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Barracuda to Showcase How Middle East Businesses Can Securely Embrace Cloud at GITEX 2021



This year, Barracuda, a trusted partner and leading provider of cloud-enabled security solutions, will return to GITEX with a full range of cybersecurity solutions that enable businesses to secure their mission-critical applications and data in a digitally transformed world. The company’s technology focus will be on its Cloud Application Protection solution which provides powerful application security that is easy to use and helps protect applications deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or hybrid. Barracuda is also set to unveil expanded incident response capabilities for its Total Email Protection offering, a suite of powerful security solutions that offer protection against a wide range of email threats.

“Middle East businesses have faced unprecedented change over the last 18 months and rapid digitalisation has left many vulnerable to cyberattack. While the threat landscape is indeed daunting, Barracuda’s message to attendees is that robust protection is both affordable and easy to deploy. While packed with powerful features, Barracuda’s enterprise-grade security solutions offer consumer-level ease of use, enabling organisations to focus on realising their digital ambitions with confidence in the security of their digital services and assets,” said Chris Ross, SVP International Sales, Barracuda Networks.

In its latest report title ‘The state of application security in 2021’, Barracuda found that 72% of organisations got breached through web applications. Moreover, the causes of these attacks varied, with top threats including bad bots (43%), software supply chain attacks (39%), vulnerability detection (38%), and securing APIs (37%). By leveraging machine learning, vulnerability scanning and remediation, and Advanced Threat Protection, Barracuda Cloud Application Protection provides active threat intelligence for powerful protection against these and other application threat vectors.

The company is also set to help regional businesses address ransomware – a threat that has seen a 64% increase in attacks year over year. Fundamental to defence is the company’s Total Email Protection solution which combines gateway defence with inbox protection and user security awareness into a single, powerful solution. Named a Leader in “The Forrester WaveTM: Enterprise Email Security, Q2 2021,” Barracuda received the highest score possible in the deployment options, content processing capabilities, incident response, scalability and reliability, and support and customer success criteria.

The company also intends to highlight its relationship with Microsoft and the value that this relationship offers to organisations as they embrace cloud solutions such as Office 365. This year, the security vendor released the latest version of Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup with a new platform that delivers a fast search and restore experience for Office 365 data, including Teams, Exchange Online, SharePoint, and OneDrive.

As with previous editions of the show, key executives from Barracuda’s Middle East and international technical and sales teams are set to attend and will be present at the company’s stand (A20 in Hall 2) through the five days of the event. “GITEX gives us the unique opportunity to meet a large number of our customers and resellers at a single location – something that has been notably missing over the last year. The show of course represents a significant investment of budget, time, and effort and by participating, we are sending a strong message to our customers, resellers, and other stakeholders about Barracuda’s deep commitment to the Middle East region,” said Ross.

“I hope that the success of GITEX will pave the way for the return of such large-scale events and exhibitions,” he concluded.


Cofense Launches Cloud-Native Email Security for Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace



 Cofense has today launched Cofense Protect MSP, a phishing protection solution that’s designed for managed services providers (MSPs) tasked with protecting small and medium businesses (SMBs) against phishing attacks. With 96% of all cyberattacks starting with phishing, and 1.5 million phishing websites created every month, MSPs need a solution that is easy to deploy, requires no ongoing maintenance, offers monthly billing, offers a single interface for training and protection technology, and is designed with multi-tenancy functionality – that’s Cofense Protect MSP.

Cofense Protect MSP pairs Computer Vision (a field of artificial intelligence) that simulates how humans see, with Cofense PhishMe’s real-world simulation training. Last year alone, our Computer Vision technology scanned more than 180 million emails and more than 545 million URLs, offering real-time threat intelligence on what had bypassed secure email gateways (SEGs) and neutralized those threats. Cofense PhishMe, the phishing simulation technology used by a quarter of the Fortune 1000, is built into the same user interface and will allow Cofense MSP partners to simulate the latest threats known to bypass SEGs and empower their customers’ employees to be more resilient.

“We know that current SEGs built on legacy architectures continue to miss phishing attacks every day, they are expensive, and not built to deploy with ease in cloud environments. We can help MSPs reduce the number of email security vendor solutions for their customers while also reducing risk and cost. Cofense Protect MSP was built for and is already protecting hundreds of MSPs and their customers of varying sizes, all activated with one click in less than a minute,” said Rohyt Belani, Cofense co-founder and CEO. “And by integrating the intelligence from over 30 million Cofense customers around the world reporting suspected phish into a perpetual feedback loop, all of the Cofense Phishing Detection and Response products continue to get smarter and faster. The icing on the cake, so as to speak, is that the offering also includes an industry-leading training and awareness offering.”

