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F5 to Show Off Multi-Cloud Networking and AI Solutions at GITEX 2023

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F5 is set to highlight a series of new solutions at GITEX Global 2023. Key developments in the spotlight include new multi-cloud networking (MCN) capabilities that extend application and security services across one or more public clouds, hybrid deployments, native Kubernetes environments, and edge sites.

The solutions represent the next evolutionary step for the F5 Distributed Cloud Services platform, which enables customers to easily integrate network operations, application performance optimization and troubleshooting, and visibility through a single management console.

The new offerings include Distributed Cloud App Connect, which provides an integrated stack approach through a single console to combine comprehensive app networking with full app security, faster provisioning, and ease of use. In addition, Distributed Cloud Network Connect makes it highly secure and simple to deploy connectivity across cloud locations and cloud providers.

The solutions come hot on the heels of F5’s 2023 State of Application Strategy (SOAS) report, which found that 85% of organizations operate distributed application deployments, spanning traditional and modern architectures and multiple hosting environments. “Distributed deployments add operational complexity and cost, obscure visibility, and increase the surface area for potential cyberattacks,” said Mohammed Abukhater, RVP for META at F5. “F5 can now deliver a platform-based approach that is cloud-agnostic and purpose-built to meet the needs of traditional and modern apps—all without increasing complexity or losing granular control and necessary visibility.”

F5 will also showcase its latest security capabilities, including new machine learning enhancements to provide F5’s cloud security portfolio with advanced API endpoint discovery, anomaly detection, telemetry, and behavioural analysis. “F5 customers can now strengthen their security posture with a continuously improving analysis engine and unified policy enforcement. These capabilities enable secure app-to-app communications through validated and monitored APIs, thereby reducing the time security teams spend correcting false positives and accelerating time-to-deployment for new services,” the company said.

Highlights include:

  • Enhanced API Security Provides Greater Protection for Modern Apps. F5 delivers API auto-discovery, policy enforcement, and anomaly detection as part of a unified WAAP service, simplifying operations and enforcement through a single console for both app and API protection. Since static signature-based controls are insufficient for protecting API endpoints due to their dynamic, evolving nature, F5 Distributed Cloud API Security utilizes optimized machine learning for automatic API discovery, threat detection, and schema enforcement.
  • AI as an Essential Element of App Security. F5 has introduced AI-driven web application firewall (WAF) capabilities, including unique malicious user detection and mitigation capabilities that create a per-user threat score based on behavioural analysis that determines intent. This enables security operations to choose between alerting or automatic blocking to mitigate an attack that would otherwise go undetected by static signatures. All traffic is monitored and proactive defences are applied based on malicious user behaviour that can be correlated across Distributed Cloud WAAP deployments. The new functionality also provides false positive suppression, making it easier to block bad traffic without accidentally blocking legitimate users, and streamlines operations by reducing the time necessary to enable specific app protections.

F5 is expanding its managed service offerings via:

    • Distributed Cloud WAAP Managed Services, enabling F5 customers to access the experience and expertise of the F5 SOC to manage WAF, bot defence, and DDoS protection. Through a shared console, customers have the ability to seamlessly move between a self-service or managed service model as the needs of their apps and approach to app security change.
    • Distributed Cloud Managed Service Portal, enabling F5 service provider partners to build and tailor their own managed service offerings based on the leading security capabilities of F5 Distributed Cloud WAAP. This approach lets partners manage Distributed Cloud WAAP on behalf of their customers without sacrificing visibility, resulting in new revenue sources and value-added services while extending the overall reach of the solution.

“F5 is increasingly standing out for its ability to secure apps in a multi-cloud environment,” said Abukhater. “On the one hand, you have networking players that have multi-cloud capabilities, but they don’t have security. Then you have security players that have capabilities in SaaS and in the cloud, but they are not multi-cloud. To get their security capabilities, you have to put your apps in their walled garden, which is not sufficient either because apps are more and more distributed to ensure the best performance. Digital services that don’t meet the expectations of end-users cost companies millions of dollars in lost sales. F5 was built to solve this problem.”

In other news set to inform the GITEX agenda, F5 NGINX has announced a new subscription option that adds enterprise-level capabilities and support to the hugely popular NGINX Open Source web server, which currently powers over 400 million websites. The Open Source Subscription is a bundle that includes enterprise support to navigate regulatory requirements, enterprise features to address a wide range of traffic management and identity use cases, as well as fleet management for risk reduction via simplified NGINX administration.

