Du signs strategic MoU with Versa Networks

du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Versa Networks, the global leader in AI/ML-powered Unified Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), to enhance and expand du’s integrated network-security portfolio.Karim Benkirane, Chief Commercial Officer at du said: "Through our strategic partnership with Versa Networks, du is reinforcing its commitment to empowering enterprises in the UAE to embark on successful digital transformations. By delivering Unified SASE services, we aim to provide businesses with secure, reliable, and simplified network access while ensuring consistent and uniform security policies. Together, du and Versa Networks are poised to address the complex network and access challenges faced by enterprises and the public sector, contributing to their digital transformation journey."du and Versa Networks will embark on building a powerful partnership to deliver Unified SASE services to help accelerate the digital transformation of enterprise customers across the UAE. Versa Unified SASE securely and reliably connects home workers, branch workers and users to applications with consistent and uniform security policies across the entire network, while decreasing latency, reducing complexity, and enhancing visibility with a single pane of glass.“du is a leader in the UAE's telecommunications landscape with a proven track record of delivering high-quality managed services to customers across the region, and Versa Networks is thrilled to develop this strategic alliance with them,” said Hector Avalos, EMEA MSP VP. “du’s technical and business expertise, commitment to innovation and service excellence make them an ideal partner to expand our global footprint.”Both du and Versa Networks aspire to be active contributors to the digital transformation journey of enterprises and public sector in the UAE. Our combined strengths in managed services, networking, security, and cloud solutions will provide mutual customers with more comprehensive and powerful ways to address and resolve even their most complex secure network and access challenges.

Qatar Airways selects SITA to transform network infrastructure

SITA Secure SD-WAN will enhance connectivity, security, and operational efficiency across Qatar Airways' international offices and destinations DOHA – 22 November 2023 – Qatar Airways has partnered with SITA to transform the airline's global network infrastructure with state-of-the-art secure access service edge (SASE) solutions that boost connectivity, operational efficiency, and security.As part of the transformation SITA will deploy its Secure SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network), SITA Connect Go, which offers agile, scalable, and secure access to airline systems and applications by connecting infrastructure outstations and airports, to Qatar Airways’ hybrid cloud infrastructure, and to the airline’s partner systems.Qatar Airways is among the first airlines globally to adopt SITA's Secure SD-WAN solution. SITA Connect Go is a new Secure SD-WAN solution designed specifically for the air transport industry. The solution was developed in partnership with Versa Networks, the recognized secure access service edge (SASE) leader. It offers a software-based solution that allows multiple airlines, ground handlers, and tenants to digitally transform at their own pace.By leveraging SITA’s network solution, Qatar Airways will achieve significant strategic benefits. These include:•   Cost optimization resulting from faster connectivity and streamlined operations•   Higher capacity bandwidth with multiple connection types managed centrally with holistic network performance visibility•   SD-WAN gateways will provide compatibility ensuring a smooth transition to the new network architecture and the flexibility to innovate with new digital products and services that improve the passenger experience Mr. A.T. Srinivasan, Qatar Airways Group CIO, said: "Qatar Airways is always looking for innovative technology solutions that will enable the group to optimize day-to-day network operations with increased speed, reliability, security, and flexibility thereby enabling best-in-class connectivity across key operations. We are committed to continually improving operations and the passenger experience and procure systems that will serve as a solid foundation for future innovation."Hani El Asaad, President, Middle East & Africa, SITA, said: "We are delighted to collaborate with Qatar Airways, an industry leader renowned for its commitment to innovation and excellence. Data and connectivity remain the backbone of our industry, and ensuring fast, secure, and reliable connections are crucial for optimizing airline operations and improving the passenger experience. This partnership marks a significant milestone in the evolution of air travel technology, exemplifying our dedication to transforming travel and transport through cutting-edge solutions."

