Industry Innovators: Hall of Fame
Industry Innovators: Hall of Fame

This year, McAfee broke the mold. It has been our experience that most of our Innovators are small companies with niche products for niche markets within the information assurance space. That certainly does not characterize McAfee.

What does characterize McAfee as an Innovator is its approach to the most important aspect of innovation: how one thinks. The Network Security Business Unit – the home of McAfee Email Protection – is solidly ensconced in the type of thinking process that results in innovative solutions to difficult, and occasionally obscure, information assurance challenges.

McAfee Email Protection is an integrated suite of capabilities. That does not necessarily mean that there are lots of separate products, but if one examines the tool, one will find just about every email protection functionality imaginable, all presented on a single pane of glass. Perhaps most interesting is that this product does not integrate into McAfee ePO. It does, however, exchange data with it.

Functionality included with McAfee Email Protection includes inbound and outbound scanning, reputation analysis, DLP, compliance reporting, encryption and cloud-based email continuity that maintains integrity of the email system even if a server crashes. The platform for the product can be cloud, on premises or a hybrid. The on-premises piece can be a physical or a virtual appliance, so there is a lot of flexibility built into the system.

Compliance reporting is comprehensive with more than 110 content dictionaries to support most regulatory requirements. The DLP system uses deep content analysis and recognizes more than 300 file types, and reputation analysis is part of McAfee Global Threat Intelligence, which assesses billions of file queries per month.

We did not expect a company the size of McAfee to be one of our Innovators, but we were pleasantly surprised because larger companies seem to have less capacity for the turn-on-a-dime mentality that characterizes true innovators. However, having a large number of individuals free to think about where products, challenges and the market are going and to ask “what if” questions certainly shifts the thinking paradigm from how to have a great quarter to how to have a great company.


Vendor: McAfee

Flagship product: McAfee Email Protection

Cost: Ranges from $25 to $4.75/user/year, depending on user count and term commitment.

Innovation:Comprehensive inbound and outbound security against all email-borne threats and data loss.

Greatest strength: Experience and about 600 people who have the freedom to spend time thinking about the next thing to address in their domains.