Category Archives: business

Why McAfee is Supporting the University of Guelph’s New Cyber Security and Threat Intelligence Degree Program

McAfee has a rich history in helping to shape the industry’s response to the ever-changing threat landscape.  We started as a pioneer in cybersecurity over three decades ago. Today, we are the device to cloud cybersecurity market leader, supporting consumers to small and large enterprises to governments.

But we don’t do this on our own. And in order for us to be successful in our mission to make the digital world more secure, we need to have the right people in place.

One of the largest challenges facing the cybersecurity industry today is the lack of skilled personnel and the global talent shortage. Current research indicates that our industry will face more than 1.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions by 2025.

This talent shortage, coupled with the increasing volume of threats and the changing cybercriminal landscape, presents a problem which is only getting worse. And not just for us, but the whole industry. Therefore, we must, as a group, collectively improve upon this talent shortage.

So how will we do this?

One step that McAfee is investing heavily in is education. We are already doing a lot of work to support students and inspire them to take on careers in cybersecurity, for example our work in the UK with high school programs run at the home of the World War II code breakers Bletchley Park.

Now we’re delighted to be expanding this work even further as a founding partner of the new Master of Cybersecurity and Threat Intelligence at the University of Guelph which will launch in September this year. This graduate degree will train the next generation on how to stop cyberattacks before they happen, and give students expertise in threat intelligence, threat hunting, digital forensics, intrusion prevention, privacy, crypt analysis and more.

During the course, students will work with state-of-the-art cybersecurity tools where they can run real-world attacks within an isolated lab, engaging directly with active adversaries and learn their tactics, techniques and procedures to build state of art cyber defense and detection systems. They will learn the intricacies of how attacks are conducted and methods for preventing further intrusions. McAfee has already been involved with the development of the Lab, ensuring it replicates our real-world labs to give students the right experience from the very beginning.

But we’re not just supporting the lab. Alongside partners including Cisco and BlackBerry, we’re also going to be showing up throughout the course and inviting students to work closely with us inside McAfee to build the skills they need for a future career in cybersecurity.

As a Canadian, I am particularly proud that a Canadian institution is showing this level of innovation which will enhance not only our local talent pool but will also help solve the global talent shortage.

To learn more, and apply to be one of the founding class, visit the University of Guelph here.

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5 Most Common Types of Threats You Need to Know About

Cyber threats sometimes feel unrelenting and are becoming more dangerous every day. While the internet presents users with lots of information and services, it also includes several risks. Cyberattacks are increasing in sophistication and volume, with many cybercriminals using a combination of different types of attacks to accomplish a single goal. Though the list of potential threats is extensive, below you’ll see the most common security threats you should look out for.

1.  Malware

Short for “malicious software,” malware comes in several forms and can cause serious damage to a computer or corporate network. There are various forms of malware ranging from viruses and worms to Trojans and beyond. Malware is often seen as a catch-all term that refers to any software designed to cause damage to a computer, server, or network.

Antivirus software is the most known product to protect your personal devices against malware and is a great start to prevent potential threats. While for enterprises, protecting your endpoint is essential to quickly detect, prevent, and correct advanced threats to your business.

2. Computer Worm:

The distinctive trait of a worm is that it can self-replicate and doesn’t require human interaction to create copies and spread quickly and in great volume. Most worms are spread though tricking internet users and are designed to exploit known security holes in software. Since many employees use their phones for work-related tasks when they are not within the perimeter of their corporate firewall, businesses are at a high risk for potential worms. If a machine is infected, the worm can: corrupt files, steal sensitive data, install a backdoor giving cybercriminals access to your computer, or modify system settings to make your machine more vulnerable.

3. Spam:

Spam refers to unsolicited messages in your email inbox. From the sender’s perspective, spam is a great way to get their message across in an efficient and cost-effective way. While spam is usually considered harmless, some can include links that will install malicious software on your computer if the recipient clicks on it.

How do you recognize malicious spam? First off, if you don’t recognize the sender’s address, don’t open it. Also, if the email addresses you in a generic way, i.e. “Dear customer”, “Hi there” etc., don’t engage. Be aware of the embedded links and check if they have odd URL’s by hovering over them to see where it wants to direct you and if the destination URL matches the destination site you expect.

4. Phishing

Created by cybercriminals attempting to solicit private or sensitive information, phishing schemes tend to be the starting point of nearly all successful cyberattacks. Phishing schemes can disguise itself in many forms, whether its posing as your bank or a common web service, with the sole purpose to lure you in by clicking links and asking you to verify account details, personal information, or passwords. Many people still associate phishing threats with emails, but the threat has evolved beyond your inbox. Hackers are now employing text messages, phone calls, phony apps, and social media quizzes to trick an unwitting victim.

