“Machine learning is needed, but is not a replacement for people …” – Yuvraj Pradhan, Head Presales (India and SAARC), McAfee

Yuvraj Pradhan, Head Presales (India and SAARC), McAfee talks about machine learning
Yuvraj Pradhan, Head Presales (India and SAARC), McAfee

Machine learning is coming up in a big way and is expected to solve a wide range of issues in cybersecurity. In an online interview with Karma Negi of The Red Mark, Yuvraj Pradhan, Head Presales (India and SAARC), McAfee, talks about why machine learning is important but not a substitute for humans.

Tell us about use of machine learning in cybersecurity

In the field of cybersecurity, reliance on machine learning amplifies the capabilities of the humans we have, making security teams better. However, human judgement and experience cannot be replicated by machines, but humans struggle to find patterns in massive data sets and they operate in minutes, not microseconds.

Human-machine teams deliver the best of both worlds, enabling sustainable endpoint security. It is increasingly being leveraged in the security industry to automate advanced classification, scoping, and prioritization of security events making it possible to perform both predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics. There are many exciting things under development in McAfee Labs that will further leverage machine learning in these areas. McAfee recently commissioned research on the current state of machine intelligence, which states that it’s an adjunct to the job people are already doing. It makes clear that machine learning is needed, but is not a replacement for people.

The fluid nature of cyberattacks and the ubiquity of network connected devices has rendered legacy antivirus and others redundant. Hence what must be done to tackle such situation?

Gartner Inc. forecasts that 8.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017, and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020. With Internet of Things (IoT) expected to explode soon, it is important that security is built in right at the core of these technologies.

According to McAfee’s Most Hackable Holiday Gifts 2016, 85 percent of consumers start using connected devices within the first day of receiving it, only 45 percent claim they take the proper security measures. While 75 percent of consumers believe it’s very important to secure their online identities and connected devices, nearly half are uncertain if they are taking the proper security steps. If an IoT device is compromised, the breach will be limited to devices connected to the guest network.
We believe that the observance of certain guidelines and methodologies can help organizations and manufacturers better protect their IoT systems from ransomware. To prevent connected devices from potential threats, it is necessary to introduce reliable security certificate lifecycle management and standardize the code base of security systems, reducing the number of attack vectors.

“There are many exciting things under development in McAfee Labs that will further leverage machine learning in these areas.”

What are the plans for this year?

With the new McAfee, the company has outlined a new strategic vision, focused on innovation, trust, and collaboration. We will expand upon our leading security solutions platform to better enable customers to effectively identify and orchestrate responses to cyber-threats. Globally, McAfee safeguards over 220 million users while aiming to actively protect over 1 billion of the world’s connected population. We aim to become the partner of choice to over 80% of the global 2000.

We would continue to invest in India and are now adding new functions into the site. We will also continue with our focus on delivering a next-generation architecture, with endpoint and cloud as security control points, combined with actionable threat intelligence, analytics, and orchestration.

What developments are happening on the channel front?

With our goal of reaching double-digit growth, our strategy is to continue to go deeper and align with fewer select set of partners who have the capabilities our customers are looking for.

We also look forward to broadening our tier-2 partner play in the market. McAfee is tailoring partner programs with distributors across APAC and India, to provide benefits to partners by adding value to their security stack of products, solutions and services. We consider channels as the security architecture for their customers.

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