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Middle Eastern Physical Security Professionals are Behind on Cloud Adoption: Genetec

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Genetec has today shared the results of its state of the industry report. Based on insights from over 2,000 physical security leaders from around the world, the report looks at how the role of physical security continued to evolve in 2021 as organizations adapted to changing conditions.

The changing role of physical security
Physical security continues to evolve from being seen as a tool for mitigating risk, to playing a much more significant role in organizations’ digital transformation. The survey showed that more than two-thirds (69%) of respondents described physical security and related data as “mission-critical”. Larger organizations, in particular, are increasingly seeing value in the data gathered by their physical security systems with over 46% saying they use their security systems as a way to “improve overall business efficiency, productivity, and asset optimization”.

Several survey respondents commented that they intended to invest in data management solutions to advance or improve the functionality of their physical security environment in the coming 12 months. The survey revealed that an increasing percentage of organizations (36%) are investing in unified solutions to enable the ease of maintenance, visibility, and data collection across all their systems to improve functionality and operations. This compares to 31% in the 2020 survey. Over half of all respondents (51%) also said they had invested in video analytics to improve the functionality of existing deployments and digitally transform their business processes.

“Before the pandemic, physical security’s role in business intelligence and operations was already growing, but over the last two years, it has proven to be a strategic asset in coping with a variety of challenges,” said Pervez R. Siddiqui Vice President, Offerings and Transformation at Genetec Inc. “As we emerge from the pandemic, organizations will contend with three undercurrents; changes in the physical dimension of work as workspaces evolve into hubs for collaboration and cohesion, workflow automation of the mundane in a bid to drive productivity and retention, and board-level interest in achieving operational resilience through integrated risk management.”

An accelerated move to the Cloud
With the pandemic forcing restricted access to physical sites, cloud-based solutions that enable organizations to remotely monitor video, control cameras, assess system health, perform maintenance, and update firmware/software have become invaluable. The survey showed that 45% of larger organizations (with over 1,000 employees) have already adopted cloud solutions which is a significant increase compared to 2020 when only 26% of respondents said they had begun their cloud journey.

A massive 94% of respondents said they have plans to deploy a cloud or hybrid cloud solutions in the long term. However, different regions have varying conditions for a hybrid deployment. Only 14% of respondents in the Middle East indicated that at least 25% of their physical security environment is cloud or hybrid cloud. This could be due to the strict regulatory environment in some Middle Eastern countries as respondents from the Middle East were most likely to select “hosting data outside your country” as a reason which deters them from deploying cloud security solutions.

“The adoption of cloud and hybrid cloud solutions is rapidly accelerating in the security industry,” said Christian Morin, Vice-President Product Engineering and CSO at Genetec Inc. “While many physical security departments were hesitant to consider cloud-connected solutions in the past, they now better understand the benefits these solutions bring and how it can help them to better utilize their resources to achieve their respective business goals while minimizing their overall operational complexity.”

Access control investments are rising
When asked about the type of solutions they were planning to invest in to advance or improve their physical security environment in the next 12 months, over half of respondents (52%) picked access control. “Legacy access control systems use outdated technology that leaves them vulnerable to cyber threats, and can cause damage beyond the door,” commented Thibaut Louvet, Director, Access Control Product Group at Genetec Inc. “So it is reassuring to see that organizations are taking the necessary steps to migrate their access control systems to more modern, cyber-secure access control systems.”

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Kasten by Veeam Announces New Kasten K10 V5.0 with Enhanced Kubernetes Security

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Kasten by Veeam has announced the new Kasten by Veeam K10 V5.0 Kubernetes data management platform. Purpose-built for Kubernetes, this latest release is focused on delivering a comprehensive risk management strategy, streamlined CI/CD pipelines, and new ecosystem advancement details that optimize and de-risk Kubernetes investments. These advancements all aim to help the expanding Kubernetes community work more efficiently and securely in cloud-native applications.