5. Botnet:

Botnet malware is a network of computers that have been hijacked or compromised, giving hackers the ability to control infected computers or mobile devices remotely. When the malware is launched on your computer or mobile device, it recruits your infected device into a botnet, and the hacker is now able to control your device and access all your data in the background without your knowledge.

A botnet can consist of as few as ten computers or hundreds of thousands, and when bots come together, they are a force to be reckoned with. If a botnet hits your corporate website, it can make millions of requests at once ultimately overloading the servers knocking the website offline, slow web traffic, or affect performance. As many businesses are aware, a website that is offline or has a long lag time can be very costly, resulting in a loss of customers or a damaged reputation.


For more information check out our Security Awareness Resources and Reports.

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Hit the Easy Button for Your Organization’s Gmail Security

Fifteen years ago, Gmail was launched by Google. The web-based service now has 1.5 billion users a month. In addition to being the extremely popular personal email service, Gmail is also a key component of G Suite for organizations.

One of the many reasons of Gmail’s popularity is its security. Google makes use of multiple antivirus engines to help identify malware that may be missed by antivirus signatures. Authentication features, like 2-step verification and single sign-on, and email security policies like secure transport (TLS) enforcement are also being offered within Gmail/G suite.

There’s another aspect of security that is evolving and hard to detect. Business Email Compromise (BEC) and unknown malware/zero-days are top threats threatening email users globally. The baseline security included with G Suite is designed to protect against known malware, which only accounts for 5 percent of malware. It is crucial to consider third-party tools to protect your organization from the other 95 percent of malware and other types of email threats.

Trend Micro Cloud App Security now protects Gmail within G Suite, in addition to Google Drive. It is an API-based service protecting Gmail, Microsoft® Office 365™ Exchange™ Online and other cloud file sharing services. Using multiple advanced threat protection techniques, it acts as a second layer of protection after emails and files have passed through G Suite/Office 365 scanning. In 2018, Cloud App Security caught 8.9 million high-risk email threats missed by Office 365 security.

Trend Micro Cloud App Security protects Gmail from three types of threats:

1. Unknown malware/zero-days: G Suite/Gmail uses antivirus engines to detect known malware.
As the second layer of filtering, Trend Micro Cloud App Security catches unknown malware using multiple advanced techniques (e.g. machine learning-based anti-malware, document exploit detection, and behavioral analysis using sandboxes). In fact, Trend Micro’s sandbox technology has been recommended by NSS Labs 5 years in a row.

2. BEC attacks: The most common type of BEC attack is CEO fraud – an email impersonating the CEO asks an employee to conduct a wire transfer, usually to a bank account overseas. BEC attacks are difficult to detect as cyber criminals use social engineering to trick users, and no attachment or malicious URL is in the email. Gmail protects against inbound emails spoofing your domain, which is a common tactic used by BEC messages. After the email passes Google’s scanning, Trend Micro Cloud App Security would use artificial intelligence to stop email fraud, and conduct unique authorship analysis by checking the writing style of the high profile users. The simple but hard to catch BEC attacks require multi-layered defense for the best protection.

3. Threats already exist in your organization: For threats that have passed through an organization’s security measures, it’s critical to have the capability to perform discovery and remediation. Trend Micro Cloud App Security offers a unique manual scan capability allowing admins to scan and protect Gmail mailboxes and Google Drive on-demand.  The manual scan capability is available on Drive now and will be available on Gmail in July, 2019.

Trend Micro Cloud App Security is the easy solution which deploys in minutes, requires no MX record routing, and is transparent to users. Get a free trial now to see how many threats are passing your G suite environment.

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Dallas Start-Ups: Pitch Us Your Ideas for a Smarter Connected World

At Trend Micro we’ve spent the past three decades successfully solving problems for our customers. It’s helped us to become a leading provider of services to secure the connected world. But we’re not done there. We also want to find and learn from the technology innovators and problem-solvers of tomorrow.

That’s why our venture arm, in partnership with Veem, Trend Forward Capital, is inviting ambitious start-ups to send in their submissions for the first pitch-off contest to be held at our North American HQ in Dallas. Submissions for the Forward Thinker Award are due by May 1, and with only five lucky applicants selected to attend the event on May 20, the standard will need to be high.

Finding talent, closing skills gaps

Trend Micro’s mission is Securing Our Connected World. But we also recognize that, as important as it is, there’s a wealth of innovation happening outside the security sphere. Smart and connected technologies offer an unparalleled opportunity to make us all safer, healthier, more social and productive.

