The McAfee Way: Don’t follow it!!

The chronicles of McAfee’s shoddy security updates have been well chronicled.  If you haven’t been following this, let me summarize the situation for you. McAfee sent out a security update that led millions of uninfected machines to think they were infected leading McAfee to commit hara-kiri on themselves.

Clearly, this did not make any of the impacted customers happy. But what’s even more interesting is that McAfee blamed this on broken quality assurance processes. They changed their testing process to make it less rigorous. Now, at any other time this may have been fine. When this happens during the time that Toyota is subject to the largest recall of its history due to shoddy testing and their band image is taking a beating, it seems brain dead to roll out a untested, less rigorous QA process.

Again that was far from the end of it. McAfee’s customer service then went out an made things worse. I’ve had many incidents of customers sharing horror stories from this incident with me. The following comment on an article by Larry Seltzer summed up the collective experience:

My main problem with this situation (and the main problem echoed by numerous other IT professionals I’ve talked with) was with McAfee’s response. Faced with a MAJOR mistake that was impacting people on an international scale, what did they do? Did they send out an e-mail notification to warn of the problem and advise us how to fix systems that had been impacted? No. Did they have a large, easy to find link right from their home page to help us QUICKLY find out what the problem was and how to fix it? No. Even after it was reported in the major media, they acted like it was no big deal and had just a little link in a location where it was very easy to overlook and worded to look like it related to something that was no big deal, this made it easy to overlook when you’re pressing trying to quickly find a solution for angry customers.

Lesson for you to take away. Catastrophic business situations will arise due to carelessness on your part. If you haven’t done an analysis of consequence for these situations, you will trip. And when you get up, you may not look pretty.

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One thought on “The McAfee Way: Don’t follow it!!

  1. I am part of a company that was barely effected by the false positive fiasco and comments and reactions like yours distress me. Why is no responsibility placed onto the IT teams in place at the companies who are not evaluating prior to pushing out updates??? There is a reason Evaluation and Production are two separate locations. If everyone just assumed that everything produced is 100% and nothing can go wrong we would have no need for warranties. Evaluate THEN Replicate.

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