Daniel Shepherd, Deputy Editor for tahawultech.com, sat down with Emad Fahmy, Systems Engineering Manager, Netscout, to talk about the rise in cyberthreats in the region and how their solutions enable business continuity in the new era of cyberattacks.
- The UAE alone experienced a 250% increase in cyber threats in 2020, which was an indication the region was not prepared for pandemic related threats. How do you analyse that figure?
“The UAE is a destination for cyberattacks, just like any other country in the world. I would say there has been an improvement in the precautions, security standards and the overall readiness of the country for cyberthreats. I would say they are more ready than other parts of the world. There have been huge advances in solutions, products, and defence mechanisms as most organisations, enterprises and service providers here pursued them during the pandemic. The government is equipped with better security solutions and are taking care of the defences needed for such times. But we are still seeing worldwide an increase in the number of attacks, so it’s not just related to the UAE. However, the UAE is a centre of business in this part of the world, that’s why you’ll find more focus from attackers to hit the governments, banks, and other organisations. The UAE is the centre of business intelligence, the Expo and various other events in the Middle East. So, the increase in the frequency and complexity of the attacks is something we have seen during the pandemic due to the dependence on the internet and online applications”.
- What technologies do you think CIOs should look out for when forming their own policy framework for business continuity?
“Netscout is a leader in cybersecurity, especially in the DDOS arena. There are more than 400 service providers in the world, and we have recently seen a real change in the attacks DNA. There are more attacks happening every day and they are becoming more complex. The solutions should really focus on the applications that are being used more often like online gaming, Zoom, VPNs, Webex and other business applications. The increased use of bandwidth should also be a focus as it grants more opportunities for hackers to launch larger attacks. The solutions should be scalable enough to meet such varied attacks, even security devices themselves are being subjected to attacks. At Netscout we are constantly focusing on these different vectors, which we call vectors of attack, that change all the time”.
- Could you tell our readers a little bit about Netscout’s new Omnis Security Platform and what exactly it can provide?
“Omnis is taking Netscout to a new level of cybersecurity, threat intelligence. We are integrating our solution of service assurance with analysis of data packets and threat intelligence. We are making use of the packets we collect to do more security analysis. We are taking DDOS protection to a new era by adding the capability to do security analysis at the heart of the network to counter the rise in attacks. It’s not just about internet attacks we are also looking at the on-site element, which we call the edge of the network. We are developing the Omnis brand for new products that are tailor made to deal with such attacks”.
- What would you say Netscout’s approach is to enabling regional digital transformation?
“All of Netscout’s solutions are really focused on helping businesses to develop their digital transformation journeys. For example, the service assurance solution monitors the whole network and does much more analysis in an end-to-end fashion so that the organisation can really troubleshoot the errors happening in the network, which is a capability no other solution can do. We are enabling organisations to migrate into a new service architecture where they can learn the root cause of any issues within their network and proactively identify problems in advance. Digital Transformation is really coupled with moving into the digital space as it will introduce more security trends and threats. As businesses move into these domains Netscout will be there to help make the process simple and effective”.