According to Gartner, “Artificial intelligence (AI) methods and techniques are being integrated into products in many security market segments, potentially making this technology, in aggregate, the largest impact on attack detection development for the next five to eight years. AI technology’s impact on attack detection products will be felt in waves over the next eight years: network, modeling, anomalies and phishing (in that order)1.”

Gartner further states that “Innovative product leaders are addressing these challenges by introducing AI models that focus on detecting potential security threats earlier with greater accuracy and empowering security analysts to prioritize these data faster to achieve lower risk with high business value outcomes.” Key to that is: “Machine Learning (ML) models turn the challenge of overwhelming data volumes into an asset insofar as they have voracious appetites for data. The more you “feed” them quality data, the more accurate and “intelligent” their analysis becomes over time. Alternative to fixed traditional rule-sets, ML-driven systems learn and improve and become more efficient over time2.”

“Cofense is especially proud to be launching Cofense Protect MSP as our newest service offering for MSPs,” said Rob Iannicello, VP, Worldwide Channel and Alliances, Cofense. “Organizations want phishing simulations delivered as part of a phishing defense solution as-a-service for a reasonable price. Cofense Protect MSP also – and maybe foremost – provides phishing protection for MSPs themselves at no charge in our ‘protect your house’ program. We look forward to working with our MSP partners to earn great margins, add new revenue streams, incorporate monthly billing options and ‘set and forget’ deployments to protect their customers from phishing attacks.”

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With Cloud, CIOs Can Help their Organisations Hit the Road to Net Zero



The information technology industry hasn’t always had a great reputation when it comes to sustainability. Toxins in computers and phones caused consternation at Greenpeace and elsewhere for many years and recycling took some time to mature. Things are much better these days and we can point to successes such as the Energy Star badge program to back up our contention that IT has stepped up to play its part in protecting this fragile planet. But with cloud computing, the opportunity is there to take chunks out of the tech-related carbon footprint.

As a preface to that argument, I should add that IT needn’t be too ashamed of its work to date. Digitisation is a force for good. By reducing physical processes to ones and zeros we are taking a huge amount of weight off carbon-hungry activities in logistics, manufacturing, and elsewhere. Think of publishing, for example. Selling a book consumes trees, chemicals, and ink and requires transportation to warehouses and onwards to shops or consumers. And after all that, it may well end being pulped. A digital equivalent leaves far less of a trail, however.

You could say the same of many other areas too. Think of game and movie streaming, videoconferencing rather than travelling, digital banking compared to cash. Even in some of the trickiest areas of commerce, technology can help: if people can reliably measure themselves and try on clothes virtually then we immediately take swathes out of the horribly lossy apparel sector where returns, overconsumption, and landfill are hurting retailers and, ultimately, our world. And we’re only scratching the surface of what technology can do for transport and smart cities.

Thinking about cloud specifically we can see many ways in which it is not just becoming the default deployment model for convenience, agility, value, and scalability but also the go-to model for the environment. Here, the numbers are far more than incremental gains. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory stated way back in 2013 that in the (albeit unlikely) case of US workers immediately shifting their communications, collaboration, CRM, and productivity tools to the cloud, this single collective act would save enough electricity annually to fuel Los Angeles for a year. Depending on the modernity of the data center being replaced, the cloud could save up to 95 percent of energy associated with the software.  

It’s certainly the case that datacentres account for at least one to two percent of global energy consumption and the forecasts suggest that this will multiply in the near future to perhaps eight percent by 2030 and 14 percent by 2040. That sort of growth would see IT surpassing even aviation (in the post-pandemic future when travel returns), one of the current bogeymen of energy consumption.

That’s because the cloud really fulfills a lot of the thinking about responsible ways to live and work. Cloud platforms are infinitely shareable, elastic, and fit for repurposing. Just as a hotel can accommodate a changing roster of guests and create economies of scale on utilities and facilities, a cloud service provider plays host to the masses.

Cloud datacentres aren’t just scaled-up versions of traditional datacentres. They benefit from the latest approaches to HVAC (say ‘aitch-vac’), the facilities management techies’ term for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. HVAC was a bit of a dirty secret for datacentres because for decades it could be as expensive to cool datacentres as it was to serve up Mips. And with a hyper-scaler datacentre you’re highly likely to reap the benefits of being close to new energy sources too.