“NGINX Open Source is known as the developer’s Swiss army knife,” added Abukhater. “Whether you need a web server, reverse proxy, API gateway, Ingress controller, or cache, NGINX has you covered. However, there was one thing NGINX Open Source users kept telling us was needed: enterprise support. This is why we expect our subscription option to have a big and immediate impact across the world.”

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ESET’s New AI Assistant Streamlines Threat Detection and Response

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ESET has introduced ESET AI Advisor, an innovative generative AI-based cybersecurity assistant that transforms incident response and interactive risk analysis. First showcased at RSA Conference 2024, the new solution is now available as part of the ESET PROTECT MDR Ultimate subscription tier and ESET Threat Intelligence.

Unlike other vendor offerings and typical generative AI assistants that focus on soft features like administration or device management, ESET AI Advisor seamlessly integrates into the day-to-day operations of security analysts, conducting in-depth analysis. Building on over two decades of ESET’s expertise in AI-driven endpoint protection, the offering provides detailed incident data and SOC team-level advisory. This is a game-changer for companies with limited IT resources who want to utilize the advantages of advanced Extended Detection and Response (XDR) solutions and threat intelligence feeds.

“As cybersecurity threats become increasingly sophisticated, ESET remains committed to providing cutting-edge solutions that address these challenges. The ESET AI Advisor module represents a significant leap forward in our mission to close the cybersecurity skills gap and empower organizations to safeguard their digital assets effectively,” said Juraj Malcho, Chief Technology Officer at ESET.

One of the primary benefits of this new solution is closing the cybersecurity skills gap. Security analysts of all skill levels can use ESET AI Advisor to conduct interactive risk identification, analysis, and response capabilities, which are provided in an easily understandable format. The user-friendly interface makes sophisticated threat data actionable even for less experienced IT and security professionals.

The ESET AI Advisor also excels in facilitating faster decision-making for critical incidents. Security analysts can simply consult the ESET AI Advisor to understand the specific threats their environment faces. Leveraging extensive XDR collected data, the ESET AI Advisor identifies and analyzes potential malware threats, providing intuitive insights into their behaviour and impact. It assists in recognizing phishing attempts and advising users on how to avoid falling victim to fraudulent emails or websites. By monitoring network traffic, the ESET AI Advisor can flag unusual or suspicious behaviour, helping security teams take appropriate action. Its ability to automate repetitive tasks is an additional advantage. Managing routine processes such as data collection, extraction, and basic threat detection, allows security teams to focus on more strategic initiatives.

In ESET Threat Intelligence, the new module will help researchers analyze vast quantities of unique APT reports and understand latest developments in world of cyber threats. With its conversational prompts and interactive dialogue, ESET AI Advisor empowers organizations to analyze and mitigate threats effortlessly and fortify their cybersecurity posture.

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VAST and CISCO Simplify AI Infrastructure for Enterprises

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VAST Data, at Cisco Live 2024, announced it is collaborating with Cisco and NVIDIA on a solution to offer enterprises simple, ​​high-performance AI infrastructure coupled with an Ethernet-based AI fabric to handle large volumes of data at an exabyte scale. Through this new relationship, the VAST Data Platform, which offers unified storage, database and data-driven function engine services built for AI, becomes the first data platform optimized and supported with Cisco Nexus HyperFabric.

VAST Data will join this ecosystem integrating with the first Cisco cloud-management solution for data center networking to orchestrate, deploy and manage the stack. Leveraging VAST APIs and pulling both network and storage telemetry back to Cisco Nexus HyperFabric, Cisco customers can now monitor and correlate performance and latency to optimize complex applications.

Cisco Nexus HyperFabric AI clusters are designed to help enterprises build AI data centres using NVIDIA accelerated computing – including NVIDIA Tensor Core GPUs, NVIDIA BlueField-3 DPUs and SuperNICs, and NVIDIA AI Enterprise software – with Cisco networking and the VAST Data Platform. The solution provides end-to-end visibility of compute, networking, storage and data management to allow organizations to seamlessly build and scale their AI operations.

The Cisco Nexus HyperFabric AI Cluster solution also seamlessly integrates VAST’s DASE (Disaggregated Shared Everything) architecture, which is also powered by NVIDIA BlueField DPUs, a collaboration recently announced with NVIDIA. Generative AI requires unprecedented scale and performance to provide incredibly fast access to data, driving enterprise IT buyers to invest heavily in Ethernet networking technologies.

