Executive Perspectives

FireEye Cyber Defense Summit: Not All Conferences Are Created Equal

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The nearly 1,700 attendees from more than 40 countries who attended the 2015 FireEye Cyber Defense Summit experienced three full days of discussion on the latest in cyber security. Now in its 6th year, the conference formerly known as MIRcon covered everything from the newest products from FireEye to the highly popular “Incident Response” and “Management Insights for Senior Management” tracks to the newest addition: “FireEye -Tales from the Trenches” track. The new track featured our customers on their challenges and best practices on defending against today’s cyber attacks.

FireEye CEO Dave DeWalt kicked off the conference with a packed room of CISOs, incident responders, and practitioners. He discussed the importance of events such as the Cyber Defense Summit and how attendees would be treated to two days of sessions given by 25 organizations, including Facebook, Visa, Kellogg, Lockheed Martin, Salesforce, Microsoft, and FireEye. FireEye President Kevin Mandia spoke next, educating the audience on the cybersecurity landscape, the challenge of balancing deference with due standard of care, and the importance of attribution. He left the audience with one main takeaway: that they need to understand how their organization’s defenses can be penetrated, and how to detect a breach on their network.

One of the conference highlights was the unveiling of new FireEye products. CTO Grady Summers spoke to attendees on FireEye’s latest updates to its advanced threat detection platform, including a new version of HX endpoint, the next generation MVX architecture, and a new Threat Intelligence Engine. Proving that all threat intelligence is not created equal, Grady stated that a threat intelligence differentiator is the capability to predict adversary behavior and interdict before loss. Grady and the SVP of Risk Products at VISA, Mark Nelsen, discussed a partnership announcement between the two companies: Visa Threat Intelligence, Powered by FireEye. The partnership helps keep Visa’s global community more secure by enabling issuers, merchants, and acquirers to share threat intelligence.

U.S.A. General (Ret.) and former Secretary of State, Colin Powell gave a keynote address. His talk ranged from his childhood in New York City to his years in the White House, and offered lessons on management, leadership, and problem solving. Gen. Powell praised FireEye on our success of “adapting to the situation” in the world of cyber security, and he urged the entire information security community to focus on the people, problems, and places that need attention.

The conference included a media panel featuring journalists from the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Bloomberg, BusinessWeek and Politico. The panel addressed the dramatic changes seen by the media in recent years, including the rise of “state on state” attacks and the emergence of these attacks as a “new weapon of war.”

We thank our sponsors for making this year’s event one of the best. And to our attendees: See you next year!