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STG unveils Trellix to take on Africa’s threat landscape

By , Portals editor
Africa , 19 Jan 2022

Merged cyber security brands McAfee Enterprise and FireEye, part of the Symphony Technology Group (STG), now represent a newly launched outfit called Trellix.

Trellix is focused on the delivery of extended detection and response (XDR) and Secure Service Edge (SSE) to organisations with a focus on accelerating technology innovation through machine learning and automation.

Trellix emerges from the previously announced merger of McAfee Enterprise and FireEye in October 2021. “We are incredibly excited to have Trellix in the STG portfolio,” says William Chisholm, managing partner, STG, “Customers can expect Trellix’s living security platform to deliver bold innovation across the XDR market.”

XDR is at the core of the newly formed business’ value proposition which is based on the ‘living security’ or security technology that learns and adapts to protect operations from the most advanced threat actors.

The new venture has been launched with the intention that XDR, backed by expertise, experience and established brands, will be handled by businesses as more than a mere concept and technical string-along, and actually define cyber security strategies.

Trellix CRO Adam Philpott.
Trellix CRO Adam Philpott.

Trellix CRO Adam Philpott told ITWeb Africa the company has opted for a customer-centric approach based on the notion that security as an organism, a ‘living’ component of the business. This is the ‘DNA’ that has been integrated into the company’s offering, in terms of architecture and in terms of practical service to assist businesses with their digital security strategy.

“The market is ready for a different approach to cyber security,” says Philpott, who adds that while there is certainly risk associated with digital transformation and businesses have to operate within an ever-evolving threat landscape, taking a flexible and adaptive line with security leads to a stronger defence.

But this is not a view of cyber security through rosy-coloured spectacles. “Business is all about taking risks, I mean if you don’t take risk, you don’t grow. Living security is all about enabling them to grow… of course we need to manage risk, but we also need to allow them to do the things they need to do and take those risks,” Philpott explains.

The company’s CEO Bryan Palma agrees. “As today’s organisations push to achieve digital transformation, a strong security foundation is required to ensure continued innovation, growth and resiliency. Trellix’s XDR platform protects our customers as we bring security to life with automation, machine learning, extensible architecture, and threat intelligence.”

The digital challenge

Part of the thinking behind the introduction of this new business is because of the constant challenges that markets, both developed and developing, continue to grapple with from a cyber security point of view. 

Digitisation continues to impact businesses and brings with it complexity, Philpott says.

“Organisations have gone from building these gargantuan internal infrastructures to actually almost getting infrastructures as a service -not just by such as PaaS or SaaS, looking at their remote users, people working from home, hybrid looks like its set to continue into the future to some degree. Therefore they have this very flexible digital platform that they use to run their organisations, and that’s continually changing and evolving, therefore the attack surface itself for these reasons. So they have some complexity and challenges to manage there.”

“At the same time, the way they have tried to secure that over the years has been out of product. Sometimes they are not even products, because of the money that is going into the cyber security market today, we’re actually seeing a lot of features masquerading as product. So they are getting this complexity but the complexity outweighs the benefits of that given product.”

Moreover, the lack of available talent to handle this complexity and an increasingly sophisticated and high-volume threat surface, is a problem. As Philpott points out, even if the skills are available, the cost of acquiring these skills and having to monitor updates and try keep up with the threat surface is simply too much.

He believes the architectural aspect must be considered and for many businesses, the gap between those responsible for cyber and those responsible for governance, budgeting etc. remains and this also needs to be addressed.

Cloud opportunity

Trellix has noted an acceleration of adoption of cloud in Africa, due mainly to COVID-19, the remote working scenario and the need for flexibility, and this has also expanded the attack surface. “But there are also opportunities in that, it’s not just a threat," says Philpott."It’s a threat if you do nothing, it’s an opportunity if you understand and get architectural platforms to support it.”

This is where Trellix is looking to position XDR and support their customer’s cyber security strategy. According to Trellix, its XDR ecosystem “is designed to accelerate the effectiveness of security operations by providing customers with the capability to ingest over six hundred native and open security technologies. By providing security analysts with better insight, granting more control, and delivering comprehensive threat context, analysts can save time and act decisively to remediate threats.”

Armed with the combined technical expertise and technology from both McAfee and FireEye, Trellix believes it will demonstrate what its ‘better way’ in cyber security.

“My personal view is that there are a lot of vendors out there that are monetising misery. They are capitalising on this challenge, not everyone by all means, but I see a lot of that in the market. Of course, the more a client consumes from us, the better integration they will have, but we recognise that clients have existing stuff in their environment and they want to leverage that and we want to help them with that as well. So there are things we can do to be open integrating and actually look at the problem differently rather than in our own self-interest. We take a long-term approach to partnerships,” adds Philpott.

The pure play cybersecurity company has 5,000 employees and nearly US$2-billion revenue.

STG is expected to launch McAfee Enterprise’s Secure Service Edge (SSE) portfolio as a separate business unit later this quarter, inclusive of Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Secure Web Gateway (SWG) and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA).

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