McAfee Plans Layoffs As RSA Hails Death Of Perimeter Security

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe’s Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

RSA says the world should move away from perimeter defences, as one of the world’s biggest supporters of that model, McAfee, announces layoffs

McAfee is planning on laying off a small number of employees, as the anti-virus industry begins to struggle in light of increased freemium competition and what RSA is hailing as an industry shift away from perimeter defences, at the RSA 2012 conference.

The second biggest anti-virus firm in the world, behind number one Symantec, told Reuters it was unsure how many would be asked to leave. McAfee told TechWeekEurope it had no further comment on the matter.

Meanwhile, Symantec is unlikely to be making any layoffs. “We evaluate conditions on an ongoing and regular basis and there are no plans as of right now,” said spokesperson Chris Paden.

Goodbye to AV

Both companies are feeling the effects of the move away from perimeter defences, and anti-virus in particular. Some have claimed AV only blocks around 30 percent of modern threats.

RSA, talking today at the RSA 2012 conference in London, has called on the industry to stop focusing so heavily on perimeter defences, and move towards intelligence-driven security.

“We have to get to this idea of visibility, where security teams aren’t just waiting for new technologies, to where they are the hunters, they are the ones going out and finding threats,” Eddie Schwartz, chief information security officer at RSA, told TechWeekEurope.

Schwartz, along with chairman Art Coviello, called on companies to adopt SIEM (security information and events management) technologies, so they can get internal visibility of logs, full packet inspection, as well as external information.

There is a need to bring all that data together on one platform and then have the right people to “find the bad things on the network”, Schwartz said.

“While we want to push things to automation – we need the people.”

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