We’re in it for the long haul: teaming up to offer as much support as they need – from go-to-market expertise, to cybersecurity solutions and global resources. In this respect, you can view the pitch-off and the wider Trend Forward Capital mission as part of our global commitment to close skills gaps. Start-ups might have the ideas and the drive, but often need fine-tuning and support to help nurture their skills and expand their in-house know-how.

In return, we get to plug-in and learn from some of the most exciting companies around, who are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible across the globe.

Focus on Dallas

Trend Forward Capital has run successful pitch-off competitions at the past two CES conferences. But this is the first time we’ve taken the idea to the Dallas Fort Worth region. Why now? Because the area has become a thriving hotbed of entrepreneurial ideas and business growth. And as it plays host to our own North American headquarters, we wanted to cement our commitment to local start-up talent.

As mentioned, just five finalists will be chosen to pitch on May 20. They’ll have to impress an all-star line-up of judges including Trend Micro co-founder and CEO, Eva Chen; Marwan Forzley, CEO of one of our start-up success stories, Veem; Shmuel Kliger, Founder and President of Turbonomic, as well as Will Akins, Manager of WeWork Labs Dallas.

There’ll be a $10,000 reward for the winner of the Forward Thinker Award, who will also be considered for pre-selection for the 2020 CES contest, including two passes to the show. All five finalists receive a year’s free cybersecurity protection with Trend Micro.

Trend Forward Capital has spent the past two years helping some of the most innovative companies around to reach the next stage of growth. If you’re a Dallas-based start-up, apply to the Forward Thinker Award today and you could be the next.

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Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and More at RSAC 2019

Last week, the RSA Conference painted San Francisco’s Moscone Center purple with the theme ‘Better’, and the cybersecurity industry did not disappoint in making the digital world a better and safer place. Below, we’re sharing a few McAfee highlights from this year’s event.

Behind the Scenes of MGM Resorts’ Digital Transformation at CSA Summit

In its tenth year at the RSA Conference, the CSA Summit welcomed Rajiv Gupta, Senior Vice President, Cloud Security Business Unit at McAfee and Scott Howitt, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Security Officer at MGM Resorts International to the stage. During the keynote, Howitt discussed MGM’s digital transformation and how adopting the cloud into MGM’s business model resulted in delivering a modern experience to customers and more engaged and productive employees. We also heard Gupta share statistics from our Cloud Report on how cloud data distribution has changed dramatically ,which now requires new and better solutions. Before attendees headed out for lunch, Howitt and Gupta closed the first half of the CSA summit by solidifying the positive impact the cloud can have on enterprise businesses. 

Tapping into the Tremendous Power of Artificial Intelligence at RSAC

On Tuesday, SVP and Chief Technology Officer, Steve Grobman and Chief Data Scientist, Dr. Celeste Fralick, took the mainstage at RSAC. During their keynote, Grobman and Fralick discussed how the industry needs to think about artificial intelligence, its power, how it can be used against us and its adversarial uses. Fralick shared how “most people don’t realize how fragile AI and machine learning can really be” and voiced how her team is involved in a technical area called the adversarial machine learning, where they study ways that adversaries can invade or poison machine learning classifier. In closing, Grobman told RSA attendees that “we must embrace AI but never ignore its limitations. It’s just math. It’s fragile. And there is a cost to both false positives and false negatives.”

EXPO- nentially Better

This year’s RSAC expo didn’t disappoint, with over 400 exhibitors showcasing unique content from the world’s top cybersecurity minds and the latest security solutions. Every day our booth was full as we connected with our customers, partners, and prospects. At this year’s conference, we hosted a fun and interactive Capture the Flag challenge which tested the investigative and analytical skills of RSA attendees. Contestants were given various challenges and received “flag” details on how to complete each challenge as quickly and accurately as possible.

RSAC was full of announcements with new and better products along with the buzzing of cybersecurity professionals making better connections with peers from around the world, with the same goal of keeping the digital world safe and making the real world a better place.

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The Best Ways to Catch McAfee at RSA Conference 2019

In just a few weeks, San Francisco will be taken over by cybersecurity professionals and vendors at Moscone Center for the 2019 RSA Conference. There’s a lot packed into the conference—that’s why we’re breaking down the best ways to see McAfee in action. So take out your calendars and make note of the events below.

