Blocking Cyber Attacks

Simon Bryden, Consulting Systems Engineer, Fortinet


A recent survey by Fortinet revealed that almost half of the IT decision makers at 250+ employee organizations in the Middle East believe that cybersecurity is still not a significant priority for board members despite high profile cyberattacks continuing to occur according to findings of Fortinet’s latest Global Enterprise Security Survey.

The research also highlights that many IT professionals believe that the transition to the cloud as part of their organizations’ digital transformation will in turn make security a growing priority.

We ventured into Nice in France recently to meet with Simon Bryden, a consulting systems engineer at Fortinet who represents FortiGuard labs across the EMEA region and promotes Fortinet’s threat intelligence capability both internally, and to customers and partners.

In a candid interview, Simon talks to us about major IT security threats faced by enterprises and individuals in the Middle East.

  1. Cyber attacks are getting more complex and often have a ripple effect leading to more organisations affected unless the chain is broken at an early stage. What steps can organisations take to protect themselves?

If you go back three years ago, the big thing was banking mobile. The people were getting attacked by banking mobile, credential stealing and the PC would be infected and the credentials would be stolen and money will be taken from the bank account. How do you protect yourself from this? A lot of people have over the last few years become very much more aware how to recognize an authentic email and spam. Enterprises have a program to train people to recognize scam email and awareness of the security has improved a lot. I think the most important thing that the organization can do today is to take precautions, have back ups and identify ways to protect data.

  1. Fortinet is uniquely positioned to address the IoT security challenges. What steps canEnterprises take to learn, segment and protect their infrastructure against IoT threats?

There are a couple of things. If you are an individual and you want to put a camera outside your house so that from the office you can see if there is anyone in your house, you can get a security alert. There are two types of devices – one from outside of your home you can connect directly to and there are devices that you do not actually connect to the device but you connect to cloud servers. So in the case of the camera, sometimes you are connecting directly to the camera and sometimes you are connecting to your cloud servers it will show you your images from and camera and your camera is sending in to the same cloud services. That model is much more secure because you are actually protected by your DSL connecting provider.

Customers around the globe are selecting the breadth of IoT solutions in Fortinet’s Security Fabric to secure their complex networks and endpoint devices, from manufacturing, natural resources, and aviation to government organizations. Fortinet also demonstrates its continued commitment to innovation in IoT with its expanded portfolio of patents on IoT security.

  1. Fortinet Security Fabric provides end-to-end security architecture to organisations through a single management interface. How has the response been in the Middle East to this solution?

I think the important thing to know about the security fabric is that it allows us to focus internally. So knowing about the security fabric is all about this idea that we have all of these products and the different products talk to each other. We have a lot of communication between different products and so the idea is to formalized that into something that whenever we look at a product now, we are constantly thinking, what information does this product have that could be shared with another product or another service.

Today I am buying a security system to handle my anti-virus, and another security product to manage my mail, and another one manage my web service and in fact you end up just and more in complex network by having more devices to keep updated, more devices to renew your subscriptions and it becomes very tricky. So the security fabric is not just about the management but also about keeping everything safe.

Fortinet is producing new products and they seem to be connecting the existing products together. So that’s the security fabric given the complexity of our network and a big chunk of that complexity is the security.


By Shereen Shabnam

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