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Building “Cybersecurity Readiness” Culture Critical, Experts Warn at GISEC Global 2022

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The 10th edition of GISEC Global, the largest and most influential cybersecurity exhibition and conference in the Middle East and Africa, opened today (21st March) at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) as industry leaders unite to uncover the latest in global cybersecurity trends and discuss ever-increasing digital challenges.

Stephen Kavanagh, Executive Director of Police Services at Interpol

Delivering the keynote speech on the first morning of the three-day show, HE Dr. Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security, United Arab Emirates Government, discussed the shared responsibility required to tackle the volatility of cyberspace and how collaboration is essential to successfully protecting against global cybercrime.

“If we look at the current landscape, awareness and collaboration are key to building a culture of cybersecurity readiness,” said Al Kuwaiti. “We need to innovate and work towards building the next generation of cyber security professionals. The UAE Cybersecurity Council has a timeline and the plan is to export the UAE’s cybersecurity model across the region.

“As the world starts to recover from the pandemic, big industry – education, healthcare, oil and gas, aviation, etc. – is going through rapid digital transformation. Their security is our security, and the more they are secure, the more we are secure. Cyber-attacks aren’t bound by borders, so neither should be our approach to private sector and government collaboration.”

MK Palmore, the former Head of the FBI’s San Francisco Cybersecurity Investigative Branch

That collaboration can be epitomised by the UAE Cyber Security Council’s National Bug Bounty Programme, where 100 ethical hackers will work in real-time at GISEC Global to hack, identify, and solve software flaws discovered across different scenarios and mainframes – including electric cars, mobile phones, and drones.

Among the speakers on opening day, Stephen Kavanagh, Executive Director of Police Services at Interpol, delivered his address to the industry discussing how the public and private sectors must play collaborative roles in the response to cybercrime. “Today, we find ourselves in a new world,” said Kavanagh, the former Chief Constable of Essex Police in the United Kingdom. “We need a clear vision where all parties work together. Interpol is increasingly bringing data and expertise from the private sector to assist law enforcement. It is unrealistic to think law enforcement can recruit and retain the best brains, so that is where they turn to the private sector.”

Also speaking on the main stage was MK Palmore, the former Head of the FBI’s San Francisco Cybersecurity Investigative Branch. Palmore outlined how global development is forcing businesses to reassess their priorities to prevent large-scale cyber-attacks.

“By 2025, 42 billion devices will be connected to the internet,” Palmore said. “This is a huge expanded digital surface area to protect, so offers huge opportunities for cyber criminals. It is no surprise then that, from an infrastructure and security standpoint, our reliance on digital services as we look to maintain society and business operations has become the No1 issue for organizations.”

During the next two days, conference attendees will continue to hear from a host of prominent speakers, including renowned hacker Jayson E Street; Mesfer Almesfer, Chief Information Security Officer, NEOM; Professor Isa Ali Pantami, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Nigeria; and His Excellency Amir Hayek, Israeli Ambassador to the UAE and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel, among others.

Running from March 21-23, GISEC Global will host more than 200 high-calibre speakers, including national cybersecurity leaders, tech pioneers, policymakers, researchers, and intelligence heads. Presentations will run across five stages, covering cutting-edge technologies and analysing the most-pressing cybersecurity challenges. As part of the packed agenda, the UAE Cyber Security Council will also host the Global Cybersecurity Congress, an annual gathering aimed at unifying efforts on local, national, and global cross-sector levels.

Cyber Security

Group-IB Unveils Unified Risk Platform

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Group-IB has today unveiled the Unified Risk Platform, an ecosystem of solutions that understands each organization’s threat profile and tailors defenses against them in real-time. Every product and service in Group-IB’s now consolidated security suite is enriched with information from a Single Data Lake, which contains 60 types of sources of adversary intelligence. The Unified Risk Platform automatically configures your Group-IB defenses with the precise insights needed to provide the best possible defense against targeted attacks on the infrastructure and endpoints, breaches, fraud, brand, and IP abuse.

“At the heart of the Unified Risk Platform is a Single Data Lake that has the most complete and detailed insight into threat actors. Group-IB has collected the industry’s broadest range of adversary intelligence, with 60 types of sources across 15 categories,” the company said in a statement.

The data is gathered by and exclusive to Group-IB, providing customers with unprecedented visibility of threat actors’ operations. The raw data is enriched with context, converted into actionable intelligence, and added to Group-IB’s Single Data Lake. The patented technology is continuously refined by state-of-the-art research, science, and modeling conducted by Group-IB’s dedicated analyst teams spanning 11 cybersecurity disciplines.

The modular architecture of the Unified Risk Platform allows additional capabilities to be easily activated, providing increased protection from cybercrime without friction. A range of out-of-the-box integrations and flexible APIs enable the Unified Risk Platform to easily enhance any existing security ecosystem. When organisations need specialist support, Group-IB’s comprehensive suite of services is available for any purpose, from one-off red teaming exercises or incident response to in-life managed detection and response.

