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ESET to Support SAFER Security Group That Helps Protect the Research and Education Sector

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ESET has backed Senior Malware Researcher Marc-Étienne Léveillé as a founding member of the Security Assistance For Education & Research (SAFER) Trust Group, a new organization of independent security experts who have united to better secure the research and education sector (R&E) against global threats. ESET, as the only organization from the private sector, joins a number of public organizations in support of the founding members, who will contribute their expertise to protect and further support safer education and research.

SAFER is a new organization focused on fighting cyberthreats to academia, research, and the education sector globally. It has been founded by security experts supported by their respective organizations, including ESET, and aims to offer a truly global incident response capability to research and education organizations under attack.

As a member-driven organization, SAFER does not accept applications but nominates candidates who are actively working in pursuit of securing the R&E sector. Each member has made meaningful contributions to the security of the R&E sector, thus becoming recognized and trusted. Backed by ESET’s malware research team, Marc-Étienne Léveillé collaborated with the R&E sector during his extensive research on Windigo and Kobalos. Kobalos is a Linux backdoor that targets supercomputers, especially those used in academia and scientific institutions. The research ESET pursued on Kobalos was done in collaboration with CERN, another organization supporting SAFER. Other organizations that support the work of the SAFER group include LBNLDFN-CERT, ESnetSTFC, and WLCG.

ESET has been a supporter of education, academia, and research for many years. This is reflected in the creation of the ESET Foundation, which aims to promote education, research, and the progress of science for the benefit of society. Among its other activities, the ESET Foundation awards the achievements of Slovakia-based scientists in its annual ESET Science Award. Investing in the education and development of the community, especially children, is also a main priority of the ESET Foundation. The collaboration with the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, where tech-focused employees of ESET teach inter-academic subjects and conduct research, is a clear example of ESET’s support of academia.

ESET’s support of SAFER as a new initiative to protect the R&E sector in a world of rising threats from international criminal organizations and nation-states is a fitting contribution to its mission for a safer internet.

Cyber Security

ESET Presents Plans for ESET Campus

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ESET has unveiled its plans for the previously announced ESET Campus – an innovation and technology hub based in its headquarters city, Bratislava, Slovakia. The 55,000 m2 campus designed by world-renowned architectural studio BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group will house the company’s new headquarters and will become a center of excellence, creating strong cybersecurity, AI, and innovation ecosystem for Slovakia and Central Europe.

Reflecting the shifting post-pandemic working patterns and the wishes of its employees, ESET Campus is being built to be fit-for-purpose for employees, customers and partners, and their business needs. The Campus’ core function for being a welcoming work environment is going to be supported by a whole array of facilities and amenities for ESET and the local community. Richard Marko, Chief Executive Officer for ESET, said: “I envision the ESET Campus as a creative hub where bold cybersecurity solutions come to life so that we all can enjoy the vast potential of advanced technologies.  By building an inclusive, diverse, green, and collaborative workplace fit for the future, we are addressing the pressing needs of our employees, customers, partners, and our communities. We will continue our strong alignment with societal needs in order to support science, education, and innovation.”

ESET campus will be built on the principles of functionality and ecology by being sustainably built, sustainably operating, and responsibly reporting on its results. The business has already taken the first step towards reporting on its carbon footprint which has seen a 40 percent decrease in carbon emissions in 2020. Palo Luka, Chief Operating Officer for ESET, said: “We think it’s crucial for ESET to lead by example in innovation and technology We want to ensure that our ESET Campus houses the latest technologies and clever and efficient solutions to achieve the highest levels of sustainability. We will aim for a carbon-neutral campus operation, but we’ve got an ambition to also reduce the embodied carbon by building it in the most carbon-neutral way possible, and we hope our partnership with architectural firm BIG will help us achieve this.”

