Omani Organizations Must Deploy Security Solutions to Protect Against Highest-Ever Threat Landscape

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Cisco Unveils Industry’s First Threat-Focused Next-Generation Firewall for Customers in Oman

MUSCAT, Oman – 9 February 2015 – As global security threats have reached their highest-ever level since 2000, Oman’s organizations must deploy advanced security solutions starting from the boardroom, Cisco announced today.

Increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks, especially in malware, are targeting the world’s most at-risk vertical of pharmaceutical and chemicals, and agriculture/mining, while online criminals are contributing to rising global spam levels, according to the Cisco Annual Security Report 2015.

Thanks to strong mobile take-up, and increasing IT investment in oil and gas, banking, utilities, and aviation, Oman’s IT market is set to grow by 28 percent from OMR 164 million in 2013 to OMR 210 million in 2018, according to Business Monitor International.

Oman ranked 52nd of 166 countries, and No. 6 in the Middle East and Africa, in the ICT Development Index in the ITU report “Measuring the Information Society 2014”.

In the Cisco 2015 Annual Security Report, 75 percent of Chief Information Security Officers see security tools as “very or extremely effective,” but less than 50 percent use tools such as patching or configuration to prevent breathes. Furthermore, with organizations struggling to hire staff with up-to-date security skills, there is currently a global shortage of 1 million security professionals.

“Oman rocketing up the ranks of global surveys shows how cloud and mobility are helping Oman’s businesses innovate their processes,” commented Iyad Alchammat, General Manager, Cisco Oman.

“But with these technologies expanding the threat landscape, every organization in Oman must assume it has been targeted or attacked, and deploy the right resources and staff to secure their network from increasingly sophisticated cyber-threats. As a result, company executives need to understand, create awareness, and manage cyber risks and weaknesses in the security chain. Starting from the most senior level, businesses must make cyber security a business process, and deploy cyber security solutions that cover the entire attack continuum – before, during, and after a cyber-attack,” added Iyad Alchammat.

First Threat-Focused Next-Generation Firewall

For customers in Oman, Cisco today is changing the way organizations protect against sophisticated threats with the introduction of the industry’s first threat-focused Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW). Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services provides the full contextual awareness and dynamic controls needed to automatically assess threats, correlate intelligence, and optimize defenses to protect all networks.

Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services is a new, adaptive, threat-focused NGFW that delivers superior, multi-layered protection from the data center to the network to the endpoint, extending its capabilities far beyond legacy NGFW solutions. Until now, NGFWs have focused on policy and application control, which helped to address known threats. However, until now, they have been unable to address unknown or zero-day attacks. Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services changes this, taking a visibility-driven, threat-focused and platform-based approach:

  • Visibility-Driven. Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services delivers full contextual awareness into users, mobile devices, client side apps, virtual machine‐to-machine communications, vulnerabilities, threats, URLs, and other important telemetry. Its enterprise-class management provides users with dashboards and drill-down reports of discovered hosts, applications, threats, and indicators of compromise for comprehensive visibility.
  • Threat-Focused. Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services incorporates the leading NGIPS for comprehensive protection from known and advanced threats, as well as advanced malware protection against zero-day and persistent attacks.  Big Data analytics, continuous analysis and Cisco Collective Security Intelligence (CSI) work together to provide detection, blocking, tracking, analysis, and remediation capabilities to protect against the full spectrum of attacks. 
  • Platform‐Based – As the industry’s first, threat-focused NGFW, Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services combines proven firewall functionality and application control, leading intrusion prevention capability, and advanced breach detection and remediation in a single device. The integration provides organizations with better protection, while also reducing operating costs and complexity. This new solution simplifies an organization’s security architecture and reduces its network footprint with fewer security devices to manage and deploy and license subscriptions to extend functionality.

“In today’s climate of industrialized hacking and sophisticated cybercrime gangs, we’ve entered an era in which legacy NGFW solutions are not enough to deter attackers. Now more than ever, organizations in Oman need to be able to implement dynamic controls to manage the pace of change of their environments and address security incidents. Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services is a major step forward for the NGFW market, empowering customers to deepen their protection from the data center, to the network, to the endpoint with the agility to identify, understand, and stop advanced threats in real-time and retrospectively,” concluded Iyad Alchammat.

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