“As ransomware attacks continue to remain the highest concern for organizations, a comprehensive risk management strategy to help continuously identify risk, protect data, detect attacks and deliver disaster recovery for cloud-native applications is crucial,” said Gaurav Rishi, Vice President of Products and Partnerships at Kasten by Veeam. “Our latest release remains focused on helping enterprises minimize the financial impact caused by attacks on data and cloud applications. At the same time, we’re also supporting developer needs for backup solutions that not only integrate with the CI/CD tools they use but pave the way for automation to detect and protect applications as they get deployed.”

Backing up Kubernetes applications while accommodating agile, shift-left development and distributed deployment environments remain a challenge for many organizations. Appliance-based approaches do not properly account for the unique characteristics of Kubernetes and replication doesn’t protect against infrastructure failures, data corruption, data loss, or ransomware. Having a cloud-native solution in place ensures secure and reliable backup without disrupting workflows or adding complexity that could inhibit innovation.

New key features of Kasten K10 V5.0 include:

  • Security everywhere: Enhanced platform hardening, including KMS integration with AWS KMS and HashiCorp Vault, coupled with the ease of use of Kubernetes-native RBAC objects exposed in UI dashboards, ransomware attack detection with AWS S3 or S3-compatible storage supporting S3 Object Lock, data protection policy guardrails and support for Veeam-hardened Linux repositories with immutability that offers comprehensive ransomware protection.
  • Shift-left applied to data protection: Fully integrated add-ons for newly launched Amazon EKS Blueprints, Level III certified Red Hat OpenShift Operator with full lifecycle capabilities, new built-in Kanister blueprints for MS SQL and PostgreSQL Operator, and simplified UX for Operations with new Blueprint Editor for a more intuitive and streamlined workflow, and new Reports Generator for critical metrics.
  • Expanded ecosystem: Enabling integrations with industry-leading technologies and platforms ensures that customers can have freedom of choice in an expanding array of solutions across the ecosystem, including support for Red Hat Marketplace, SUSE Rancher Marketplace, VMWare vSphere with Tanzu and Falco.

“Cloud-native applications are being developed at a pace never seen before, and with DevOps and shift-left principles, application deployment in Kubernetes is proving faster and far more scalable. Yet, at the same time, backing up Kubernetes applications remains a constant challenge,” said Danny Allan, CTO at Veeam. “This latest release provides secure backup and recovery for Kubernetes data and applications while eliminating the complexity in deployment and operations for Kubernetes in the enterprise. As more Veeam customers look to leverage Kubernetes, Kasten K10 V5.0’s ease-of-use will be critical to support data protection and backup in their new environments.”

“The alarming rate of ransomware attacks and the increased use of cloud-native application development means it’s only a matter of time before cloud-native applications become more heavily targeted,” said Johnny Yu, Research Manager, Storage, and Computing at IDC. “Now more than ever, enterprises need a backup solution that is flexible across multiple clouds and can proactively offer visibility into a potential attack before it happens. With its new K10 V5.0 release, Kasten by Veeam has positioned itself as a solid choice for companies that are looking for comprehensive, end-to-end ransomware protection for Kubernetes environments.”

The capabilities introduced in NEW Kasten K10 V5.0 underscore Kasten’s dedication to Kubernetes users by integrating DevOps and shift-left principles and hardened security. General availability of the new Kasten K10 V5.0 is expected in June. To learn more about Kasten and see Kasten K10 V5.0 in action, visit Kasten by Veeam at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2022, as well as at VeeamON 2022.

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Channel Talk

Entrust Signs Up CyberKnight as New Distributor for the Middle East Region

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Entrust has announced its new distribution partnership with CyberKnight to address compliance and simplify cyber threat management. In line with evolving regional compliance regulations and standards, Entrust’s new partnership with CyberKnight as its newest regional distributor will see the two companies jointly build solutions for the Middle East market that achieve the highest standards of cyber security.

Entrust and CyberKnight are strategically aligned on their security vision with a ‘Zero Trust’ philosophy at its core. With the aim of increasing access to the highest standards of security for Middle East customers, Entrust’s new partnership with CyberKnight will further enable the delivery of digital security solutions to customers, by tapping into CyberKnight’s local network to offer advice, education, expertise, and confidence.