McAfee Leadership Takes the Stage

CSA Summit Keynote: Case Study: Behind the Scenes of MGM Resorts’ Digital Transformation
Monday, March 4 | 11:35 am – 11:55 am | Moscone Center

Rajiv Gupta, Senior Vice President, Cloud Security Business Unit, McAfee

Scott Howitt, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Security Officer, MGM Resorts International

As a leader in their industry, MGM is transforming into a digital business by aggressively adopting the cloud to make their employees more engaged and productive and to deliver modern experiences to their customers. Join Rajiv Gupta, SVP of McAfee’s Cloud Business, and Scott Howitt, SVP and CISO for MGM Resorts International, to hear how MGM is protecting their enterprise data across the whole spectrum of their evolving infrastructure, from on-prem, to the device, to their SaaS, IaaS and PaaS cloud instances. More, here.


Session: #Ransomware – The Rise, Death and Resurrection of Digital Extortion
Monday, March 4 | 4:45 pm – 5:15 pm | Session Code: SEM-M03

John Fokker

Head of Cyber Investigations

Raj Samani

Chief Scientist, McAfee Fellow


Hear from cybercrime experts on the successes and lessons learned from the No More Ransom initiative, an online portal that has prevented millions of dollars in ransom payments to cybercriminals. Recent statistics point to a decrease in the number of ransomware variants. So, is ransomware dead? Not so fast. Get up to speed on what’s new in the ongoing effort to combat the threat of ransomware. More, here.

Keynote: Lightning in a Bottle, or Burning Down the House?
Tuesday, March 5 | 8:35 am – 8:55 am | RSA, West Stage

Dr. Celeste Fralick 

Chief Data Scientist 

Steve Grobman

Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer


Fire. In the wild, it’s a force for destruction. Controlled, it powers civilization’s forward evolution. But containing phenomena—natural or manmade—is a devilish challenge. Today’s regulatory hotspots include AI and quantum computing, because innovations that strengthen defenses can also fuel targeted threats. The weaponization of AI to amplify cyberattack impacts is enough to give anyone pause, so discussion of export controls on these and other technologies is a worthy conversation. What is the path forward to advance and protect human progress? How do we nurture sparks of innovation without burning bridges to the future? More, here.

Session: Using Machine Learning to Improve Security Predictions
Tuesday, March 5 | 11:00 am – 11:50 am | Session Code: SPO2-T06

Grant Bourzikas

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) & Vice President of McAfee Labs Operations




Organizations are overwhelmed by data and dependent on outdated (nonpredictive) tools and methods. Security companies can’t keep up with the frequency of attacks, 50% of which are missed by traditional antivirus programs. In this session, McAfee’s CISO will share his experiences, providing valuable information for security organizations to predict attacks by relying on data science and machine learning. More, here.

Session: Mulitparty Vulnerability Disclosure: From Here to Where?
Wednesday, March 6 | 9:20 am – 10:10 am | Session Code: PDAC-W03

As the world grows ever more dependent on complex technological systems, the risk of broadly impactful vulnerabilities in software and hardware is driving the need for improvements in how the global ecosystem addresses identification and disclosure of those vulnerabilities. This panel will discuss what works, what doesn’t, and suggest a path forward that can benefit everyone globally. More, here.

Moderator: John Banghart, Senior Director, Venable

Panelists: Kent Landfield, Chief Standards and Technology Policy Strategist, McAfee LLC

Art Manion, Vulnerability Analysis Technical Manager, CERT Coordination Center

Audrey Plonk, Director, Global Security Policy, Intel Corporation

Session: Law Enforcement: The Secret Weapon in the CISO’s Toolkit
Friday, March 8 | 11:10 am – 12:00 pm | Session Code: AIR-F03

John Fokker

Head of Cyber Investigations




This session will show you how to get the most out of working with law enforcement agencies (LEA) before, during or after a security breach. Learn why partnering with law enforcement can be a valuable strategic asset in the CISO’s ever-expanding toolbox of security measures. More, here.

Hack Your Way Through the Crowds at the McAfee Booth

We’re hosting a fun and interactive Capture the Flag challenge at our RSA booth to test the investigative and analytical skills of RSA attendees. Contestants will be given various challenges and will receive “flag” details on how to complete each challenge as quickly and accurately as possible. Want to know who is in the lead? Don’t worry, we’ll have a live scoreboard. The winner of the RSA Capture the Flag contest will get bragging rights and a cool prize to take home. Visit us at booth #N5745 in the North Hall.

Cloud Security BarCade Challenge

Tuesday, March 5 | 6:00 pm – Midnight | Coin-Op Game Room, San Francisco | 508 4th Street

We’re hosting an epic cloud security networking event at Coin-Op Game Room in San Francisco! What’s the challenge? Come out to see us and find out. There will be prizes, games, food, networking, and more. Register here.

