Gulf Importers

Cisco boosts firms’ network protection

Cisco protects its customers across the extended network

With the rapid economic growth and increasing threat of cyber-crime, many organisations in the Middle East are beginning to recognise the need for an efficient security solution. With industries such as the oil and gas having remote and geographically vast operations that are highly dependent on internet networks, their vulnerability to cyber-attacks only magnify. 

Cisco, a worldwide leader in information technology, offers an extensive security portfolio, which includes solutions for access control and policy, advanced malware protection, email security, firewalls, network security, next-generation intrusion prevention system (NGIPS), security management, virtual private network (VPN) and endpoint security clients and web security. Its security innovations provide highly secure firewall, web, and email services while helping to enable mobility and teleworking.

The company has customers across all verticals in the region including government organisations, oil and gas companies, hospitality, healthcare and educational organisations. These include Bahri and Mazroei Trading Company (BMTC), Kuwait Oil Company and the American University of Kuwait.

Cisco’s first fully integrated, threat-focused Cisco Firepower next-generation firewall (NGFW) is one of the latest additions to its portfolio, and is also considered to be the industry’s first to link contextual information about how users are connecting to applications, with threat intelligence and policy enforcement. Gaining this level of visibility across a business environment accelerates threat detection and response, and enhances protection. 

“NGFW can also automate and fine-tune security measures to rapidly harden defences, based on its ability to see vulnerabilities, assets and threats. The consistent and pervasive advanced security capabilities provide protection that point solutions cannot deliver,” says Scott Manson, Cisco’s cyber security leader for Middle East and Turkey.

Cisco ASA with FirePower services empowers customers to boost their protection from the data centre, network to the endpoint with the agility to identify, understand, and stop advanced threats in real-time and retrospectively. It provides integrated threat defence that helps businesses address their biggest security risk – advanced and zero day threats.

Another tool is the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE), which delivers superior user and device visibility to support enterprise mobility experiences. It is a security policy management and control platform, which automates and simplifies access control and security compliance for wired, wireless, and VPN connectivity. It helps IT professionals conquer enterprise mobility challenges and secure the evolving network across the attack continuum. 

“But more important than the sum of all of these tools is the integrated and architected approach offered by Cisco which brings value, because it allows customers to bring together ‘indicators of compromise’ derived from multiple sources with contextual information. In other words, we don’t just detect incidents, we interpret them and determine their origin, evaluate their impact and search for other occurrences of identical or similar incidents,” he says.

Cisco protects its customers across the extended network. This includes networks, data centres, virtual environments, the cloud, mobile devices and endpoints and throughout the entire attack continuum: before, during and after an attack.

• Before an attack: Organisations need to know what they are defending. They need to know what is on their network (devices, operating systems, applications, users, and so on) to be able to defend it.

• During an attack: When attackers get through, customers need to be able to detect them. Once they detect an attack, they will be able to block it and defend the environment.

• After the attack: Invariably, some attacks will be successful, and customers need to be able to determine the scope of the damage, remediate, and bring operations back to normal.