In addition to the services, every Group-IB product is powered by the platform to provide complete coverage of the Cyber Response Chain:

  • Group-IB Threat Intelligence provides deep insight into adversary behaviors. Threat Intelligence was independently evaluated as creating a 10% increase in team efficiency over alternative vendors and in a case study generated a 339% return on investment.
  • Group-IB Managed XDR enables organizations to respond 20% faster to threats according to an analyst study.
  • Group-IB Digital Risk Protection allows organizations to reduce the risk of brand abuse, piracy, data leaks, and more with best-in-breed protection. Group-IB has been benchmarked as detecting pirated content in 30 min on average and taking down 80% of the content within 7 days.
  • Fraud Protection was calculated by consultants to reduce the rate of false-positive fraud cases by 20% and enable 10% to 20% more fraud attempts to be detected and prevented. Furthermore, Group-IB identified 30% more one-time password fraud.
  • Attack Surface Management continuously discovers external assets to identify shadow IT, forgotten infrastructure, misconfigurations, and other hidden risks. As part of the Unified Risk Platform, the solution provides a threat actor’s view of the attack surface so that weak spots can be quickly and proactively strengthened.
  • Business Email Protection defends corporate email from sophisticated attacks. The solution monitors for indicators of compromise identifies malicious behavioral markers and extracts artifacts to identify risky emails before they reach their destination.
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Cyber Security

Genetec Announces Availability of its Synergis Cloud Link PoE-Enabled IoT Gateway

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Genetec has announced the immediate availability of a new generation of its Synergis Cloud Link PoE-enabled IoT gateway for access control. Manufactured in North America to mitigate supply chain delays, Synergis Cloud Link addresses the increasing demand for non-proprietary access control solutions and provides a safe and secure gateway to a cloud or hybrid deployment.

“When modernizing an existing security system, Synergis Cloud Link’s open architecture allows organizations to leverage their current access control infrastructure and easily upgrade to a secure IP-based solution. Synergis Cloud Link provides a more efficient approach to multi-site deployments and replaces the need for servers, reducing the cost of ownership.  The Synergis Cloud Link IoT gateway has embedded functionalities that keep an organization’s access control running even when the connection to the server is down,” the company said in a statement.

“The new generation of Synergis Cloud Link provides more features, enhanced cybersecurity, and helps future-proof security installations. Synergis Cloud Link features enhanced cybersecurity such as encrypted user data, Secure Boot, and an EAL6+ industry gold standard Secure Element that stores cryptographic elements,” the company added.

“The need for non-proprietary access control solutions has never been greater,” said Thibault Louvet, Access Control Product Group Director, Genetec Inc. “Our new generation Synergis Cloud Link enables us to provide organizations with a powerful, secure, and intelligent gateway to the latest technology while allowing them to easily connect to hybrid or cloud access control environments and keep their existing security investment including hardware, wiring, and infrastructure.”

The device is compatible with non-proprietary access control modules from the industry’s most established manufacturers including HID Global, Axis Communications, ASSA ABLOY, Mercury Security, Allegion, SimonsVoss, STid, and others. A single Synergis Cloud Link device can support up to 256 readers and electronic locks, 600,000 cardholders, 150,000 offline events, as well as monitor hundreds of zones and alarms.

Synergis Cloud Link features a new firmware design, improving reliability and lifecycle management, and updates management. It also opens the door to containerized approach for operating software on the device, expanding its future capabilities.

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Cyber Security

Surge in Ransomware Attacks Has Made Effective Cyber Security and Defence a Top Priority

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Emad Fahmy, the Systems Engineering Manager for Middle East at NETSCOUT, speaks about the evolving threat landscape in the region

How has the security threat landscape evolved in recent months?
According to a 2021 survey by PwC, cybersecurity is a growing concern for organizations, with approximately 43% of Middle East CEOs planning to increase investments in cybersecurity and data privacy by 10% or more over the next three years. Moreover, 41% of these leaders think that their organization should be doing more to measure cybersecurity. The ever-evolving threat environment has made it increasingly necessary to be vigilant.

Cybercrimes continue to grow in terms of both complexity and frequency. Among the businesses that identify breaches or attacks, 21% lose money, data, or other assets, and 35% report being negatively impacted in other ways and suffering from wider business disruption. As such, it’s vital for enterprises to ensure the security of data, applications, networks, and critical business processes to stay competitive and thwart attackers. Depending on traditional security solutions and methodologies isn’t enough to combat the sophisticated attacks that target businesses today.

Is ransomware still an issue?
It is, unfortunately. The unprecedented surge in ransomware attacks has made effective cyber security and defence a top priority in today’s world. Every day, new ransomware attacks are reported by businesses and government authorities alike, not to mention the attacks that go unreported, and it seems like no one is immune.

Threat intelligence is vital to combat ransomware attacks. Threat intelligence is the study of the bad actors who perpetrate these attacks, along with the tactics and tools they use. This involves unveiling the bad actor’s attack methodologies and why they are targeting those victims. This knowledge is then turned into actionable insight that enterprises can access and comprehend. Empowered with this knowledge, enterprises can learn about their network’s vulnerabilities to actively defend against ransomware.

Companies have been trying to protect the endpoint for years. How can companies make sure endpoints are protected and monitored for attacks and mitigation?
As service providers increasingly focus on cloud services, edge computing, end-users, and endpoint devices, the traditional approach of utilizing distributed detection solutions in concert with centralized mitigation centres within the network is no longer enough. However, mitigation measures that are distributed out to the network edge necessitate both infrastructure and intelligent defence capabilities that are capable of working hand in hand across locations and platforms.

A more modern threat mitigation strategy involves distributing both detection and mitigation functions throughout the network to intercept threats nearer to the source. In this way, network operators can stop attacks upstream, instead of having to incur the cost of peering and transit link traffic that is only going to be discarded once it reaches a centralized scrubbing centre. By conducting the scrubbing as close as possible to the threat source, service providers can reduce any potential impact on traffic, helping to ensure high-quality service.

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