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McAfee refocuses 'Partner First' strategy for SMBs: Bill Rielly

Yogesh Gupta | Nov. 1, 2013
We do not have 'hobbies' outside security as we are committed to protect small and medium businesses says Bill Rielly, Senior Vice President, SMB, McAfee.

We do not have 'hobbies' outside security as we are committed to protect small and medium businesses says Bill Rielly, Senior Vice President, SMB, McAfee.

CW: SMBs have limited IT budgets and new threats emerge through social, mobile than the traditional threat vectors. How can they improve the security posture?
The challenge they face is that hackers and cybercriminals are increasingly finding at SMBs companies as good targets. They will continue to attack big banks and big enterprises too. In many cases, SMBs traditionally have lower defences and they can pretty quickly monetise through credit card, customer information etc.

What's changed with SMBs is that they now care more about security and they are starting to invest more into it. They want McAfee to be their security expert with a suite of offerings through entire extensive R&D. For an average small business owner, we do all R & D investment for security solutions in a predictable and affordable way.

CW: What is the adoption curve of SMBs versus the large enterprises? Are UTMs still preferred at large?
The growth worldwide for SMBs and the money they spend on security is faster than other part of the security market. There continues to be lot of interest in UTM and in basic security prevention / defence.As companies become more specialised and companies face more regulator pressure specific to security, they will scale up in terms of sophisticated solutions. Companies like us provide solutions that offer simplicity, predictability and affordability to protect a small enterprise.

CW: Doesn't McAfee miss out on UTM space as you got rid off of SnapGear few years ago?
We are constantly evaluating what products we need to put in the market. We constantly follow UTM market very closely and we don't make product announcement on what's coming. There is a market out there and we are following UTM landscape.

CW: What are the pitfalls that SMBs should avoid in their security journey?
Before selecting a security vendor, SMBs should be clear about the comfort levels of their employees. For e.g. Do they want all employees to have access the customer data on each employee's ipad, maybe not? All sales people should know sales data and forecast on tablets and what if they leave the ipad in a taxi. A 'People First' approach is extremely important.

The next thing for SMBs is to look beyond AV. Many small businesses say that they deployed AV three years ago to protect themselves. Working with our channel partners we realise they need protection across the threat vectors of email, web, data today. I would sort of sound an alarm that AV is important for SMBs but it is the fraction of total equation of the modern security needs.


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