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Ruminations on McAfee FOCUS 2010: Day 1

October 13, 2010

Well, Day 1 of McAfee FOCUS in sunny Las Vegas has come and gone, and as I prep to head back over to the Sands Expo Center for Day 2’s activities, here are some observations from the first day on the floor:

  • Security point products are a commodity now.  Hardly any vendor is hawking their technology as a point tool to address a specific problem: vulnerability assessment tools, encryption tools, SIEM tools, and everyone else under the sun is upping their marketing game by referring to themselves as a “platform”, and/or “enterprise software”.  The market is embracing the notion that individual point tools are useful to solve specific problems, but they’re not going to provide insight into the “Big Picture” of security and compliance across the enterprise on their own.  Of course, eIQ has been preaching this for years, and has the first and most advanced solution on the market to actually achieve it.  Imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery…


  • McAfee really does have a great partner program.  Although yesterday was the first day of the FOCUS event, Monday was the Developer’s Conference, limited to partners with technologies that integrate tightly with McAfee’s ePO, DLP, AV, and other solutions.  A dozen rooms at the Expo Center were filled with McAfee engineers, product managers, and other hands-on technologists who provided candid insight into McAfee’s technologies and product roadmaps, while not shying away from some seriously hardball questions.  Yesterday, on the first day of FOCUS proper, McAfee SIA program reps were all over the floor, making introductions for partners, ensuring our booths were in order, and putting partners with complementary technologies directly in touch with each other.  I’ve seen a lot of “partner programs” from enterprise technology vendors, but McAfee’s really takes it to heart.


  • Former President Bill Clinton can really draw a crowd.  The line to get into the ballroom to see the former president speak was several thousand deep, and stretched out into the Grand Canal at the Venetian.  He brought some formidable insight into global politics as we move deeper into the 21st century; although he didn’t touch specifically on cybersecurity, industrial/infrasructure sabotage (a la Stuxnet) or technological threats, he did setup a decent “global picture” of what leads to the motivation behind the people who might launch these types of attacks.
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