Micro Focus experts on building overall resiliency to face any future crisis

Micro Focus experts on building overall resiliency to face any future crisis

Organisations have had to quickly respond to disruption caused by COVID-19, including securing their infrastructure. We hear from Anas Jwaied, Vice President and General Manager for Emerging Markets, Micro Focus and Tamer El Refaey, Chief Cyber Security Strategist, Emerging Markets, Micro Focus, who tell us how the company is helping businesses build overall resiliency to face any future crisis.

Anas Jwaied, Vice President and General Manager for Emerging Markets, Micro Focus
Tamer El Refaey, Chief Cyber Security Strategist, Emerging Markets, Micro Focus

How has Micro Focus helped enterprises provide new and innovative products to better engage with customers, investors and stakeholders, in light of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic?

The pandemic introduced new challenges that organisations had to face. For example, cloud adoption was fast-tracked to cope with the required demand of workloads. Micro Focus helped organisations migrate or extend their infrastructure to the cloud securely by providing innovative format-preserving encryption capabilities.

This allowed our customers to control data with security that’s cloud-agnostic and multi-cloud; reduce risks and cost of a data breach; and provide secure collaboration and productivity, all while protecting their brands, reputation and addressing complex data privacy regulations.

We also supported our customers with innovative solutions to address the security challenges arising from remote work. Solutions such as adaptive access control integrated with multi-factor authentication and powered by Machine Learning allowed our customers to provide the required remote access with the ease of mind and robust security.

What have been the biggest challenges faced by security operations teams within the last year?

Among the multiple challenges that faced security operations last year, there are three worth mentioning.

The first challenge is the increase in COVID-themed attacks. We have observed a 238% increase in cyberattacks against organisations due to COVID, putting security operations under enormous pressure to validate, investigate and respond to each of those attacks.

Organisations have been requited to implement solutions that monitor and validate threats based on observed behaviours and calculated risk while reducing false-positive alerts.

The second challenge is the obsolete models used to detect cyberattacks. The implemented models assumed users would be physically in the office, follow mostly a 9-to-5 access pattern and their traffic would pass through the corporate security controls. Organisations have had to leverage unsupervised Machine Learning and AI to pinpoint the abnormal behaviour, find unknown threats and cut through the noise.

Finally, the economic situation associated with the pandemic impacted security operations resources, with workforce limitations due to sickness, a hiring freeze, or even cutting down human resources. Organisations have had to accelerate effective threat detection and response in real-time using automation and orchestration and eliminating manual tasks to maximise efficiency. 

Which digital offering from Micro Focus has been the most popular during the pandemic?

We have observed interest in multiple security solutions that we provide. Still, the two that stand out are Zero Trust offerings such as identity governance, access control and multi-factor authentication, and data privacy offerings such as data discovery, classification and protection, whether on-premise or in the cloud.

How has Micro Focus helped businesses build overall resiliency to face any future crisis?

Cybersecurity was traditionally based on linear and predictable capabilities. COVID-19 caused a paradigm shift in organisations’ priorities and Digital Transformation efforts. This shift was necessary to ensure business viability and resilience and continuous customer experience. The modern chief information security officer (CISO) was compelled to support organisational resilience, address workforce changes, tackle enhanced insider threat concerns, protect an expanded risk surface due to the rush to the cloud and deal with an explosion of targeted phishing attacks.

Micro Focus help organisations build a robust security posture by protecting across identities, applications and data, accelerating threat detection, response and recovery from advanced threats, and intelligently adapting their security by leveraging automation, Machine Learning and AI.

How can Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies proactively safeguard enterprises from advanced threat detection and how is Micro Focus using these technologies?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the ability of a machine or computer to imitate the human mind’s capabilities. AI cybersecurity systems rely on the continuous feed of data to recognise patterns and backtrack attacks. By feeding algorithms large volumes of information, these systems learn how to detect anomalies, monitor behaviour, respond to threats, adapt to attacks and issue alerts.

We use AI and Machine Learning in every single security solution that we offer to customers. For example, we use AI and Machine Learning to provide adaptive access control, discover and classify data, report high-fidelity vulnerabilities in applications and detect insider threats. AI and Machine Learning is the name of the game to be able to address advanced threats.

Could you tell us a bit more about the solutions, Fortify on Demand and Fortify Static Code Analyzer, which meant Micro Focus was recognised as a Leader in The Forrester Wave: Static Application Security Testing, Q1 2021.

To address seamless customer experience requirements, organisations are developing more apps and increasing their existing applications’ release cycles. For the security teams to cope with these demands, they need to ensure that applications are securely written early in the development life cycle. Static code analysis is like a security spelling check for the application to ensure that the developers are warned about the potential loopholes and guided towards fixing them as early as possible.

Dynamic code analysis applies rigorous security tests against the application before it is released for customer use. Dynamic code analysis is helpful to simulate how an attacker interacts with the application.

At Micro Focus, we help organisations find potential security loopholes in their application covering the whole development life cycle. The Fortify application security suite provides static code analysis capabilities and dynamic code analysis capabilities.

In addition, Fortify provides runtime application security protection. Organisations who prefer Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) can use Fortify on Demand to get the application security they need in the cloud.

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