My Review of Udacity

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Udacity is a MOOC or Massive Open Online Courses platform. Udacity began as an experiment in online learning, when two Stanford University instructors elected to offer their "Introduction to Artificial Intelligence" course online to anyone, for free. Over 160,000 students in more than 190 countries enrolled. The potential to educate at a global scale was awe-inspiring, and Udacity was founded to pursue a mission to democratize education. It would take several years of intensive iteration and experimentation to clarify a focus on career advancement through mastery of in-demand skills, but today, Udacity proudly offers aspiring learners across the globe the opportunity to participate in—and contribute to—some of the most exciting and innovative fields in the world. The Udacity mission is to… “Train the world’s workforce in the careers of the future. We partner with leading technology companies to learn how technology is transforming industries, and teach the critical tech s

My Review of McAfee Total Protect

 

My Review of McAfee Total Protect

McAfee is one of the oldest names in the Antivirus space. In the early 2000s, McAfee and Symantec were viewed as the biggest names in Cybersecurity. The evolution of the company has not been without its bumps in the road, however, McAfee continues to make headway in a very competitive segment where it seems as if every year new contenders are coming forth. There is something to be said for continuity and experience. Today, McAfee protects over 600 million devices worldwide.

In this review, we are going to take a look at McAfee’s Total Protection Suite. We will examine how McAfee stacks up against the competition, and also examine the validity of some of the claims made on its website. Let’s begin…

How does McAfee measure up?

Gartner is a global research and advisory firm providing information, advice, and tools for leaders in IT, finance, HR, customer service and support, communications, legal and compliance, marketing, sales, and supply chain functions. Gartner is the leading authority on providing reviews, grading, and recommendation on most cybersecurity tools used by big enterprises and governments around the world.

You can compare these brands on the Gartner Magic Quadrant Matrix Graph as playoff teams in your favorite sports. Everyone has favorites, and on paper, some are stronger than others, but in the end, any of them can win it all. What is certain is that these companies represent the best options available for consumers looking for top endpoint protection solutions at this time.

According to Gartner McAfee continues to be a leader in the endpoint protection space despite an increasing amount of competition from new and existing players. They remain a strong presence with a high degree of clarity of vision and the ability to execute on that vision. McAfee’s standard endpoint offering combines advanced protection capabilities like ransomware rollback, with native OS capabilities.

Here is a summary of some of McAfee strength's as described by Gartner.

McAfee continues to provide broad OS support, especially for those customers that still need agents for older and legacy OSs and/or still require an on-premises solution or add-ons like application control. A good score for operations in 2021 is awarded for the wide range of customer support and training facilities in all regions.

If you have an old machine running an old operating system you can still count on McAfee to be there for you.

McAfee’s EDR now maps threats against the MITRE ATT&CK Framework and this helped McAfee to identify techniques consistently in MITRE evaluations; additionally, the automated AI-guided investigation capabilities use the MITRE ATT&CK Framework to drive faster, easier alert triage.

What is the MITRE ATT&CK framework?

MITRE ATT&CK stands for MITRE Adversarial Tactics, Techniques, and Common Knowledge (ATT&CK).

Just like Gartner which can and is considered by many as a standard and guideline to choosing the best available technologies. MITRE is a framework or set of cataloged adversary behaviors that are commonly observed in cybersecurity attacks. Without getting too much into the details, MITRE categorized all known tactics, techniques, and behavioral patterns exhibited by all known attacks that can be executed against cyberinfrastructure (computers, mobile devices, IoT, network devices, etc.).

MITRE ATT&CK framework reference à https://attack.mitre.org/

The main concern from Gartner in my opinion.

The Managed Detection and Response solution was launched last year and hasn’t seen much adoption from customers yet.

While McAfee continues to innovate, the adoption rate of its newer features is low which means that customers are either going to other technologies or perhaps remain in the older versions because of pricing or a lack of understanding of the benefits of the new features.

Overall the McAfee offering is very comprehensive and depending on which subscription you purchase includes a lot more than just AV. Let’s take a look and in the process review some of the statements made by McAfee on its website.

Protect your finances & personal info from potential fraud.

Our multi-layered identity protection helps secure your accounts by alerting you if your info gets leaked online** and generating & storing complex passwords automatically.

The Total Protection subscription includes access to McAfee Identity Protection. This service offers monitoring tools, so if your identity is compromised, you'll know right away. And it offers personalized help to recover from identity theft. As with other identity protection services, McAfee can't prevent identity theft, but it can give you a quick heads-up and help with recovery. This feature seems to be limited to the US market at this time, and it requires that you enroll in auto-renewal for your subscription.

Bank, shop, and browse worry-free on Wi-Fi.

Keep your credit card and personal info safe from prying eyes everywhere you go by turning unsecured networks into your private connection with our secure VPN.**

Running your connection through a Virtual Private Network, or VPN does a lot to secure the data in transit. The connection is encrypted between your device and the VPN server, so even if you've connected through a compromised Wi-Fi network your data is safe. A VPN also serves to mask your IP address, so nobody can track you or determine your (approximate) location using that address.

Do not confuse this with the need to use security on your home network, VPN better serves users when they are using someone else’s network. Unfortunately, some guest networks prevent users from using VPN, there is nothing that can be done about that. Additionally, if encryption and not anonymity is your main objective, you can purchase a network router for your home that supports VPN and use that every time that you are using a network you do not trust. This will route the traffic through your appliance where it can also be inspected, and reported on. To accomplish this you will need a firewall, which could be more expensive.

Click with confidence knowing which sites you can trust.

Color-coded links expose dangerous and fraudulent sites on search results and social media pages—we’ll even steer you back to safety if you misclick.

In testing, McAfee’s WebAdvisor browser plugin prevented users from even visiting many of the malicious URLs, on others, it eliminated malicious payloads during downloads. WebAdvisor also steers users away from phishing sites, those fraudulent sites that pose as banks, finance sites, and even dating sites to steal your login credentials. We can assert then, that this claim is true. Please keep in mind that there are ways in which if a user wants to download a file from the internet, even a malicious one, they can. There will be many popups and warnings the user has to ignore in the process, but it is not an impossibility.

Additional Features

Free 1-year Gamer Security

When you purchase a multi-device Total Protection plan and are enrolled in auto-renew, you’ll get an eCode for a free 1-year 1-PC subscription to McAfee Gamer Security (delivered by email). Built from the ground up, Gamer Security delivers cloud-based antivirus, game-boosting technology, robust system monitoring, and more.

Some notable features of the Gamer Security feature it the ability to monitor performance metrics by application in real-time and deprioritize other applications while you are gaming. This is a great way to ensure you can squeeze every possible ounce of resources to ensure a better in-game experience. 

McAfee Total Protection also offers encrypted storage which creates an encrypted vault on your machine where you can keep sensitive files private which are secured with 256-bit AES encryption.


You also get McAfee Shredder which deletes sensitive files completely to ensure no traces are left behind on the machine. Together with the encrypted storage, you can create documents in your vault or move copies of originals to the vault and securely delete the original documents. This will greatly enhance the security of the documents stored on your machine. The Encrypted Vault can be set up to auto-lock after a period of machine inactivity.

Minimal Impact on Performance.

The days of resource-hog AV products are almost entirely in the past. During testing, a machine with McAfee Total Protection Suite of tools was able to handle most commonly performed tasks with a minimal performance impact.

Conclusion

As McAfee states, their tool goes beyond just traditional AV, the suite is well rounded with many additional and useful features that the whole family can take advantage of. If you are looking for a new endpoint protection solution, give McAfee a look. It is good tech.

McAfee Deals going on right now...

McAfee

J.

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