RSA After-Hours Social & Cloud Security Panels

Wednesday, March 6 | 6:30 pm – 11:00 pm | Mourad, San Francisco | 140 New Montgomery Street

We’re bringing the cloud community together for a night of networking at Mourad, so grab your peers and head over to the after-hours social. We will have a DJ, awesome food, creative libations, and a VIP area upstairs for a private whiskey tasting. Throughout the night, we’ll be hosting cloud security panels, where you’ll hear perspectives from industry experts on the current security landscape, best practices, and how to elevate your cloud security posture. Register here and join us as we close out RSA at the after-hours social of the year.

There’s a lot to look forward to at RSA 2019, so be sure to stop by booth #N5745 in the North Hall for demos, theater sessions, and more. Feel free to use code XSU9MCAFEE for a free RSAC expo pass. Also, be sure to follow @McAfee for real-time updates from the show throughout the week.

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Kicking off 2019 with Recognition Across the McAfee Portfolio

It’s always great to start out a new year with recognition from our industry. We hear over and over from our customers that they are looking for us to help them overcome the complexity challenges that are inherent in building a resilient enterprise. This requires partnering with a vendor that delivers excellence across a multitude of technologies. Excellence that we believe is validated by our larger peer and analyst community.

We’ve just announced that McAfee was named a Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for another two technologies. Our customers have recognized us as a January 2019 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Secure Web Gateway for McAfee Web Protection, McAfee Web Gateway, and McAfee WebGateway Cloud Service. In addition, for the second year in a row McAfee’s MVISION Cloud (formerly McAfee Skyhigh Security Cloud) was named a January 2019 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Cloud Access Security Brokers. In 2018, McAfee was the only vendor named a Customers’ Choice in the Cloud Access Security Brokers market.

Our team at McAfee takes great pride in these distinctions, as customer feedback is essential in shaping our products and services. We put our customers at the core of everything we do and this shows pervasively across our portfolio. We believe our position as a Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Secure Web Gateway, Data Loss Prevention, SIEM, Endpoint Protection and Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is a testament to the strength of our device-to-cloud strategy. This adds up to recognition’s in the last year in five different markets.

We also think it’s a signal of the way enterprises are approaching security – with the innovative technology solutions and integrated strategies that must evolve to fight a threat that is constantly evolving, too.

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Australian Cybersecurity Firm Experiences Exciting Times as Clients’ Shift to Cloud Accelerates

Patrick Butler, CEO of the Australian cybersecurity firm Loop Secure, is excited about how the cloud is growing his business. His clients are enthused too by the tremendous opportunities and advantages the cloud presents. They’re also a little scared.

“Every year more companies are digitizing all aspects of their business—from manufacturing plants coming online to new ways of serving up information to customers,” says Butler, whose firm provides a full range of cybersecurity services, from one-time red team engagements to managing security operations, primarily for midsize enterprises. “It’s exciting what technology can do to transform what we do with computers. … We’re seeing a huge uptake in collaboration technology, with a lot of customers moving to AWS [Amazon Web Services].”

But Butler acknowledges his clients’ fears—putting sensitive data in the cloud introduces new risks. “Our job is to help customers leverage digital transformation positively without having to worry about the risks, [such as] breaches and brand reputation damage,” he says. “We’ve had to focus on how we protect them in [the cloud and] those areas of their business—areas that have traditionally been quite dark.”

The Challenge of Securing the Cloud

“Setting up security for the cloud can be quite technical,” Butler explains. “There are a lot of configuration options. … Yes, the cloud brings a lot of speed and scale, but one wrong configuration and suddenly you have an AWS S3 bucket available to the broader public with all of your confidential information on it. The cloud brings benefits, but it also brings new and different risks.”

Confidently Securing the Cloud with Help from McAfee

As one of the longest-running cybersecurity companies in Australia, Loop Secure has been a McAfee partner for over a decade. For its clients moving operations into the cloud, the firm primarily uses McAfee solutions to help them reach their security objectives—easily and effectively. For instance, for a midsize services client, Loop Secure implemented McAfee® Virtual Network Security Platform (McAfee vNSP), a complete network threat and intrusion prevention system (IPS) built for the unique demands of private and public clouds. Using McAfee vNSP allowed the company to apply the same robust security policies to endpoints within AWS as on premises.

“What McAfee brings to the table is a comprehensive portfolio, scale, and focus,” Butler explains. “Like us, McAfee focuses only on cybersecurity. That’s important. … To us, the McAfee ‘Together is Power’ mantra means that with McAfee we have a broader team—our people plus McAfee people and products—all dedicated to keeping our clients’ data and environments safe.”

