Microsoft last week held a summit at the Marina Hotel, Kuwait, for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and security managers, to introduce them to breakthroughs in intelligent cybersecurity for the digital era.
“We are proud to be introducing Kuwaiti cybersecurity professionals to the latest in identity and information protection solutions,” said Cyril Voisin, Executive Security Advisor, Enterprise Cybersecurity Group, Microsoft MEA. “In the mobile-first, cloud-first world, it is vital that users can be productive anywhere, on any device. But we must also ensure the highest level of security for identities, applications, and data.”
A study conducted of Kuwait-based Windows PCs in 2015 revealed that cyber-attacks peaked in the fourth quarter, when 30% of computers surveyed reported a malware encounter of some kind, compared with a worldwide average of about 21%. While most of these infections were blocked, slightly more than one in every 22 (4.54%) monitored machines faced infections that had to be cleaned, against a global average of 1.69%.
The data agrees with several other independent reports that suggest Kuwait, like many Gulf nations, has higher-than-average rates for both encounters and infections.
The summit’s agenda centred on the challenge of providing today’s end users with a secure modern workplace. An overview of the current threat landscape was followed by “User Behaviour Analytics: How to Secure Your Identity and Thousands of Applications”. Also covered was information protection, data-loss prevention (DLP) and encryption.
Microsoft conducted solutions’ demos for delegates, including those that protect “from mail to end points” through integrated advanced threat protection. The company additionally demonstrated an integrated approach for productivity, communication, mobility and security.
“Microsoft’s comprehensive cybersecurity solutions are built to address the latest global threat-landscape trends. Our holistic portfolio encompasses features across products that include user and entity behaviour-analytics (UEBA); advanced threat protection; cloud-application security; protection from zero day attacks; data classification and loss protection; managing and securing identity; and multi-factor authentication” added Cyril.
Security experts at the event outlined the company’s unique perspective on threat intelligence, as well as explaining to delegates the investments the company is pouring into a secure platform that meshes seamlessly with customers’ on-site policies and requirements. Microsoft also launched its recently updated compliance and governance solution – a console-based tool that allows an organisation to implement its security policies across all Microsoft products from a single access point.
At the event, Microsoft showed how its security solutions have helped organisations around the world protect against recent attacks. It showed how customers could protect against identity compromise by augmenting passwords with additional layers of authentication. Microsoft experts also explained how solutions could detect unusual authentications and early signs of breach attempts, and proactively notify admins and security managers of suspicious activity. Microsoft platforms are able to respond automatically to threats by amending access requirements and providing risk-based conditional access.
The company showed delegates how they could protect corporate data by applying rights management; identify unsanctioned apps; thwart phishing attacks; and contain, classify and encrypt data. Microsoft solutions offer the ability to detect unauthorised access to applications, through notifications of any attempts of unauthorised data access, as well as anomalies and other threats. Microsoft customers can also use policies to block untrusted apps, revoke access permissions, and remotely wipe device data.
Device protection is covered by Microsoft solutions, which allow security professionals to manage company and personal devices, so that data is appropriately encrypted and the organisation can ensure its compliance obligations are being met. It includes automatic detection of unusual activity and identification of compromised endpoints. Network administrators can instantly respond by blocking, quarantining, or wiping suspect devices.
Servers and workloads can be protected through deep, granular visibility of systems, allowing the monitoring and enforcement of policies on cloud data resources. Microsoft solutions allow the establishment, at policy level, of baseline behaviours. Subsequent monitoring automatically detects deviations from baselines, allowing early warnings and proactive notifications to be sent to the appropriate parties.