Features, Insight, Interviews

To enable enterprises of all sizes you must be able to stay securely connected” – Computer Data Networks, Kuwait

CNME Editor Mark Forker secured an exclusive interview with Hanaa Al-Nashwan, Vice-President, Computer Data Networks, Kuwait, to learn how the IT leader has helped its customer become more resilient in the face of new threats that have emerged as a direct consequence of the global COVID-19 crisis.

Business Resiliency has become a top priority for organisations across the region. More and more organisations are now understanding the level of impact that IT related disruptions can cause to their business. What are the key Cisco solutions that an end customer should adopt in order to maintain business continuity and resilience?

The pandemic has caused unprecedented levels of uncertainty across the industry and has disrupted the operations of many organisations – a lack of concise resiliency plans, and action-oriented playbooks saw IT teams struggling to recover their business, with many facing significant disruptions.

To enable organisations of all sizes you must be able to stay securely connected, Cisco offers a variety of solutions including Secure Remote Access, Virtual Meetings etc. Here is a quick glance at some of the key solutions we offer our customers with Cisco:

Cisco AnyConnect VPN allows employees to securely access corporate network from anywhere and any device. The solution offers granular control to restrict access to the infrastructure based on user identity and also provides visibility to ensure the team can track who, when and what of remote access.

Cisco Duo shields any and every application from compromised credentials and devices. It natively integrates with applications to provide flexible, user-friendly security that’s quick to roll out and easy to manage.

Cisco Duo is a building block for Zero-Trust model with multi-factor authentication, dynamic device trust, adaptive authentication and secure single sign-on for every user and device.

Cisco Umbrella delivers flexible, fast and effective cloud security to secure remote users in a matter of minutes. It combines multiple security functions into a single cloud-delivered service helping deliver the right level of security to users within or outside corporate network.

Umbrella protects users from accessing malicious destinations, spam links, phishing attacks etc. with a single click. It also enables organisation to gain visibility and address the security blind spots in a fast and easy manner.

Cisco WebEx offers the most secure collaboration platform to stay connected during these challenging times. From virtual classrooms for education, telehealth for healthcare to conferencing for all, WebEx offers the most comprehensive solution to address the need of the hour.

The cloud hosted option allows organisations to set up meeting within minutes and start collaborating instantly in a secure manner.

Cisco Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) enables users to access their desktops and applications from any device while keeping the corporate data and applications safe and secured by policies.

It allows organisations to quickly deploy, upgrade, patch and manage desktops without user disruption and ensure they meet the increasing demand of remote users.

Cisco Cloud Mailbox Defense secures Office365 emails against advanced threats and provides complete visibility across email infrastructure.

With the rapid growth in adoption of Office 365 to address the current demands and the increase in email bound threats including account takeovers and malware infection, Cisco offers a simple to deploy solution that can detect and block these threats with superior threat intelligence.

Cisco Secure Endpoint secures the most critical component of remote workers – the endpoint. It detects, prevents and helps remove threats in an efficient manner from computer systems by combines behavioral analytics, machine learning, and signature-based techniques.

With its integrated XDR capabilities, it offers unified view to assist threat hunting and incident management.

What are some of the key milestones including trainings & certifications that CDN has achieved as a Cisco Partner over the years?

Trainings and Certifications is integral part of CDN’s business development strategy.

On the process front, CDN has demonstrated and achieved multiple ISO certifications that showcase the efforts taken to ensure the quality of products and services being delivered. These certificates include ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 17799, ISO 18001, ISO 18028, ISO 20000, ISO 22301, ISO 27001, ISO 27002, ISO 27003, ISO 27004, ISO 27005.

We are a strong believer in the fact that technical certifications drive a multiplier effect on all our systems and processes.

CDN has ensured continuous advancement in its technical skillset by certifying and recertifying on a timely manner. CDN employees are regularly trained and validated to ensure they remained updated and skilled to deliver the best solutions to the customer. Some of the Cisco Certifications achieved by CDN team are:

  • CCIE Security
  • CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure
  • CCIE Data Center
  • CCIE R&S
  • DevOps

There has been a huge increase in cyberattacks during the COVID-19 pandemic. In your opinion, what are the key security related concerns that organisations are facing in Kuwait – and what Cisco solutions do you propose to help address these concerns?

The pandemic has seen a rise in cyber-attacks and Kuwait is no exception. The region continues to experience many compromises with organisations not prepared, crippling to restore operations.

Major threats witnessed recently include ransomware attacks, phishing attacks, malware attacks, code injection attacks among others. This has resulted in data breaches, denial of services and even complete halt of operations in certain cases where the customer had no protection.

CDN has been actively working with many of these organisations, assisting them to address the issue with short and long term solutions to ensure business operation is restored in the shortest possible time while the security gap is minimised to maximum possible extent.

In this effort, CDN has been positioning multiple solutions including Cisco Firepower to secure the perimeter and the data centre, Cisco Secure Endpoint for endpoint protection, Cisco Secure Email for email protection, Cisco Duo for identity protection, Cisco ISE for network access control, Cisco Umbrella for DNS security and Secure Web Access, Cisco WebEx for collaboration, Cisco AnyConnect for secure remote access, Cisco Tetration for micro-segmentation etc.

CDN has adopted a holistic approach to security and Cisco enables us to deliver this to our customers by providing consolidation and seamless interoperability options.

This delivers a great customer experience in terms of unified visibility and control, which we believe is the key for a strong defence system.

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