Interviews

Security Practitioners Are Now Facing Challenges From Gen V Attacks

Ram Narayanan, the Country Manager for the Middle East at Check Point Software Technologies, speaks about the change in the company’s direction

Tell us about the rationale behind the new logo and the change in the company’s direction.
Check Point Software is advancing with a series of new strategic directions which will reshape cyber security with the best and brightest thinking around new products, new experiences, and a new mindset. A cornerstone of our strategy is unprecedented innovation to leapfrog anything on the market today. To emphasize our new direction, Check Point Software rolled out our new mantra, “You Deserve the Best Security”, which is also the tagline for the company’s new logo.

This highlights the reality that only the best security can fully protect in today’s complex threat epidemic. Large-scale, multi-vector attacks now threaten the fabric of societies around the globe. Only the best security can protect against these Gen V attacks, and Check Point Software’s transformative new product innovations will achieve this better than ever. Even though Check Point Software’s legacy and expertise remain second to none, we believe now was the right time to refresh our visual identity, in concert with other transformative innovations that we’ll deliver in 2022.

Our new logo reflects our differentiation, with a modern design, and a vibrant colour that breaks through the sea of sameness offered by so many newcomers. The network lines pay homage to the prior logo but emphasize what’s most important, a fresh, bold statement that reflects our confidence in delivering a renewed focus that can transform the world.

How is this change being communicated to your channel community?
Check Point Software’s new logo, new strategic directions, and new product innovations were unveiled during our recently concluded Check Point Experience (CPX 360), which was attended by employees, channel partners, and customers. Our channel community and customers had the opportunity to attend the 3-day event (Feb 1 – Feb 3) virtually and hear from our top management team, about the strategic direction, product releases and our new visual identity. It was a great success with 148 sessions, 50+ hours of VOD content, 4 product and research announcements, 41 external speakers and many of our channel partners participating in Cyber Parks. We have also started to share with our channel community the new collaterals and new logo via our partner portal.

Regional tensions and market downturns due to the pandemic have affected security policies within companies. How is Check Point Software working with its partners and customers to ensure their security defenses are up and running when needed?
Check Point Software is helping channel partners across the globe solve their customers’ biggest security challenges as their customers transform their IT operations and business to embrace emerging technologies. Our partners are constantly seeking out new technology solutions that meet the needs of their customers. At Check Point Software, we believe our customers and partners deserve the best security, today and always. We are on a mission to make sure we extend our best to reach every possible organization.

Check Point Software is continuing to make bold changes and challenging ourselves to the benefit of our customers and partners. We are investing in a future with new thinking, more resources, and growth strategies enhancing all areas of the company. We understand the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape to appropriately invest in R&D, build superior technologies and implement them within organizations of all sizes. The company’s new Quantum Lightspeed firewall technology for data centers, signals Check Point Software’s determination to confront the evolving threat landscape and ensure the best security.

What according to you are the biggest challenges companies and IT security teams are facing today?
As life is slowly turning back to normal, we see the adoption of technologies and the need for cyber security (WFH, digital transformation, use of more collaboration tools); data is spread everywhere and the need for securing them has become important. Organizations are concerned with this proliferation, are aware of the risks, and trying to ensure that they have the appropriate solutions in place to prevent, it without disrupting the normal business flow.

Even with business coming back to work, the hybrid work model will continue, and this will still necessitate the need to secure users and access which leads to technologies like ZTNA, EDR, Mobile Security, Email Security and Secure Web Gateway. It is not going to be very different, but what we see is that the customers are looking at cloud adoption at scale and hence the need to protect data and workloads on the cloud while looking to consolidate and get better at security effectiveness and reduce the number of point products/technologies. The move to the cloud and DevOps will result in a new form of botnet. With microservices becoming the leading method for application development, and microservices architecture being embraced by Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), attackers are using vulnerabilities found in microservices, to launch their attacks.

One of the biggest challenges faced by security practitioners is Gen V attacks – the combination of a wide breadth of threats, large-scale attacks, and a broad attack surface. Previously, businesses had a well-defined security boundary, and assets were protected, but with business users now working from home and accessing resources on the cloud and datacentres, these security boundaries are fading. To address this massive challenge, IT teams now require the right tools to ensure security is implemented with no compromise on productivity.

In today’s world of the metaverse, low code/no code, and data visualisation, what should companies look for, when selecting the right security solution?
With the emergence of Metaverse, the whole virtual world is by default being hosted on the cloud, as it is heavily dependent on numerous data sources combined with AI analytics to create a relevant virtual experience. Funds are also flowing towards crypto, and thus it’s no wonder hackers are targeting cryptocurrencies. With an introduction to Low Code/No Code applications, the existing shared responsibility model between cloud service providers and customers has significantly expanded with the addition in the middle of the Low Code/No Code Provider.

Indeed, this abstraction solution produces applications that could contain technical vulnerabilities (SQL Injection, for example). In any case, companies should consider that such an abstraction mechanism is prone to create vulnerabilities, and when such vulnerabilities are discovered, it takes time to solve them. To overcome this higher risk, such applications should be protected with a Web Application Protection solution that must include an automatic learning mechanism. In summary, rather than blocking what could provide value to your organization, instead, be prepared to the guardrail and securely host these new applications that will be arriving anyway.

Check Point Software’s Infinity enables organizations to prevent cyber threats, simplify security management, and boost efficiency. Infinity’s single management console centrally correlates a wide range of events across all network environments, cloud services, and endpoint infrastructures, with pre-emptive threat prevention technologies blocking the most sophisticated attacks before they can inflict damage.

Tell us about your regional strategies for this year.
We have been constantly growing in the region and we are continuing to invest with more resources in the region and UAE specifically. We are advancing with our team and resources to be engaged with our customers and partners and educate the need for Gen V of Threat protection and how Check Point Software’s solutions can be adopted and be of value to their organizations. Our new tagline, ‘You Deserve the Best Security’ and the company’s new logo have marked a new strategic drive by Check Point Software to urge organizations to implement comprehensive ‘prevent-first’ security solutions capable of dealing with the cyber pandemic.

Check Point Software aims to provide any organization with the ability to conduct their business on the internet with the highest level of security. Our long-term goal is to expand our reach in the market and bring our solutions to business in the public and private sectors and continue to provide our focused insights into the cyber threat landscape in UAE and the overall region. We are intent to develop and grow strategic relationships with local channel partners and educate them so that they will be able to present the need and value to their customers and finally, educate the next generation of cyber security professionals in UAE with our broad range of Cyber Security training programs. The focus is on real customer needs and to develop new and innovative security solutions that redefine the security to ensure that they are effectively protecting their assets and data from 5th generation cyber-attacks.

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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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