Many of Butler’s clients use McAfee endpoint, networking, and/or web protection solutions and McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator® (McAfee ePO™). In the near future, Butler looks forward to offering them McAfee MVISION, an innovative, integrated, open system from device to cloud. McAfee MVISION could simplify security for these Loop Secure customers by providing consolidated visibility, comprehension, and control across their entire digital estate.

With the acceleration of cloud adoption by its clients and McAfee’s device-to-cloud approach, “The future’s pretty exciting for both us and McAfee,” Butler says.

View below for a short video interview with Patrick Butler. Get your questions answered by tweeting @McAfee_Business.

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California Consumer Privacy Act

This blog was written by Gerald Jones Jr.

More sweeping privacy law changes are on the horizon as California law overhauls consumer protection and privacy rights.

Shortly after the European Union’s watershed General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enforcement began on May 25, 2018, California passed its own privacy bill, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA), in June. Amid pressure to act or swallow a more stringent bill initiated by a private California resident, the CCPA broadens the scope of privacy rights for Californians. It includes data access rights and a limited private right of action, or the right to file a lawsuit.

The CCPA takes effect in January 2020 (or July 2020, if the California Attorney General implements additional regulations) and is widely regarded as the foremost privacy law in the United States. Yet the CCPA may have broader implications. The range of companies falling within the Act’s scope, i.e., not just the usual suspects in the technology industry, might pressure Congress into enacting a federal privacy regime, which would pre-empt the CCPA.

The Act grants consumers greater control over their personally identifiable information and prods companies doing business in the state to prioritize the practice of sound data governance. Here are some key takeaways under the CCPA:

  • It impacts companies doing business in California that meet one of the following thresholds:
    • Has annual gross revenues greater than $25 million; or
    • Receives or shares the personal information of 50,000 or more California consumers for monetary or other valuable consideration; or
    • Receives 50% or more of its annual revenue from selling consumer personal information.
  • “Personal Information now explicitly includes IP addresses, geolocation data, and unique identifiers such as cookies, beacons, pixel tags, browsing history, and another electronic network information. Consumer Information includes information that relates to households.
  • The California Attorney General will enforce the law, though Californians have a private right of action limited to circumstances where there is an unauthorized access to nonencrypted personal information or “disclosure of personal information because of a business failure to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures.”
  • Violators of the law are subject to civil penalties of up $2500 per each unintentional violation—failing to cure a violation within 30 days of receiving noncompliance notification from the California Attorney General—and a maximum of $7,500 for each intentional violation (not acknowledging the request for data, for example) if the civil action is brought by the California Attorney General.

What Does This All Mean?

Regulators are working on guidance, and there is still time for amendments to be made on the law, so things might change before the law goes into effect. Residents of the European Economic Area have been exercising their data subject access rights since late May. Now, Californians will join them in being able to similarly ask about the data that CCPA-applicable companies hold about them. The CCPA gives companies a 45-day window to comply with an individual’s request for access to data or deletion (a Data Subject Access Request, or DSAR) in contrast to the GDPR’s 30 days.

Companies may need to prepare for an increase in DSARs and implement new features to comply with the law, like providing two communication methods for consumers electing to exercise their rights (web portal, email address, toll free telephone number, or another viable mode of communication) and provide a conspicuous link on the company’s website that informs the consumer of her CCPA rights.

The California Legislature’s reference to Cambridge Analytica makes it apparent that legislators expect businesses to exercise transparency in their consumer data use practices. Even without legislative nudging, companies are slowly recognizing value in sound privacy and data governance practices. Companies no longer see privacy as a mere compliance checkbox, but instead as a competitive advantage that simultaneously builds consumer confidence.

We may see more changes to the California law, and we likely will see other laws come in to play both in the United States and abroad (Brazil, China, India, etc.), but companies with privacy in their DNA will have an edge over companies scrambling to meet compliance efforts.

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What You Need to Know About DNS Flag Day

This blog was written by Michael Schneider, Lead Product Manger.

The internet is built on Postel’s law, often referred to as the robustness principle: “Be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others.” In the protocol world, this means that receivers will try to accept and interpret data that they receive to their best knowledge and will be flexible if the data doesn’t fully match a specification. Senders should adhere to specifications and comply with protocol specifications, as laid out in Request for Comment documents (RFCs) by the Internet Engineering Task Force.

DNS was released as RFC 1035 in 1987 and was superseded by EDNS in 1999 with RFCs 2671 and 6891. EDNS, or extension mechanisms for DNS, aimed to flexibly deploy new features into the DNS protocol, including protection against DNS flooding attacks amongst other performance and security enhancements. These attacks can cause a major outage for cloud-based infrastructure, which happened in 2016 with the DDoS attack on DNS provider Dyn.