According to IDC, the Ethernet switching market has been impacted significantly by the growing number of enterprise AI deployments, with the overall market rising 20.1% in 2023 to $44.2 billion. With NVIDIA and VAST Data, Cisco can consolidate compute resources, storage and data management capabilities with Ethernet-powered AI network fabrics to offer innovative connectivity with unparalleled programmability, performance, flexibility, and efficiency in order to meet the considerable demands of today’s AI/ML platforms.

“This is the year of the enterprise for AI. Traditionally, enterprises have been slower to adopt new technologies because of the difficulty of integrating new systems into existing systems and processes. This collaboration with Cisco and NVIDIA makes it simple for enterprises to implement AI as they move from proof of concept to production,” said Renen Hallak, CEO and co-founder of VAST Data. “It’s an honor to be selected by Cisco as their premier storage partner for their AI infrastructure and it’s even more exciting that this is because our customers advocated for this partnership.”

“Business innovation is accelerating with AI applications, requiring efficient, high-speed access to massive data sets,” said Jonathan Davidson, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Networking. “With an ecosystem approach that now includes VAST Data and NVIDIA, Cisco helps our enterprise customers tackle their most difficult and complex networking, data and security challenges to build AI infrastructures at any scale with confidence.”

VAST has also certified Cisco Nexus Ethernet-based switches with the VAST Data Platform, delivering validated designs to ensure a seamless deployment experience with the highest levels of support for joint customers. The private cloud-managed Cisco Nexus Dashboard offers innovative congestion management with flow control algorithms and visibility with real-time telemetry. Through this collaboration and validation, and as customers implement the Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches into their storage fabric, Cisco and VAST deliver the scale, speed and efficiency necessary to support AI applications, and are simplifying network management and operations across all infrastructure endpoints.

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Microsoft Showcases AI for Secure Digital Transformation at GISEC 2024

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Microsoft is showcasing its commitment to leveraging the power of AI to empower digital transformation journeys while ensuring cyber resilience at GISEC 2024. “The AI revolution has been remarkable and exciting to witness, but it has also presented a growing amount of risk,” said Naim Yazbeck, General Manager of Microsoft UAE. “Increasingly, we are seeing attackers launch highly sophisticated cyberattacks, making it imperative for organizations to bolster their cybersecurity defences and stay vigilant to safeguard sensitive data and maintain operational resilience. At Microsoft, we believe that innovation in AI-powered cyber defence can help reverse the current rising tide of cyberattacks. We are committed to building an AI-based cyber shield that will protect customers and countries around the world, and at GISEC Global 2024, we are showcasing how our comprehensive portfolio of security solutions can achieve that while helping organizations stay ahead of evolving threats.”

Microsoft’s Hub at GISEC Global 2024 consists of a VIP Demo Area, a Surface Zone, a Glambot Activation, a Networking Area, and a Food & Beverage Area. The company is demonstrating alongside nine partners, including QuorumCyber, Trustwave, Wizard Group, 42Crunch, BPS, Commvault, Fortinet, Rubrik, and Github.

At the heart of Microsoft’s showcase is Copilot for Security, the industry’s first generative AI solution designed to help security and IT professionals protect their organizations at the speed and scale of AI while remaining compliant with responsible AI principles. Made generally available on April 1, 2024, users can ask Copilot for Security questions in natural language and receive actionable responses to common security and IT tasks in seconds.

Ahmad El Dandachi, Enterprise Commercial Director at Microsoft UAE, commented “AI greatly enhances our ability to detect and defeat cyberattacks. With Copilot for Security, we are shifting the balance of power by empowering defenders to optimize their defence approach and turn hours and days spent digging through data into minutes of quick analysis and strategic decision-making. The solution is informed by large-scale data and threat intelligence, including more than 78 trillion security signals processed by Microsoft each day, and coupled with large language models to deliver tailored insights and guide the next steps. With Copilot, security teams can confidently lead their organizations into the age of AI.”

In addition to Copliot for Security, Microsoft is also demonstrating Microsoft Defender, Sentinel, Purview, Entra, Priva, Intune, and other innovations designed to advance cybersecurity protection for organizations. All of Microsoft’s solutions are backed by the company’s aggressive commitment to responsible AI development, underpinned by its Responsible AI principles used to develop and deploy every solution.

GISEC Global 2024 is set to attract more than 20,000 attendees from over 130 countries to the Dubai World Trade Center. Taking place until April 25th, the event provides a platform for more than 750 brands to showcase their innovations.

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