Bjarke Ingels, the founding partner of BIG, presented the finalized plans to the city officials and the public in Bratislava on Wednesday 24th November at a press conference. Ingels said: “The new ESET HQ materializes the brief and challenge we got from the ESET leadership as literally as possible – the architecture is not only ecologically and economically sustainable, it is also socially sustainable: rather than a single hermetic entity, we have dissolved the new campus into a series of buildings framing a central square. An abundance of public spaces, pathways and human-scale pavilions welcome ESET employees, university students, and citizens of Bratislava to gather, exchange knowledge and enjoy. The architecture of the campus can expand organically over time but also feels as a single unified identity that is open, integrated, and accessible to the community from day one. We’re excited for the new ESET HQ to be part of the city’s transformation towards a more engaging public realm and we believe the new ESET HQ has the true potential to become the seed for a new innovation district the city deserves.”

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Cyber Security

Dragos to Open New Office in Dubai in Q1 2022

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Dragos today announced an accelerated expansion in the United Arab Emirates to provide organizations in the region with more direct access to its industrial cybersecurity technology and services so they can respond more quickly to threats, while also developing and training ICS/OT cybersecurity talent to ensure worldwide customer success. The expansion includes a new office in Dubai, which has a planned opening in Q1 2022.

The expansion aligns with the UAE’s cybersecurity strategy established by the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority. Dragos addresses the burgeoning global market for ICS/OT cybersecurity solutions and meets the cybersecurity needs of critical infrastructure organizations in all regions and of any size or complexity.

Within the UAE, Dragos is already protecting the industrial environments of a number of companies, enabling them to maintain comprehensive asset visibility, assess OT-specific threats and vulnerabilities, and respond to threats based on the latest threat intelligence. Their use of Dragos allows them to minimise risk to plant operations and improve security, while also meeting regulatory compliance requirements.

“Many industrial organizations in the UAE are leading the way with digital transformation and recognizing that ICS/OT cybersecurity is more critical than ever in a hyperconnected world,” said Robert M. Lee, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Dragos, Inc. “We are excited to make ICS/OT cybersecurity expertise and technology more accessible to organizations in the UAE as well as to partner with organizations and local ICS/OT cybersecurity practitioner communities here to help grow a needed pool of talented cybersecurity practitioners.”

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Cyber Security

Successful HITB+CyberWeek 2021 Concludes With PRO CTF Competition Final

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Hack In The Box, a cutting-edge platform for technical talks and training in cyber security knowledge, has concluded HITB+CyberWeek 2021, closing the curtain on another resoundingly successful edition at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). Brought by Disrupt AD, ADQ’s ventures platform connect pioneering, visionary, and entrepreneurial minds to displace the norm and scale globally from Abu Dhabi, the highly anticipated five-day hybrid event lived up to its billing as the next meaningful step in cyber security industry progression.

From 21-25 November, HITB+CyberWeek 2021 welcomed over 2,000 attendees and ten start-ups from around the world in a fresh bid to examine the current cyber landscape, analyse its future trajectory, combat emerging threats, and establish a new cyber smart world – hosting conferences, exhibitions, competitions, and training opportunities. Having brought together the world’s leading cyber security professionals to share their latest knowledge, ideas, and techniques with up-and-coming talent and the wider cyber community, the event concluded with an action-packed final day in the UAE capital.

Dhillon Kannabhiran, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, HITB, said: “With the cyber threat landscape expanding as our industry continues experiencing radical change, this year’s HITB+CyberWeek was perhaps the most important to date. The most practical way to drive required cyber security reform and implement innovative, next-generation measures is to bring the world’s greatest minds, influencers, talent, and professionals together. And upon reflection, this year’s event has certainly served as a platform to accelerate these efforts, emulating the success of previous editions and positioning the wider cyber community to realize its objectives and mandates in 2022 and beyond.”

A HITB+CyberWeek mainstay, the final day highlight was the conclusion of the prestigious Pro Capture the Flag (PRO CTF) competition, which saw teams from all over the globe battle it out for glory, USD 116 thousand, and extra bonus prizes for university teams. 25 of the world’s top-ranked teams from different countries were part of the attack-defense format final – with 16 competing for on-site and another 9 virtually – as each sought to detect vulnerabilities and play the role of both threat defenders and attackers. The PRO CTF challenge took place over 30 hours, engaging the audience with live ranking scoring updates on big screen scoreboards across the venue. Bushwhackers, hailing from Russia, once again emerged as this year’s champions to continue their fine record in the competition, followed by C4T BuT S4D and RedRocket from Russia and Germany, respectively.

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