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Outlook 2022: “Cloud-Based Surveillance Has Seen New Developments”



Firas Jadalla, the Regional Director for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa at Genetec, says that the Middle East and GCC have been important regions for Genetec

How was 2021 for the industry and your company?
Video Surveillance technologies have developed tremendously over the past few months to enhance public safety and protect cities, enterprises, facilities, and communities. One of the most important advancements is the emergence of occupancy management solutions, which have become more important than ever as businesses adhere to social distancing guidelines. These solutions can count people in a physical facility, visualize data, alert staff, and provide useful consumer behavior insights.

Additionally, as cities and organizations prioritize securing data and protecting individual privacy, newer solutions engineered with privacy by design have been introduced. These new solutions involve comprehensive privilege management allowing organizations to restrict user access to their system, automatic anonymization of video to protect individual privacy, and securely collecting and managing evidence.

Cloud-based surveillance has seen new developments and new cloud-based video monitoring systems that make it easier for users to view the video live from anywhere, are secure, scalable, and easy to manage. Moreover, advancements in machine learning and rendering technologies have revolutionized video analytics in surveillance as well. Innovative solutions can combine unified and third-party analytics technologies to transform video into smart, actionable data. They improve overall security and operational efficiency, so users can learn about their environment and proactively react to any threats.

What were your key achievements in 2021?
Our key achievements were a unified platform for video surveillance, Access Control, and license plate recognition, and the following products:

  • Mission control is a decision management system that helps you understand unfolding events and quickly identify the best course of action. It simplifies the response coordination between stakeholders, speeding up incident resolution.
  • Clear ID is a self-service physical identity and access management (PIAM) system that strengthens your security policies while improving the flow of people within your organization. Unified with our access control system, Security Center
  • Synergis, this cloud-based solution can be quickly and easily deployed.
  • Security Center Restricted Security Area (RSA) Surveillance brings together different detection and tracking devices under a single visualization pane. Moving targets are automatically tracked on geographical maps and intuitively displayed so that security personnel can assess and respond to threats in less time.

Do you see opportunities in the regional markets with new markets opening up?
The Middle East and GCC have been important regions for Genetec, and even more so in the last decade as we have seen exponential growth in the physical security and cybersecurity fields. According to the 2020 Global Law and Order Report, the United Arab Emirates was ranked in the top ten countries in the world for security and personal safety. One of the driving forces behind the vigorous update of rules is the nation’s vision of becoming a Smart City that involves public safety as one of the key eight pillars.

Additionally, the report by Genetec on ‘Physical Security in the EMEA Region’ launched in April 2021, has given us clearer insights on how physical security teams in the region are leveraging technology to manage both their short-term and long-term needs and priorities.

This is all testament to the need for Genetec’s offering in the region, and we aim to continue growing in the region by expanding our key verticals and creating impactful partnerships.

According to you, which technologies will be in demand in 2022?
According to the Genetec EMEA Physical Security in 2021 survey, physical security specialists have embraced digitization and begun shifting their operations and data to the cloud, a substantially expanding trend for the approaching years. While this enhances data security, it still leaves them open to cyber-attacks and data breaches.

Following last year’s events, the research states that cybersecurity is more crucial than ever in the physical security industry, with decision-makers preferring to prioritize it moving forward. Given the boom in 5G and AI, these are both technologies projected to revolutionise the coming few years and largely affect the security sector in terms of better user experience, more detailed video analytics, and much more.

What will be your key focus areas for 2022?
As we continue to expand into the region, our main focus is working with key partners across various sectors, including oil & gas, cybersecurity, critical infrastructure, and entering into the banking and finance field as well.

Do you plan to enter new markets or add new products/applications to your portfolio in 2022?
We have just launched the industry’s first enclosure management solution that gives traffic managers and engineers the ability to remotely manage, monitor, and secure traffic enclosures. Using Cloud Link Roadrunner, an industry-specific NEMA TS2 (National Electrical Manufacturer Association) compliant hardware, combined with the latest in access management software, the new enclosure management solution replaces traditional mechanical locks and enables customers to know and control who, how, and when their remote enclosures are accessed.

By unifying enclosure management solutions and video surveillance, traffic operations staff can instantly verify an event without having to deploy crews and act promptly if needed. Likewise, access to the enclosures can be granted remotely and customized to the nature of the work to be done and the role of the contractor or employee.


COP28: AI Can Be Leveraged to Deliver Actionable Insights



Paul Park, the Regional Director of MENAT at Milestone Systems, says climate change is complex and demands collaborative, cross-border solutions, often constrained by geopolitical tensions. (more…)

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COP28: Fortinet is Committed to Innovating for a Safer Internet



Alain Penel, the VP for Middle East, Turkey, and CIS, at Fortinet, says sustainability is central to his company’s vision

Please tell us about your efforts that ensure a sustainable and equitable digital future.
Sustainability is central to our company vision at Fortinet: making possible a digital world you can always trust, which is a fundamental element to achieving just and sustainable societies. Our corporate social responsibility mission is to deliver on that vision by innovating sustainable security technologies, diversifying cybersecurity talent, respecting the environment, and promoting responsible business across our value chain.

We are actively implementing our sustainability strategy across most material areas, and we continue to prioritize the security and privacy of individuals and organizations to enable digital progress and establish sound governance. We also remain committed to the vital issues of climate change and resource scarcity that impact us and our stakeholders.

