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Offering a Single Platform is a Systematic Approach to Solving Problems

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Gideon Wilkins, the senior partner manager for the Middle East region at Fortra, speaks to Security Review, about his company’s recent rebranding, commitment to the region, and skills gap in the cybersecurity industry

What was the idea behind the rebranding of HelpSystems to Fortra?
We have been in business for over 40 years, specialising in developing scheduling and automation solutions. However, over the last five or six years, we have been working on a definitive plan to transform ourselves into a cybersecurity powerhouse.

We felt that HelpSystems was a name that had served us really well when we were helping people with IBM i systems. However, today as we are more synonymous with cybersecurity, we felt the time was right to rebrand the company to Fortra.

The new brand really expresses what we aspire to become, a global leader in data and cybersecurity.

If you look closely, the “A” in our Fortra logo is actually a triangle, and that’s the Greek delta symbol, which represents security and strength. That’s what we are doing, creating a stronger, simpler future for cybersecurity, and helping customers improve their security maturity.

How have you communicated your rebranding to your channel partners and customers?
Once the rebrand was officially announced, we worked with partners and customers on a series of webinars to explain the reasoning behind the new branding and how it impacts them moving forward.

We have close relationships with our partners and we’re working through the changes together, providing resources and helping them update collateral, and so on.

What is your commitment to the region?
We have put in place a two-tier channel model. We have four value-added distributors (VADs), all with different areas of expertise. We work very closely with them, through onboarding and further education. These VADs can support their downstream value-added resellers. We have also made sure that we have a unified structured approach for taking our solutions to an extremely eager market.

In terms of the demand from the regional market, how has that been?
The region is playing catch up with the governance and compliance regulations that are now in place all over the world. Over the last couple of years, we’ve been working on our ability to scale in the region and now that data regulations are in place, we are seeing strong demand for everything from data classification, secure file transfer, and data loss prevention, to digital rights management solutions.

We’ve been on a pretty expansive M&A journey over the last four to five years. We’ve built on our best-of-breed market solutions, which we’re developing onto a single platform. This approach will enable customers to share policies, alerts and reporting capabilities, and make cybersecurity more manageable for them.

You mentioned there’s a skills gap in the cybersecurity industry. What needs to be done in order to bridge that gap?
I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think the industry will ever bridge the gap. It needs 3 million trained and experienced people. Even if you went out today and put 3 million people through university, it’ll be another 5-7 years before they reach their full potential and gain the operational experience required.

We can help customers with these skills shortages by making our solutions more efficient, integrating capabilities and functionality into a single platform, and offering our solutions as managed services. As we’ve acquired best-in-class cybersecurity organisations, we’ve also built up a 350-person strong team who are dedicated to supporting our customers whether that be fully managed or advisory.

How according to you has the threat landscape evolved over the past couple of years?
Over the course of my career, the threat landscape has evolved immensely. I have been doing this for 30 years! In the past, companies used to have a data center or an office with a perimeter firewall around it and they made sure that threats from the outside could not get in.

We’ve come a long way in the last few years as the pandemic introduced new remote working styles and the increased adoption of the cloud. The reality today is that you should no longer secure the network or a device. Instead, the right thing to do is secure the data, no matter where it is or what device it is accessed on.

Today, we’re a company with over 3, 000 employees with over 30,000 customers worldwide. Hence, we are well equipped to help our customers secure their data, comply with regulations, and manage cybersecurity threat.

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Intersec

Touchless is Key for Security Solutions

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Shiraz Kapadia, the CEO and President of Invixium speaks to Security Review about his company’s participation at Intersec 2023 (more…)

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Intersec

Security Isn’t Just a Technical Problem

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Gustavo Gassmann, the Vice President and Head of Emerging Markets at HID, speaks about his company’s participation at Intersec 2023

Tell us about your participation in Intersec.
HID has been participating in Intersec for many years now, and the event provides us with a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge and connect with security professionals across the region. This year, we are focusing on helping customers to understand the benefits of merging security and convenience through HID Mobile Access. Today, identity authentication and access can be granted via smartphones and smartwatches safely and conveniently. And as this technology evolves, it can play a far greater part to enhance the operational engineering, maintenance, and functioning of buildings.

Which products and solutions did you showcase at the event?
This year, our key focus is HID Mobile Access and readers, our premium solution that addresses protection, disruption, and sustainability. We also showcased other access control innovations like the cloud-based physical access control system HID Origo—a cloud-based mobile credential lifecycle management platform that’s integrated with an access control system and leverages HID’s Seos credential technology—and visitor management systems.

With many companies now adopting a hybrid work environment, what has changed in terms of security requirements and policies?
Today’s hybrid workplace is more complex, and the security of workspaces, people, and data is even more demanding. Security isn’t just a technical problem—and businesses face challenges in limiting and securing access to sensitive information and systems, adopting technologies to maintain employee productivity and ensure security, and enforcing security policies among other things.

But managing this risk is more about a change in the security mindset rather than trying to change systems, policies, and organizational behavior. There is often a misconception that security systems must be upgraded to meet the changes in policies and that upgrading to modern systems is complex and expensive. It is important to highlight that modern physical access control solutions today make the migration from older systems to digital IDs easy.

There are millions of HID readers installed already that are capable of using HID Mobile Access—either instantly or via a simple on-site upgrade. We can work with end users and partners to provide a free trial of HID Mobile Access to help them better understand the value it brings across an organization.

What sort of major trends have you seen in the Physical Access Control business area?
Key mobile access trends include the continued and growing need for future-proof solutions that provide contactless experiences and optimize flexibility through a greater choice of credential technologies. One example of what’s ahead in terms of technological trends can be seen in the growing popularity of digital wallets from major players such as Google, Apple, and Amazon. Expanded capabilities allow smartphone users, for example, to add keys, IDs, and digital documents directly in the wallet app. These include, but are not limited to, driver’s licenses, verifiable COVID-19 vaccination information, employee badges, student IDs, and hotel room keys.

Tell us about your presence and channel community in the region.
The Middle East and North Africa regions are culturally and economically diverse. Businesses in countries within the same region can have different budgetary constraints and technology demands. The good news for security professionals is that security is essential to every successful business.

HID counts on a close relationship with regional channel partners. We continue to focus on having a strong presence in the region, and thanks to our Advantage Partner Program, we’ve successfully accomplished that. Through our elite Advantage Partner Program, our channel marketing teams are closely aligned with our channel partners to support them with marketing and sales enablement materials, training, and resources.

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Intersec

Video: Toshiba Shows Off Storage Innovations for the Security and Surveillance Industry at Intersec 2023

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Santosh Varghese of Toshiba Gulf FZE, speaks about the company’s participation at Intersec 2023 and the growing demand for storage solutions in the surveillance sector:

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