Attackers finding new ways to to deliver malware: Netskope

Dubai: Netskope, a leader in Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), today unveiled new research confirming that attackers are finding new ways to evade detection and blend in with normal network traffic using HTTP and HTTPS to deliver malware. In its latest Cloud & Threat Report: Global Cloud and Web Malware Trends, Netskope identified that on average, five out of every 1,000 enterprise users attempted to download malware in Q1 2023, and new malware families and variants represented 72% of those malware downloads.Social Engineering and Search Engine Data Voids on the RiseIn the research, Netskope uncovered that nearly 10% of all malware downloads in Q1 were referred from search engines. These downloads mostly resulted from weaponized data voids, or combinations of search terms that have very few results, which means that any content matching those terms is likely to appear very high in the search results. This represents just one of many social engineering techniques that attackers are accelerating.Social engineering as a whole continues to dominate as a leading malware infiltration technique with attackers abusing not only search engines, but email, collaboration apps, and chat apps to trick their victims. As the top two malware types, Trojans accounted for 60% of malware downloads in Q1 and phishing downloads accounted for 13%.Evaluation of Primary Communication Channels for AttackersFor the first time in its quarterly cloud and threat reporting, Netskope analyzed attacker communication channels. Researchers found that attackers, in order to consistently evade detection, have used HTTP and HTTPS over ports 80 and 443 as their primary communication channel. In fact, of the new malware executables analyzed by Netskope that communicated with external hosts, 85% did so over port 80 (HTTP) and 67% did so over port 443 (HTTPS). This approach enables attackers to easily go unnoticed and blend in with the abundance of HTTP and HTTPS traffic already on the network.Additionally, to evade DNS-based security controls, some malware samples sidestep DNS lookups, instead reaching out directly to remote hosts using their IP addresses. In Q1 2023, most malware samples that initiated external communications did so using a combination of IP addresses and hostnames, with 61% communicating directly with at least one IP address and 91% communicating with at least one host via a DNS lookup.“Job number one for attackers is finding new ways to cover their tracks as enterprises put more resources into threat detection, but these findings indicate just how easy it still is for attackers to do so in plain sight,” said Ray Canzanese, Threat Research Director, Netskope Threat Labs. “As attackers gravitate towards cloud services that are widely used in the enterprise and leverage popular channels to communicate, cross-functional risk mitigation is more necessary than ever.”Extended Look into Global Cloud and Web Malware TrendsOther notable findings uncovered by Netskope’s research team include:55% of HTTP/HTTPS malware downloads came from cloud apps, up from 35% for the same period one year earlier. The primary driver of the increase is an increase in malware downloads from the most popular enterprise cloud applications, with Microsoft OneDrive tracked as the most popular enterprise app by a wide margin.The number of applications with malware downloads also continued to increase, reaching a high of 261 distinct apps in Q1 2023.Only a small fraction of total web malware downloads were delivered over web categories traditionally considered risky. Instead, downloads are spread out among a wide variety of sites, with content servers (CDNs) responsible for the largest slice, at 7.7%.As enterprises work to defend against the onslaught of malware, cross-functional collaboration across multiple teams is required, including network, security operations, incident response, leadership, and even individual contributors. Some of the additional steps organizations can take to reduce risks include:Inspect all HTTP and HTTPS downloads, including all web and cloud traffic, to prevent malware from infiltrating your networkEnsure that security controls recursively inspect the content of popular archive files and that high-risk file types are thoroughly inspectedConfigure policies to block downloads from apps that are not used in your organization to reduce risk surface.Get the full Netskope Cloud & Threat Report: Global Cloud and Web Malware Trends here.For more information on cloud-enabled threats and our latest findings from Netskope Threat Labs, visit Netskope’s Threat Research Hub.

Forcepoint appoints sales leaders to advance global growth of data-first SASE

Global security leader Forcepoint today announced the appointment of three sales leaders in response to global market demand for Data-first SASE security. The company has promoted Myles Bray to Chief Revenue Officer and Thierry Bedos as Senior Vice President of EMEA Sales. It also appointed James McCarthy as Senior Vice President of North America Sales.The security industry continues to shift from teams managing multitudes of point products to a converged SASE platform that reduces the security management burden, risk and costs to businesses of every size. The company has made significant investments the last two years to accelerate its converged security platform offering, and Forcepoint is the only security company today delivering single-vendor Data-first SASE. Today’s appointments further build on the company’s commitment to help transform the industry by simplifying security.In his new role as CRO, Bray has the core mission of enabling businesses to simplify their approach to security, building on Forcepoint’s leadership as a single-vendor provider of SASE. He will report to CEO Manny Rivelo. As the new executive sales leaders for EMEA and North America, respectively, Bedos and McCarthy will report to Bray.“We are truly moving into the next phase of security where it becomes both a business accelerator and competitive differentiator. Companies need to streamline and simplify operations, including their approach to security, to compete and thrive amidst a recession. The converged capabilities of a single-vendor SASE platform present a compelling opportunity to provide more control and agility in how organizations secure their business and critical data anywhere it can be accessed,” said Manny Rivelo, CEO of Forcepoint.Rivelo continued, “I am bullish on Forcepoint’s SASE market opportunity heading into 2023, and we are deepening the collective strength of our global sales leadership for this exact moment in the industry. Myles, Thierry and James are outstanding leaders who have made significant contributions in their respective roles as security sales leaders for more than a decade. With this team, Forcepoint will be a force multiplier in the SASE global market in 2023 and beyond.”Myles Bray joined Forcepoint in May 2021 as Senior Vice President of EMEA Sales. In that time, he was pivotal in taking to the EMEA market Forcepoint ONE, the company’s all-in-one cloud platform for Security Service Edge (SSE), the security half of SASE. Forcepoint ONE sales have consistently grown exponentially quarter-over-quarter since its Q1 2022 launch. Previously, Bray held executive roles leading sales and channel strategy across Europe, the Middle East and Africa for security companies such as Arqit, F5 Networks and Forescout.“Businesses trying to control access to data and systems are contending with their workforces using more apps and devices than ever, which translates into more complexity. The demand for simplicity is driving adoption of security convergence, with 8 out of 10 organizations expected to deploy a consolidated SSE platform, within the next three years,” said Bray. “I look forward to the strategic contributions both Thierry and James will bring to exponentially grow Forcepoint’s Data-first SASE business and partner with customers and the channel across our key territories in the next year and beyond.”Thierry Bedos joined Forcepoint in April 2022 as Vice President for Southern Europe. During his tenure, Bedos’ hands-on leadership style, customer-first mindset and strategic channel partner relationships helped Southern Europe continue to be one of the most successful regions in EMEA. Prior to Forcepoint, Bedos held senior sales leadership roles at Proofpoint, SAS and McAfee, where he was Managing Director of the company in France for nine years. James McCarthy brings over 25 years of sales leadership experience to his role as Senior Vice President of North America Sales. Prior to Forcepoint, McCarthy served as the first Head of Sales for Tel Aviv-based tech start-up Cyera. He has also held senior sales leadership roles at companies such as global communications leader BT, IBM Internet Security Systems, and Digital Guardian.