These enormous facilities tend to be different in another way. The hyper-scalers have the vast budgets to purchase the best equipment and modern servers and other hardware tend to be like refrigerators at home. That is, the more often you replace them the smaller the relative power envelope they need. Stripped of unnecessary bells and whistles such as video clips, they are also far skinnier and purpose-focused than generic servers. The Open Compute Project, a collaborative project to reimagine hardware design, suggests that 3.75 corporate datacentre servers could be replaced by just one server at a hyper-scaler facility.

There are other advantages too. CSPs have access to talented people and can help hard-pressed in-house IT operations stay on the right side of the changing panoply of rules and regulations that apply to the green agenda. The inexorable trend is away from companies running their own data centres and few progressive companies will want to spend valuable resources understanding the latest and greatest waste management directives or the lacunae of motherboard design impacts on sustainability.

Just as the cloud takes away a lot of the complexities and inefficiencies of datacentre management, it can also obviate a lot of the heavy lifting that it takes to move towards becoming a net-zero business. That is increasingly key to the brand, hiring, and more: the cloud provides a way to effectively outsource that.

In this article, I’ve deliberately focused on the hyper-scalers as they consume more and more of the IT deployment pie but smaller clouds will play their part too and it seems a slam-dunk certainty that the foreseeable future is hybrid. But the broad cloud computing movement and hyper-scale movement especially, can justifiably claim that sustainability should be added to its roster of benefits.

And the issue of technology-related sustainability is still growing.

As Cushing Anderson, programme vice president at IDC, recently said, “The idea of ‘green IT’ has been around now for years, but the direct impact of hyperscale computing can have on CO2 emissions is getting increased notice from customers, regulators, and investors and it’s starting to factor into buying decisions.”

Increasingly ‘smart’ data centres will lead to savings of over a billion metric tons of CO2 emissions over the next four years, IDC said. When the numbers are so large and the stakes are so high, CIOs and other executives will do well to take notice.

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Vectra Launches Detect for AWS



Vectra AI has announced the introduction of Vectra Detect for Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS). Detect for AWS is a cloud-native SaaS solution that provides continuous, scalable agentless threat detection, prioritization, investigation, and response to attacks targeting applications running on AWS, as well as users, compute, and storage instances, including the use on AWS of the control plane itself. Detect for AWS works both at runtime and holistically across all AWS regions and does not require packet mirroring.

The speed and agility at which today’s digital environment changes has led many IT teams to convert their traditional on-premises infrastructure to cloud-native architectures, resulting in a rise in the use of Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) applications. As the speed of cloud adoption increases, so does the risk of introducing security issues within cloud environments.

“Security is job one at Sephora and that requires having security tools that can help my IT teams gain deep visibility that goes beyond initial compromise and exfiltration detection,” said John Byun, Senior Architect of Information Security at Sephora. “To scale our cloud operations even more securely, there needs to be deep visibility, with details, and context for compromised identities, privileged escalations, and the lateral movement of threats between resources without managing additional agents.”

Vectra Detect for AWS enables organizations to:

  • Reduce risk of cloud services being exploited with agentless runtime monitoring of applications, users, roles, serverless compute, and storage that allows for rapid and scalable deployment of applications.
  • Rapidly detect threats against your systems and data on AWS using one of the first behavioral AI that detects and prioritizes threats without relying on signatures, agents, or static policy while protecting against attacks looking to exploit misconfigured services.
  • Automate response to attacks on applications running on AWS using native capabilities in AWS, or deep integrations with other security solutions allowing teams to mitigate threats without relying on agents.

By observing and understanding attacker behavior, cloud accounts, roles, permissions, and deployment configurations for cloud workloads (containers and serverless); Vectra’s behavioral models see and stop attacks on AWS applications without disrupting operations. As a part of the Vectra Cognito platform, it is the first and only solution that can track attacks and compromised users and roles across every region in a single, holistic view. This allows organizations to confidently migrate, develop, and deploy more AWS applications at scale, while reducing the risk of introducing security issues.

We are pleased that Vectra AI continues to collaborate with AWS and integrate their solutions to work with AWS security services and AWS Marketplace,” said Dan Plastina, Vice President, External Security Services, AWS. “Our customers want solutions that work together to deliver increased visibility and improved security without significant increase to operations complexity.”

“Over 70% of our customers who leverage AWS say they are using at least four AWS services and many, more than twenty-one different services,” said Randy Schirman, Vectra VP, Partnerships. “With AWS being such a critical component to every-day operations, it is essential that their applications are being protected from lateral movements in the cloud and we believe there is no better solution to achieve this than Detect for AWS.”

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