“Digital transformation in the Middle East continues to evolve at a phenomenal pace, especially as the demands of the past two years called for a rapid implementation of cloud-based systems to manage the unprecedented shift to remote workforces,” said Scott Kemish, Global Vice President Channel Sales, Entrust. “In order to support local customers championing cloud adoption while meeting the requirements of local compliance regulations, as well as protecting themselves against an all-time-high of cybercrime, we have entered a stage of channel development that requires our channel distribution partners to stand up and make a difference; CyberKnight has all of the right attributes that we are looking for in the market.”

“Our partnership with CyberKnight further cements our commitment to the region, and we look forward to helping more customers transform their digital security in line with the requirements of this new age,” Scott continued. Over the last two years, the rapid adoption of cloud solutions to enable remote working resulted in an increase in cybercrime globally, as it provided cybercriminals more opportunities to target victims at home. Cybercrime is set to cost the global economy $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. And industry research reveals that, in the UAE, the average cost of remediating a ransomware attack is over $500,000.

“The pandemic has reminded us that cybercriminals are constantly fine-tuning their skills and techniques. If we do not help our customers do the same, then they will be playing catch-up,” said Avinash Advani, Founder & CEO of CyberKnight. “Our partnership with Entrust as our newest vendor will enable us to continue helping customers fill the existing gap between their digital transformation efforts, and their security posture by securing their digital ecosystems as well as supporting them with their zero-trust security journey. We are very excited about working with them to further support our local customers across the region.

Entrust’s certificate solutions, PKI, identity and access management, encryption key management and hardware security modules are available to local customers through the partnership. Later this year, Entrust will join CyberKnight’s annual roadshow, set to take place in November 2022.

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Cyber Security

Ransomware Hit 59% of UAE Organizations Surveyed for Sophos’ Annual “State of Ransomware 2022”

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Sophos has released its annual international survey and review of real-world ransomware experiences in the State of Ransomware 2022. The report shows that 59% of UAE organizations surveyed were hit with ransomware in 2021, up from 38% in 2020.

The report summarizes the impact of ransomware on 5,600 mid-sized organizations in 31 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The main findings for the UAE in the State of Ransomware 2022 global survey, which covers ransomware incidents experienced during 2021, as well as related cyber insurance issues, include:

  • Many organizations rely on cyber insurance to help them recover from a ransomware attack – 85% of mid-sized organizations had cyber insurance that covers them in the event of a ransomware attack – and, in 100% of incidents, the insurer paid some or all the costs incurred.
  • Ninety-eight percent of those with cyber insurance said that their experience of getting it has changed over the last 12 months, with higher demands for cybersecurity measures, more complex or expensive policies, and fewer organizations offering insurance protection.

“The findings suggest we may have reached a peak in the evolutionary journey of ransomware, where attackers’ greed for ever higher ransom payments is colliding head-on with a hardening of the cyber insurance market as insurers increasingly seek to reduce their ransomware risk and exposure,” said Wisniewski. “In recent years, it has become increasingly easy for cybercriminals to deploy ransomware, with almost everything available as-a-service. Second, many cyber insurance providers have covered a wide range of ransomware recovery costs, including the ransom, likely contributing to ever higher ransom demands. However, the results indicate that cyber insurance is getting tougher and in the future ransomware victims may become less willing or less able to pay sky-high ransoms. Sadly, this is unlikely to reduce the overall risk of a ransomware attack. Ransomware attacks are not as resource intensive as some other, more hand-crafted cyberattacks, so any return is a return worth grabbing and cybercriminals will continue to go after the low hanging fruit.”

Sophos recommends the following best practices to help defend against ransomware and related cyberattacks:

  1. Install and maintain high-quality defenses across all points in the organization’s environment. Review security controls regularly and make sure they continue to meet the organization’s needs.
  2. Proactively hunt for threats to identify and stop adversaries before they can execute their attack – if the team lacks the time or skills to do this in house, outsource to a Managed Detection and Response (MDR) specialist.
  3. Harden the IT environment by searching for and closing key security gaps: unpatched devices, unprotected machines, open RDP ports, etc. Extended Detection and Response (XDR) solutions are ideal for this purpose.
  4. Prepare for the worst. Know what to do if a cyber incident occurs and keep the plan updated.
  5. Make backups, and practice restoring from them so that the organization can get back up and running as soon as possible, with minimum disruption.
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