Today I learned a bit more about the McAfee Security Innovation Alliance from Pinkesh Shah, senior director of product management for policy compliance and risk management.
From the conversation I picked up on two important concepts that will likely be a recurring theme for security in 2008. The first is deeper integration of the products that make up McAfee's security suite and more integration through partnerships, which is where the McAfee SIA (Security Innovation Alliance) comes in. The second is security infrastructure consolidation. In 2008 I'm planning on a closer look at McAfee's SIA, which is similar to Check Point's Opsec program.
One of the compelling things about an integration program is the obvious benefit of being able to integrate competitive products into the McAfee infrastructure. SIA was launched in Oct. 2007, so the first half of 2008 will be a critical time to watch what happens with the offering. If McAfee successfully provides its customers with effective integration that would be a big first step. SIA is also a marketing and channel program that offers access to these customers. If McAfee is able to entice technology partners too, then the program will gain strength more quickly.
In any case, IT security managers should look first to see if the products, either from McAfee or their partners, offer the best of breed solutions to the most important security problems facing the organization. After that, look for ways to consolidate management consoles, agents and reports so that significant security problems surface quickly.
It will be interesting to see if 2008 is the year that IT security becomes more like operations and less like emergency response.