Security vendors team up to raise awareness

Major vendors are putting on a united front at this year’s Gitex to hammer home the message that investing in IT security has become imperative.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  September 29, 2005

Major vendors are putting on a united front at this year’s Gitex to hammer home the message that investing in IT security has become an imperative for forward-thinking Middle East organisations. While significant progress has already been made in terms of Middle East customers’ propensity to invest in IT security, the message emanating from major vendors is clear: more still needs to be done in the region. Security solutions are now much more than a pure software play, as major hardware vendors also start to develop products and solution with security in mind from day one. “Security is now embedded in the IT infrastructure; it is not something that you add on,” says Samer Al Kharrat, general manager at Cisco Gulf. “The security market in the Middle East is one of the fastest growing sectors for Cisco. Our commitment to network security is clear and we have announced a new threat mitigation and network outbreak control system, which includes intelligence from Trend Micro,” he adds. Justin Doo, managing director at Trend Micro Middle East & Africa, adds: “All large enterprises are now investing in IT security. However, for Trend Micro a real area of emphasis is now the SMB space where much of the IT infrastructure is not yet completely protected. There needs to be a better message to those companies.” Protecting data assets is also now high on the agenda of major software vendors, who are explaining the importance of IT security to show attendees. Computer Associates is making sure that visitors to its stand recognise that protecting data is a key part of a comprehensive security solution. Bjarne Rasmussen, VP technology services at CA, explains: “The focus is around protection. We want everyone to be protected and the issue is getting people to realise what they need to protect. It has gone beyond anti-virus and the real asset that companies have to protect is their data. If you don’t know what data you have and where it is, how can you protect it?” The need to provide security solutions that span the entire IT infrastructure of a company is providing new opportunities for vendors and partners to build closer relationships with customers. For software powerhouse Symantec, which now offers a vast security and storage solution portfolio thanks to its successful purchase of Veritas, the ability to provide a one-stop-shop solution that meets the security needs of customers of all sizes has now become a reality. Microsoft is also making sure that its clients and potential customers understand that IT security remains a driving force in the development of new products. “Today security drives everything we do. All of our products are engineered for security, privacy, reliability, and business integrity. We have introduced security features into all of our core products,” says the software vendor’s Yasser Zeineldin.

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