The threats, the technology solutions and certainly the actors all have changed dramatically since David DeWalt first entered the information security industry. Which should be the top concern for enterprises?
No question, says the FireEye CEO: The evolution of threat actors should have everyone's rapt attention.
"What once was a hacker-in-the-basement type model ... has given rise to an ecosystem that is actually a government-sponsored ecosystem," DeWalt says. "Can you imagine the challenge of private security companies trying to protect against the weapons of an offensive enterprise like the Chinese military? Or the U.S. military? Or pick any military around the world? This is a daunting challenge."
When he was CEO at McAfee, DeWalt would see glimpses of nation-state activity only occasionally. Now at FireEye, he sees it hourly.
"We're tracking 60 million command-and-control servers around the world in 204 countries," he says. "The fact that the offense has gone from a hacker in the basement to nation-state sponsored, and has gone from one or two countries to hundreds, and the types of attacks we're seeing ... the threat landscape has changed dramatically."
In part two of an exclusive, three-part interview in Information Security Media Group's new Executive Session series, DeWalt discusses:
- How threats and threat actors have matured;
- FireEye's role in the new security marketplace;
- Challenges and opportunities arising from the FireEye acquisition of Mandiant.
DeWalt has served as FireEye's CEO since November 2012 and as chairman of the board since May 2012. Prior to joining FireEye, he served as president, CEO and director of McAfee Inc. from April 2007 until February 2011, when McAfee was acquired by Intel Corp. He served as president of McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel, from February 2011 to August 2011. From December 2003 to March 2007, DeWalt held various positions at EMC Corp., a developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions. Before EMC, he served as president and CEO of Documentum Inc. from July 2001 to December 2003, and he held other senior executive positions at Documentum from August 1999 to July 2001.