GISEC 2019: strengthening cybersecurity

Security, GISEC 2019, Tenable, Carbon Black, SANS Institute, Mimecast, Cyjax, Fortinet

The security industry continues to grow quickly, with new products and vendors coming up all the time. Just a decade ago the cyber threat landscape was so much different, simple even. Given the number of devices to be secured and the sophistication of attack methods today, IT heads truly had an enviable task back then.

The annual regional cybersecurity event, GISEC provides a platform to security vendors to showcase their products, increase brand visibility and raise company profile with a niche audience. A number of security companies leverage this annual event to bring their message to a focussed audience and meet with key decision makers, all under one roof. Over the years, GISEC has evolved to being much more than just an event to exhibit and network, to reflect what value industry players are adding and how it will benefit a business’ profitability.

Training is an increasingly critical part of the defence against cybercrime as organisations in the Middle East and globally struggle to fill a diverse number of cyber security roles. Many companies are now investing in developing the skillsets in the channel. Especially considering the fast pace at which the security landscape is changing and new products are being rolled out, such initiatives are more than welcome.

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Ned Baltagi, managing director in the Middle East and Africa, SANS Institute

SANS is already working with organisations and governments to identify and bring new talent into the industry and to get them up to speed for their first cyber security role. At this year’s event, the company showcased its training courses designed to provide intensive, immersion training to help security professionals master the practical steps necessary for defending systems and networks. SANS courses equip practitioners with the latest techniques and knowledge that they can put to work as soon as they return to the workplace.

“Specifically, we showcased our core training courses, security awareness training platform and some of our more bespoke cyber security training programs such as Cyber City, NetWars, CyberStart and Cyber Academy,” says Ned Baltagi, managing director in the Middle East and Africa, SANS Institute.

SANS will also host training events in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Egypt and Kuwait this year, starting with its very first Middle East Summit on 4 April in Abu Dhabi.


Jeff Ogden, general manager – Middle East, Mimecast

Mimecast offers a security awareness training and cyber risk management platform that helps combat information security breaches caused by employee mistakes. The programme uses a continuous, virtuous cycle that changes behaviour and lowers risk. The foundation of the platform is engagement through humour, which is the key to improving awareness and knowledge.

As a first time exhibitor, Cyjax believes GISEC is the right platform to not only meet prospective customers and partners but also share regional expansion plans. The company has already secured its first deal with a major UAE government entity and is keen to engage in long term partnerships to develop local talent. At the event, Cyjax announced its official entry into the region and engaged in conversations with potential partners and key decision makers across government and enterprise sectors.

Mark Pearce, chief marketing officer at Cyjax

“This is the right time to make direct investments into the region. To this end, we will be opening a permanent office in Dubai, adding headcount and onboarding several channel partners within the next couple of months. We will also be making significant investments in training programs to develop local talent and create an active channel across the UAE, Oman and the wider Middle East,” says Mark Pearce, chief marketing officer at Cyjax.

Threat intelligence remains an integral part of any cybersecurity strategy as it focusses on existing and emerging threats and identifies internal and external risks to the organization, its infrastructure and brand reputation. This year, a big focus at the show remained around threat intelligence. In its conversations with partners and customers, Cyjax highlighted how threat intelligence solutions and services can help address most security concerns.

Mimecast leveraged this year’s event to talk about the importance of actionable threat intelligence and how it is an essential component in any cyber resilience strategy. The message Mimecast wants to put forth is that threat intelligence is vital for any organisation, no matter the size, and that businesses with lean IT can benefit from intelligence if they know how to make the most of the information they have available to them. The vendor also explained to visitors the benefits of implementing layered security and having a cyber resilience strategy to help recover in the event of an attack.

“We also demonstrated our new web security service, designed to guard against malicious activity initiated by user action or malware while blocking access to websites deemed unsafe or inappropriate based on each organisation’s policies. It is engineered to be managed with the same administration console that customers use to manage Mimecast’s existing email services,” says Jeff Ogden, general manager – Middle East, Mimecast.

Maher Jadallah, regional director - Middle East, Tenable

Tenable leveraged this platform to promote its cyber exposure platform and demonstrate the company’s latest predictive prioritization approach to customers and partners in this region.  “We also demonstrated how we are helping customers close the IT/OT cyber exposure gap. This is especially significant for industrial operations spanning IT and OT with siloed security controls that lead to a fractured view of risk across the converged IT/OT attack surface,” adds Maher Jadallah, regional director - Middle East, Tenable.

On the channel front, Tenable rewards partners for their investment with through its Assure partner program. From purchase discounts that increase with partner level to free training (both sales and technical), Tenable equips partners with all the resources and capabilities they need to stay competitive in this market.

Jonathan Kane, EMEA channel director, Carbon Black

For Carbon Black this was the opportunity to unveil its Global Incident Response Threat Report. The vendor leveraged this event to announce its partnership with two distributors - Ingram Micro for Turkey, Egypt, Levant, North Africa and Pakistan, and Networks Unlimited for Africa. “These new distributors will help to increase our channel and brand awareness in those countries. In addition to this, our new partner program is designed to differentiate between different partner profiles - system integrators, MSSPs and IR partners, and further strengthen our channel,” says Jonathan Kane, EMEA channel director, Carbon Black.

GISEC offered Fortinet the perfect opportunity to talk about its Security Fabric and educate attendees on the latest in cyber threat intelligence and network security. “We also launched the Fast Track accelerated learning program which enables partners to get a head start and stay at the cutting edge of network security,” says Alain Penel, regional vice president – Middle East, Fortinet.

Alain Penel, regional vice president – Middle East, Fortinet

No organisation is immune to cyber threats. Cyber Security is an important topic not only for customers to protect their information, reputation, and customers' records but also for the entire channel’s business growth. A recent PWC survey of the region’s top CEOs highlighted that 77% of them were more concerned about cyber threats than in the previous year and 62% would be investing heavily in securing their organisations against attack. This further reinforces the fact that it has become vital for these entities to enhance cyber security and reduce their vulnerabilities to continuous cyber-attack. It is certainly critical for existing cyber security practitioners and those new to the field to have access to the most in-depth and up-to-date training to keep organisations and individuals protected against the latest threats. While the industry has started to fill-in the talent gaps, the concerns around security still remain.

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