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Moving the DXL story forward

Contributor:
Brian Hanrahan
Date published
12/21/2016 2:27:07 PM

Over the course of 2016, McAfee has been progressing a story and supporting a technical strategy that addresses the challenges of a rapidly changing risk landscape.  In recent years at McAfee’s annual security conference, FOCUS, we’ve seen Chris Young, Brian Dye and others mature a narrative that started with more integrated products, and then an integration framework with the Data Exchange Layer (DXL) and now a DXL that’s going to be released as open source.

In my prior life in security engineering, we continually trialed, evaluated and integrated new security products to reduce our attack surface – or address regulatory requirements. After validating product claims the attribute that differentiated products was integration capability. Like all large companies, we were a special unicorn with completely unique security problems you’ve never seen before! The reality is not that the problems are so unique, but the organic progression of a large enterprise results in unique scenarios of technology and human processes solving very similar problems. Shifting perspectives on how to best solve a problem, and the cost of change will mean only demonstrable savings to business will lead to rapid broad change. You’re only likely to see products swapped out one at a time over decades. We must live with what we have and make it work well together.

Service Now and Salesforce absolutely dominate their respective spaces. They’ve cornered their markets and disrupted old technology by meeting basic needs reliably and providing a platform that allows customers to accommodate their individuality through integration. In the security space, the problems are common but approaches to solve them are diverse. This is similar to both sales relationship management and service management – but they have their platform already.

McAfee has long offered the ePO platform as a place for other products to present themselves and be managed. It was a platform you can integrate into, but not a platform that enabled integrations among unacquainted participants.  With the addition of the Data Exchange Layer (DXL) it’s possible for unacquainted people, processes, and technology to remix quickly in new ways to deliver security.

There’s a real opportunity for McAfee to cement a role as the premiere platform where enterprise security technology and processes meet.  It’s there for the taking and I expect 2017 will see more significant strides forward.