Email security gets due attention

Mimecast guards against attacks using email as a threat vector, reducing the risk associated with emails such as spear-phishing and social engineering

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Email security gets due attention Werno Gevers, business development manager, Middle East, Mimecast
By  David Ndichu Published  July 24, 2017

The cybersecurity reality has changed. How can organisations adapt?

Today’s security response needs to combine classic defence-in-depth approaches but modernised for the cloud era of a fragmented perimeter. For example, evolving spear-phishing and social engineering techniques can pierce right into the heart of organisations.

Network hardening and regular patches are still important but layers of advanced security controls need to be combined with intensive employee training. A cyber resilience strategy focuses not just on combating attacks but on ensuring continuity during an attack and fast recovery after a threat is neutralised.

Discuss solutions, products and tools that Mimecast offers to mitigate against the threats you highlight above.

Mimecast provides security, business continuity and data archiving tools that allow organisations to adopt a posture of cyber resilience.

This includes Mimecast Targeted Threat Protection that can automatically convert email attachments into a safe file format, neutralising malicious code and is ideal for stopping zero-day attacks. Impersonation Protect is designed specifically to identify attackers pretending to be trusted senders to conduct CEO fraud. Mimecast can block or clearly mark emails as suspicious so employees apply additional caution.

Is the understanding of email as a major threat vector growing in the region?

We’ve had a significant response from all types of business across the region. Due to the pervasive nature of email, all verticals are reviewing their gateway level cybersecurity posture. This was evident in the level of interest and conversations at GISEC in May and we expect similar buzz at GITEX in October.

What would you say is Mimecast’s key value proposition?

Mimecast makes email safer for business by combining advanced security, continuity and archiving services together from one single cloud service. We reduce the risk, complexity and cost traditionally associated with protecting email on premises.
Mimecast also helps mitigate single vendor exposure, if an organisation has for instance moved their primary email server to the cloud with services like Microsoft Office 365.

With IT now deeply integrated into the business, what is the role of the CIO in cyber security?

Many businesses and their reputation with customers is defined by their technology. The CIO needs to find a delicate balance between empowering employees to get their work done and protecting the organisation’s valuable assets. Understanding regulation and compliance, security control procedures and cybersecurity training are paramount.

Security spending is set to increase in coming years. Do you see this having an impact on actual IT security?

Spending will grow as the risk and value of failure also rises. But for too long organisations focused spending on traditional network security while forgetting the human factor, leaving cybercriminals to run riot in email and social engineering. Increased spending on security needs to be part of wider move to cyber resilience that still supports the data agility required in business today.

The threat landscape will only get more complex. Discuss

Crime-as-a-service ecosystems combined with big data and AI technology will make it easier for cybercriminals to conduct targeted attacks at scale. As attack volumes grow, organisations will need to scale up their defences and IT security is set to become a major boardroom priority.

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