To avoid such attacks and improve DNS efficiency, several DNS software and service providers—like Google, Cisco, and Cloudflare—have agreed to “coordinate removing accommodations for non-compliant DNS implementations from their software or service,” beginning Feb. 1, 2019, or DNS Flag Day.

Before DNS Flag Day, if an EDNS server requested a name resolution from a non-EDNS resolver, it would first send an EDNS query. If there was no response, the server would then send a legacy DNS query. That means that the timeout for the first query would need to be reached before the legacy DNS query was sent, generating a delayed response. These delays ultimately make DNS operations less efficient.

But with the new changes introduced for DNS Flag Day, any DNS server that doesn’t respond to EDNS will be seen as “dead” and no additional DNS query will be sent to that server. The result? Certain domains or offerings may no longer be available, as name resolution will fail. Organizations should plan to provide a bridge between their internal DNS and a provider’s DNS to ensure that the EDNS protocol is used. They should also work with their vendors to verify that EDNS is part of DNS communication and obtain a version of the respective product that complied with the requirements of EDNS.

The DNS Flag Day protocols are a disruptive move, as they break from Postel’s law—servers can no longer automatically accept every query. But as with most internet-related innovations, progress requires a little disruption.

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McAfee 2018: Year in Review

2018 was an eventful year for all of us at McAfee. It was full of discovery, innovation, and progress—and we’re thrilled to have seen it all come to fruition. Before we look ahead to what’s in the pipeline for 2019, let’s take a look back at all the progress we’ve made this year and see how McAfee events, discoveries, and product announcements have affected, educated, and assisted users and enterprises everywhere.

MPOWERing Security Professionals Around the World

Every year, security experts gather at MPOWER Cybersecurity Summit to strategize, network, and learn about innovative ways to ward off advanced cyberattacks. This year was no different, as innovation was everywhere at MPOWER Americas, APAC, Japan, and EMEA. At the Americas event, we hosted Partner Summit, where head of channel sales and operations for the Americas, Ken McCray, discussed the program, products, and corporate strategy. Partners had the opportunity to dig deeper into this information through several Q&A sessions throughout the day. MPOWER Americas also featured groundbreaking announcements, including McAfee CEO Chris Young’s announcement of the latest additions to the MVISION product family: MVISION® Endpoint Detection and Response (MVISION EDR) and MVISION® Cloud.

ATR Analysis

This year was a prolific one, especially for our Advanced Threat Research team, which unveiled discovery after discovery about the threat landscape, from ‘Operation Oceansalt’ delivering five distinct waves of attacks on victims, to Triton malware spearheading the latest attacks on industrial systems, to GandCrab ransomware evolving rapidly, to the Cortana vulnerability. These discoveries not only taught us about cybercriminal techniques and intentions, but they also helped us prepare ourselves for potential threats in 2019.

Progress via Products

2018 wouldn’t be complete without a plethora of product updates and announcements, all designed to help organizations secure crucial data. This year, we were proud to announce McAfee MVISION®, a collection of products designed to support native security controls and third-party technologies.

McAfee MVISION® Endpoint orchestrates the native security controls in Windows 10 with targeted advanced threat defenses in a unified management workflow to visualize and investigate threats, understand compliance, and pivot to action. McAfee MVISION®  Mobile protects against threats on Android and iOS devices. McAfee MVISION® ePO, a SaaS service, is designed to eliminate complexity by elevating management above the specific threat defense technologies with simple, intuitive workflows for security threat and compliance control across devices.

Beyond that, many McAfee products were updated to help security teams everywhere adapt to the ever-evolving threat landscape, and some even took home awards for their excellence.

All in all, 2018 was a great year. But, as always with cybersecurity, there’s still work to do, and we’re excited to work together to create a secure 2019 for everyone.

To learn more about McAfee, be sure to follow us at @McAfee and @McAfee_Business.

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McAfee India Hosts NASSCOM’s ‘Cyber Security Gurukul’ – An Exclusive Initiative for Women Professionals

The Cyber Security Gurukul Series is an initiative by the ‘Women Wizards Rule Tech (W2RT)’, a unique program designed exclusively for Women professionals in Core Technologies by noted industry body NASSCOM. Focused specifically on the IT-ITES/BPM, Product and R&D Firms, the key aim of this initiative is to enable women with deeper knowledge various technologies and thereby nurture them as leaders for tomorrow. It is an initiative McAfee is proud to partake in, which is why on December 4th, McAfee India hosted close to 40 female professionals from many organizations, including McAfee, as a part of NASSCOM’s Cybersecurity Gurukul series.

