McAfee Expands Cloud Security with Skyhigh Networks Acquisition

    As IT continues to evolve, McAfee is betting the focal points for enforcing security will increasingly shift to the cloud on one end of the wire and endpoints on the other. To bolster its portfolio of cloud security offerings, McAfee today acquired Skyhigh Networks, a provider of cloud access security broker (CASB) software.

    McAfee CTO Steve Grobman says because of increased usage of technologies such as encryption, employing deep packet inspection at the network perimeter is not as effective as it once was. At the same time, most security attacks continue to be focused on endpoints that are increasingly relying on cloud services. The acquisition of Skyhigh Networks means McAfee is in a position now to provide IT security at both ends of that IT spectrum, says Grobman.

    In fact, Grobman notes that CASBs will be one of the fastest growing segments of IT security in the years ahead. Gartner, for example, is forecasting that while 25 percent of organizations have implemented some form of a CASB today, that number is expected to rise to 80 percent by 2020.

    The acquisition of Skyhigh Networks is the first major move McAfee has made since being spun out of Intel earlier this year. Grobman says the decision to acquire Skyhigh Networks specifically was driven by the level of investments the company has made in applying data science to IT security that complements McAfee’s efforts.

    “They have done a lot of work in user behavior analytics,” says Grobman.

    It’ll be interesting in time to see how endpoint security and CASBs eventually come together to redefine how layered approaches to IT security are implemented. In the meantime, IT organizations should continue pressing IT security vendors to consolidate as much as possible the panoply of IT security products and services that today often make IT security too costly to effectively implement.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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