Securing email in the cloud is now non-negotiable for businesses

By Arun Shankar   15 January, 2018
Securing email in the cloud is now non-negotiable for businesses

Jason Roos, Channel and Alliances Director, Mimecast.

2017: YEAR IN REVIEW

Businesses in the Middle East and globally, run on email. Unfortunately, attackers know this, which is why 91% of cyber-attacks start with a phishing email. Cyber-crime in the region is on the rise and organisations have begun to understand that email security is a non-negotiable.

Security has now become a boardroom discussion realising the need for cyber-resilience, which is a strategy that ensures businesses are prepared in the event of a cyber-attack or breach. It is necessary to have the required processes and technology in place to identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover from a cyber-attack or data breach.

The shortage in specialised IT and cyber-security skills is a global problem that affects companies in every industry and region, not just in the Middle East.

“Businesses in the Middle East rely heavily on security technologies but these are only as good as the people configuring, utilising and maintaining them. Another challenge faced by the technology industry is the fast pace of changing technology. Malicious threats are constantly evolving, which means security vendors are constantly having to adapt solutions to address new threats,” explains Jason Roos is Channel and Alliances Director at Mimecast.

The threat landscape will continue to evolve, cyber-crime will rise and criminals will become more sophisticated in their targeted attacks. And as attackers learn how to monetise their creations and become more capable illegitimate business entities, the industry will see greater variation of attacks emerge from a broad base of criminals. The dangers of email-borne threats like ransomware, phishing and impersonation fraud will become common knowledge.

Cyber-security will become centre of boardroom discussions, with senior management acknowledging that cyber-attacks are inevitable and implementing effective protection is no longer a debate. As cyber-attacks become increasingly common, businesses will start moving towards having comprehensive cyber-resilience strategies in place, rather than simply looking at security.

A major game changer will be the effect of artificial intelligence on cyber-security. It is likely that the industry will see a rise in the use of AI or machine learning to introduce attacks that can morph more quickly. While this is a frightening thought, AI will also play a crucial role in managing threats.

Threats are evolving rapidly and are too varied for the industry to handle them manually. For example, spear-phishing and impersonation attacks will become ever more insidious and the industry will need smarter algorithms to cope with them. Artificial intelligence and data science are not miracle cures, but are an increasingly important weapon in the arsenal of cyber-security.

Mimecast added two main distributors in the Middle East regions, as well as some strategic direct partners. Mimecast selected Bulwark and Nuvias as distributors because of their network, adding to the existing agreements with IDC, Quintica, Dimension Data, and EtherGulf.

Mimecast launched the Mimecast Cloud Archive which delivers an all-in-one cloud service that integrates a secure data repository, built-in data recovery, storage management, e-discovery and compliance capabilities. Mimecast Cloud Archive is designed and optimised for the cloud, offering the scale, performance and advanced features needed to manage email today.

This launch was supported by a state of the industry virtual event on cloud archiving. It targeted individuals and businesses who wanted to understand how the multipurpose archive enables customers to access their email archive anywhere, anytime, and on any device in record speed.

As more organisations move email and its data to Office 365, they need to better protect this data against malicious or accidental loss. To address this, Mimecast introduced Sync and Recover for Exchange and Office 365 which offers unified management of compliance, archiving and data resilience. The service also provides organisations with protection against downtime in the event of ransomware or other malware attacks, while cloud-based efficiency can quickly restore corrupted or lost email data.

Mimecast held several seminars across the region for partners and customers to help them understand and learn about the latest cyber threat trends and how to mitigate those risks. Mimecast participated in leading technology events across the region, including GITEX and GISEC. At these events, security experts discussed email attack strategies used by cyber-criminals and demonstrated how they work, by performing a series of live hacks.

Mimecast research team identified a new email exploit, dubbed ROPEMAKER which allows malicious actors to change the content of emails after delivery. Attackers can replace a benign URL with a malicious URL or edit text whenever they want. All of this can be done without direct access to the Inbox. Mimecast proved that email using remote resources, such as a remote CSS, is exploitable and so Mimecast added a defense against this exploit.

Mimecast was named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving for the third year in a row. The report provides a detailed overview of the enterprise information archiving market and evaluates vendors based on their completeness of vision and ability to execute. Among the vendors positioned in the Leaders quadrant, Mimecast has been positioned highest on the ability to execute axis. The announcement was on the heels of the largest archive launch event in company history. Mimecast believe it is a validation from Gartner that can be attributed to the innovation, execution and service Mimecast provides by directly addressing customer evolving challenges.

Mimecast achieved certification to ISO 22301:2012, the international standard for business continuity management systems. Issued by Certification Europe, the ISO 22301 standard stipulates the requirements for a management system to protect against, reduce the likelihood of and ensure a business recovers from disruptive incidents. Mimecast’s latest ISO 22301 Certification demonstrates how Mimecast takes an innovative approach to technology with continued focus on providing Legendary Customer Success.

Key takeaways

  • The shortage in specialised IT and cyber-security skills is a global problem that affects companies in every industry and region, not just in the Middle East.
  • Businesses in the Middle East rely heavily on security technologies but these are only as good as the people configuring, utilising and maintaining them.
  • Another challenge faced by the technology industry is the fast pace of changing technology. Malicious threats are constantly evolving, which means security vendors are constantly having to adapt solutions to address new threats.
  • Mimecast added two main distributors in the Middle East regions, as well as some strategic direct partners.

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