Power to secure

help AG has continued to build its IT security specialisations. The company has established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the IT security sector in the region.

Tags: FirewallMalwarehelp AG (www.helpag.com/)
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Power to secure Berner says the MSS market is still immature.
By  Manda Banda Published  May 24, 2012

help AG has continued to build its IT security specialisations. The company has established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the IT security sector in the region.

With extensive experience in the GCC, help AG has dedicated itself to serving enterprise businesses and is considered one of the preferred partners for many major enterprises and government entities in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.
Since its establishment in 2004, help AG has been providing leading enterprises across the region with strategic consultancy combined with tailored information security solutions and services. The consultancy and security services that help AG has been offering to the market address diverse requirements in organisations. This has enabled the security specialist systems integrator to evolve its business with a competitive edge.

The company has in-depth technical expertise with the highest technical skills. About 80% of help AG’s workforce is split between technical engineers and consultants.
Stephan Berner, managing director at help AG, said the company is seeing an increase in the number of security threats coming from the market, explicitly coming from the field of modern malicious malware like Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) and DDOS attacks. Berner said these kind of attacks can only be mitigated by having the next-generation threat protection in place where traditional defences are not able to help.

According to Berner, the next-generation threat protection solutions must bridge the gap left by traditional systems like firewalls, IPS, AV, e-mail and web gateways by applying advanced techniques to identify, confirm and block these advanced threats.
He said that while in the past the intention of security attacks used to be disruption, it is now moving heavily from cybercrime to targeted attacks against enterprise or government organisations to cause financial damage or loss of reputation. “The days when script kiddies were launching viruses because they had nothing better to do in their spare time are over and now it is not an individual but rather an organisation behind offering this kind of ‘products’ to cause damage with a specific intent of financial gain,” he said. “You can now rent up to 10,000 botnets for $150 and this is how cheap, easy and organised cyber crime is these days.”

Apart from that, Berner said, since the whole market went through the global financial meltdown, the importance of safeguarding confidential financial information within the enterprise is now more important than ever.

To this end, Berner pointed out that Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions have been identified as one of the key areas worth spending money on.

While security threats have become much more complex, most organisations are turning to savvy specialist security SIs or managed services providers to help them protect their IT infrastructure. While organisations are prepared and looking to engage SIs such as help AG on the managed services front, the market itself is still in its infacy.

Berner explained that managed security services in the Middle East can still be considered immature. “First of all the definition of managed security services seems to have many different meanings amongst both the customers and the providers. I have seen a lot of marketing on this, but only a few successfully implemented projects,” he said. “What happens is the enterprise client buys in on the concept of monitoring services but is not willing to outsource the entire IT security infrastructure.”

As a result, Berner said part of help AG’s focus and business strategy in 2012 and 2013 is to raise awareness around managed security services. “We already act as a managed security service partner for Symantec since 2010, which has proven to be a successful business model, as long as we are selective and focused on identifying the right enterprise customers,” he said. “We plan to extend our managed security services portfolio by the end of this year, which would include advanced services such as managed web app firewall.”

He said help AG core competencies are within technical services, strategic consultancy services and, support services in IT and information security requirements delivered locally. “We deliver turn-key security solutions and infrastructure projects in all phases from conceptualisation to planning, implementation and operation,” he said.

With vendor partners that include Symantec, Juniper, F5, Blue Coat, Palo Alto, Infoblox, Arbor Networks, Riverbed, Fire Eye, Nitro Security, Sourcefire, nCircle, Cisco IronPort, Balabit, Qualys, RSA and Mi-Token, help AG represents the best-of-breed global IT security companies in the Middle East IT industry.

The company has offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha, and help AG is looking forward to cementing its standing in the IT security landscape in the region. Berner explained that the company will continue to invest heavily in local support resources.

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