category – that’s the eighth consecutive quarter and UTM appliances account for 48.4 percent of total vendor revenue.

Mobile malware still ignored by most

stapSecurity software companies must try harder to take advantage of mobile malware misgivings and convince smartphone users to start parting with their cash.

This overwhelming preference among mobile users for free stuff needn’t be a barrier to new revenue streams for the security developers, according to a report out today from Juniper Research.

The 135 page report, which is called ‘Mobile Security: BYOD, mCommerce, Consumer & Enterprise 2013-2018’, takes a look at all the usual suspects in the security space and beyond – from AVG to ZyXel.

It concluded that 80 percent of smartphones are unprotected, mostly because of a lack of threat-savvy on the part of their owners. With such a significant majority of phones left unprotected because their owners can’t even be bothered with free software, getting people to cough up looks like it might be a tall order for the anti-malware brigade.

The report also highlights the predicted growth in mobile malware attacks, citing claims from Trend Micro that there would be “more than one million malwares in the market” by the end of the year. It doesn’t make clear whether that figure is a global prediction, however.

The report found that nearly 1.3 billion mobile devices including smartphones, featurephones and tablets are expected to have mobile security software installed by 2018, up from around 325 million this year.

The UK’s National Fraud Authority has also recently warned that mobile malware can be hard to spot with the naked eye, and is generally disguised as legitimate apps.

According to one of the other big noises in the security space, McAfee, 17,000 new forms of mobile malware targeting Android-based devices were identified in the second quarter of 2013. That’s 21% up on Q1 of this year.

Cyber criminals are after your wonga. The security software firms wouldn’t object to having some of it too.

You pays your money, you takes your choice.