What is your commitment to combat climate change?
Our commitment to the environment and our efforts to curtail climate change are reflected in our product innovation and manufacturing standards, the eco-footprint of our facilities, and our support of environmental policies and regulations. Fortinet has a strong commitment to product energy efficiency and has also sought to reduce its environmental impact by redesigning its packaging, shipping over 500,000 boxes with 100% eco-friendly, biodegradable packaging in 2022. We have also taken tangible measures to mitigate our environmental impact and harmful emissions by signing onto the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across our value chain by no later than 2050.

How are you aligning your sustainability initiatives with the themes of COP28?
In line with the COP28 theme of education and skills, we have a mission to grow an inclusive cybersecurity workforce. Fortinet has already trained 219,465 people in cybersecurity as part of our goal to reach 1 million individuals trained in cybersecurity by 2026. We have also seen a +39% year-on-year increase in women hired.

When it comes to promoting responsible business and accountability, Fortinet delivers training on the impacts of human rights throughout the product life cycle to key business units. 100% of our key contract manufacturers and over 90% of our distributors globally have completed Fortinet’s training on compliance and business ethics.

Finally, in line with the COP28 theme of innovation, Fortinet is committed to innovating for a safer internet. Over 200,000 pieces of malicious cyberinfrastructure were disrupted as part of INTERPOL’s anti-cybercrime operation in Africa; 5 new product families and services were designed to support security teams in the arms race against cybercrime; and 13 new information security certifications and assessments were completed, including SOC2, HIPAA, TISAX.

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Cyber Security

Databases Are the Black Boxes for Most Organisations



Nik Koutsoukos, the Vice President of SolarWinds, says databases represent the most difficult ecosystems to observe, tune, manage, and scale

Tell us about the SolarWinds database observability platform.
Nearly everything a modern business does from a digital perspective requires data. Thus, databases are among the enterprise’s most valuable IT assets. This makes it critical for organisations to ensure their databases are optimised for performance and cost.

That said, databases represent the most difficult ecosystems to observe, tune, manage, and scale. Not only are there different types of databases that serve different purposes, but they are also populated by different types of data, adding to their complexity. The implications of not having visibility into your databases can be anywhere from a costly annoyance to a significant issue that causes business service disruption. For example, most application performance issues, between 70% and 88%, are rooted in the database.

For this reason, databases have largely been seen as a black box for most organisations. You know what goes into it. And you know what comes out and how long that took. However, the complexities that occur within the black box of the database are harder to discern.

This is where the SolarWinds Database Observability comes in. This offering is built for the needs of the modern enterprise environment and helps ensure optimal performance by providing full, unified visibility and query-level workload monitoring across centralised, distributed, cloud-based, and on-premises databases. Organisations armed with SolarWinds Database Observability enhance their ability to understand database implications as new code is deployed, utilise real-time troubleshooting of database performance issues, and isolate unusual behaviour and potential issues within the database.

How does database observability help IT teams track and manage infrastructure, applications, and possible threats?
Database observability collects data about the performance, stability, and overall health of an organisation’s monitored databases to address and prevent issues, and provides deep database performance monitoring to drive speed, efficiency, and savings. With SolarWinds Observability — which supports MongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server database instances — database performance, responsiveness, and error rate are conveniently displayed in dashboards.

Moreover, alerts can be configured to notify admins by email or other methods when user-defined thresholds are crossed. This allows them to identify and remedy issues before they can develop. By gaining insight into the activities taking place inside their database instances, teams can understand user experience as well as ensure systems can scale to meet demand.

What sort of enhancements has your observability platform received recently?
Just this November, we announced major enhancements in the Database Observability capability within our cloud-based SolarWinds Observability platform. SolarWinds Database Observability provides full visibility into open-source, cloud-enabled, and NoSQL databases to identify and address costly and critical threats to their systems and business. It is now possible to navigate across all of the samples collected globally, giving IT teams an empirical distribution of random samples, which resembles the main workload.

What factors according to you will drive the adoption of observability tools in the MEA region?
The Middle East, Türkiye, and Africa (META) are riding a wave of rampant digital transformation as organisations seek to remain competitive. According to IDC, digital transformation spending in the Middle East will accelerate at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16% over the five-year period, topping US$74 billion in 2026 and accounting for 43.2% of all ICT investments made that year. As organisations continue to shift workloads to multi- and hybrid-cloud environments, the complexity of their IT environments still continues to increase. This raises the potential for visibility and monitoring gaps which ultimately translate to underwhelming or outright frustrating experiences for end users.

Tell us about the top three trends you foresee for 2024.
There are clear signs of the continued adoption of cloud technologies to allow enterprises to become more agile, giving engineering teams the ability to focus on their core competencies and expand and contract on demand.

The adoption of Kubernetes is also increasing as the refocusing introduced by the cloud enables the move to microservices-based architectures which require sophisticated orchestration management.

Finally, we are starting to see an uptick in Vector databases, as applications demand better handling of relationships between data points.

What is going to be your top priority in terms of strategies for 2024?
We will continue to deliver on our vision of making observability easy. OpenTelemetry is driving observability, but data collection is nothing if it can’t provide insights. So, we aim to ensure the data is both collected and curated such that users find it easy to consume and extract valuable insight.

Regionally, through 2024, we will continue to focus on our key markets of the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the ongoing enhancement of our product portfolio, and the strengthening of our channel ecosystem to create more markets for our business and for our partners.

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