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Mitigating Security Risks to Build the Next-Gen Data Center

Arabian Reseller speaks to Ashraf Sheet, the Regional Director MEA at Infoblox, about their recently concluded series of roadshows, the regional strategies the company is working on, and the evolving threat landscape in the region

Tell us about your recently concluded series of roadshows in the region.
Our recently concluded roadshow was titled “Security and Next Gen Data Centre”. This was a six-city tour throughout Middle East, Turkey and Africa. The road show focused on security and next generation data centres, with the theme ‘Integrate, Automate and Elevate Your Security’. The roadshow kicked off on February 7, 2018 in Dubai, UAE and concluded in Istanbul, Turkey on February 22, 2018.

Through the roadshow, we are focusing on our security and data center solutions in the market throughout the MEA region. We are running the roadshow in six different cities across there region, to show our solutions and how we participate in the digital transformation era. Our solutions are majorly focused on security, addressing various aspects such as infrastructure, malware mitigation, ransomware, and so on.

What sort of threat landscape do you see in the region?
The reality is that this region is not very different from other parts of the world. Security threats have been evolving for sometime now and we have seen threats from viruses, malware, ransomware, and so on. Right now, the craze is all about blockchain and cryptocurrency. It has become high on the radar of attackers.

A new trend we have seen is about crypto-jacking. If you go to a malicious or even sometimes a trusted place, your machine is injected with a script. But instead of stealing your data, locking your data, or affecting your machines in any way, the script actually uses your machine to mine cryptocurrency.

Imagine, I am a botnet or a hacker. I can actually infiltrate, go and take over millions of machines, and mine cryptocurrency. I just gained money using your CPU processing power, without even you knowing about it. Thus, attacks such as these change the way we approach IT and cybersecurity, thus changing the way companies do business in the digital economy.

What tech trends have you seen on the market?
Today’s networks are constantly evolving, getting more complex and subject to frequent paradigm shifts. From hyper connectivity with more than 21 billion connected devices expected by 2020, to transformational shifts in deployment models such as hybrid cloud and Software Defined Networking (SDN) driving complexity, to business demands for 24x7x365 digital presence – the digital transformation is happening at a rapid pace. This complexity coupled with the constantly evolving nature of threats is leading to more data breaches, cyber-attacks, longer times to resolve security incidents, and increased risk to businesses.

What sort of industry verticals are the most affected?
Unfortunately, there is no straight answer to this question. I doubt you walk into a corporate environment today and they say “we feel 100% secure”. The more the threats evolve, the more there is a need for investment in security. There was a time when you just had to put a couple of security devices, antivirus, firewall and so on on the network, and that was it.

Nowadays, you find that the investment on security products are so high, they have become the biggest part of your IT infrastructure investment. And this is creating a lot of burden on the end users, especially those that manage such services and infrastructure. They are finding it more and more difficult to manage all of these devices. The trend now is that many companies are now investing in a hybrid infrastructure. Here, you partially put part of the devices on premise, and the rest of them onto the cloud.

So what is needed to mitigate such risks?
What’s needed are solutions that work together to protect the enterprise infrastructure, users and data, while ensuring agility and scalability in data centres. We organized this series of roadshows to help IT managers, CIOs and security teams understand how to make their organizations more secure, while ensuring high availability in the face of increasing cyber-attacks.

Where does Infoblox fit into the overall proposition?
The nice thing about Infoblox is that we not just provide a security solution in one area. We are a platform. We are actually leaders in the DDI market, which is DNS, DNCP and IP address market. Being part of the core network, leverages a lot of things. Once we are part of the network, we enhance the operability and agility of the network. We protect the DNS service.

We have also made a huge investment in the threat intelligence platform. We have seen that lots of companies have different mix of solutions they use. And they subscribe to lots of threat feeds – on the proxy, firewall, and so on. You are buying different threat feeds from different sources.

Yes, it is a multi-layered approach. But, what if you wanted to control and manage these threat feeds? In order to create a connection between these feeds and dashboards, we provide a centralised platform, to control the feeds, and communicate with all security solutions.

So what is your agenda for this year? What milestones do you want to achieve?
It is really important for us to show our presence in this region, that we are playing a major role in security. For the past 18 years we have been part of major IT infrastructure in the MEA region.

In the past two years, we have seen how in majority of security attacks such as the Mirai botnet, hackers are misusing the DNS. So our intention is the make sure that we transfer the knowledge to organisations to understand the importance of that part of the network, which is the DNS. They need to leverage security and build up the next-gen data center.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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