The half a day session started with a keynote from Venkat Krishnapur, VP Engineering & Managing Director, McAfee India. Addressing the group on “Countering Emerging Threats by Building Security DNA of your Organization”, the session discussed how the exponential growth of connected devices over the past few years has made organizations and individuals prone to cyberattacks more than ever before. Venkat also covered other key topics, such as the increase in the number of cyberattacks, variety and evolution of malware, importance of cloud security in today’s day and age, and how security organizations such as McAfee invest in both technology and people

Following Venkat’s keynote session, Sandeep Kumar Singh, Security Researcher and SSA Lead, McAfee India, hosted a two-hour session for the attendees. The session touched upon various facets of “Introduction to Security Deployment Lifecycle” why it’s imperative for organizations to invest in SDL, the key ingredients of a successful security program, and a walkthrough of key SDL activities. Sandeep also spoke to the group about how choosing a career in cybersecurity will give them a competitive edge, as a shortage of professionals in this field remains a critical vulnerability for organizations and nations alike.

Overall, the event was quite the hit with attendees – as proven by demos, quizzes, and an interactive Q&A session. Sharing their feedback on the event , one of the participants said:

“The Cyber Security session which I attended today at McAfee India will go a long way in helping us enhance our knowledge and skills. The presentation given by Sandeep was excellent and the slides prepared by him were crisp and clear. We’d like to thank NASSCOM for arranging these sessions and we are looking for more such classroom sessions coming on our way.”

Sessions and programs such as these will go a long way in ensuring that organizations are helping pave way for women to enhance their skills, as well as give them an edge in their career development. McAfee is proud to play a role in influencing the overall India/APAC digital security ecosystem through it’s thought leadership.

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Extending Security to the Public Cloud is the Easy Part

“The biggest challenge of securing the public cloud isn’t technical.”

That’s the opinion of an IT security analyst at a large U.S. government contractor. He should know. In the last year, his company rolled out a multi-tiered cloud environment, with instances in Amazon Web Services (AWS) as well as on premises.

For this company, which administers federal and state programs that directly assist a broad sector of the American population, leveraging the public cloud made sense. Using the cloud would reduce total cost of ownership (TCO), provide clients and end users with easier access to their information via web-based portals, and enable quickly ramping up or scaling down bandwidth requirements to support the widely fluctuating number of users across projects. However, cybersecurity was a critical concern.

Fast, easy deployment of cloud protection and highly granular policies

Before launching its first contracted project using a public cloud, the company thoroughly researched its cloud security options. Based on its research, the company decided to implement McAfee Cloud Workload Security to bolster the security of data within AWS. “With McAfee Cloud Workload Security, we can get very granular with our policies,” the systems analyst said. “It is a very powerful tool in [the cloud] environment. We are able to be very proactive in pushing out to endpoints [in the cloud] what they need.”

By bridging native AWS API driven data sources such as GuardDuty with a cloud workload protection platform like McAfee Cloud Workload Security (CWS), tenants of AWS can use the data-rich sources of AWS within CWS manage and secure mission critical workloads with advanced security from a single console.

Since the company’s security team already relied on the McAfee integrated security platform and McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (McAfee ePO) management console, deploying McAfee Cloud Workload Security was simple and took less than a week. Once the solution and its components were implemented, the company had end-to-end visibility into all cloud workloads and their underlying platforms plus insights into weak security controls, unsafe firewall and encryption settings, and indicators of compromise (IoCs).

Small IS team easily adds management of cloud protection

The company supports its 15,000 professionals and 35,000 endpoints with an information security team of only five people spread across three locations. Such a lean staff is possible primarily thanks to McAfee ePO. Adding cloud protection to the company’s security arsenal required no additional staff. The team simply extended its ability to easily set policies and monitor and manage endpoint protection from on premises into the cloud.

“Whether on premises or in the cloud, we can easily add or customize policies to meet the security needs of each specific contract and project,” the systems analyst said. “McAfee has made it very easy to bring in new workloads.” For example, one of the company’s projects involves multiple federal agencies and multiple types of workloads. These workloads include SQL and Oracle databases, imaging software (since volumes of documents must be stored digitally for years), and agency-specific and contract-specific applications.

The real challenge of securing the cloud

So, what is the difficult part of securing the public cloud?

According to the systems analyst, “The biggest challenge is overcoming the perception that the cloud can’t be secured. We have had to educate both internally and externally that we can extend our existing threat defenses beyond our physical infrastructure to the public cloud. Education is ongoing, but our success thus far at securely leveraging the public cloud is converting the naysayers.”

To read a case study and learn about how the company relies on McAfee to secure the cloud, click here. To watch a video of the systems analyst talking about his experience with McAfee, please view below.

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