Fortesys Distribution Sdn Bhd yesterday held an online seminar (Webinar) recently, featuring presentations from Kuan Yong Chee, Senior Sales Engineer of CommScope Ruckus Networks, and Wong Joon Hong, Sophos Country Manager.
Prior to the event, Kevin Kuak who is Fortesys’ Regional Sales Director Kevin Kuak (pic) explained that the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in greater demand for digital networking solutions throughout Malaysia and the the Southeast Asian region.
“The pandemic has accelerated the need for networking solutions as businesses progressively adopt remote working cultures,” said Kuak.
“As a result, it has accelerated digital transformation with businesses striving to provide more conducive connectivity both within organisations as well as with external stakeholders,” he added.
Fortesys is today known for providing a wide range of advanced networking solutions, and leveraging global brands such as Ruckus and Sophos for wired and wireless networking equipment and cybersecurity solutions, amongst various other brands.
Fortesys is also known for enabling enterprises and telcos to streamline their IT operations with their homegrown solutions, while transforming infrastructure to be ‘intelligent’ by leveraging on artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Providing an overview of Ruckus Network’s holistic networking solutions covering both the wired and wireless spaces, Kuan noted that Ruckus had the ‘best-in-class Wi-Fi solutions in the market’, along with a plethora of switches, control and management solutions, and software as well as software-as-a-service (SaaS) products.
Ruckus’ wireless access point (AP) solutions include specialty APs, such as the C, H, and M series; the indoor R series; and the outdoor T, P, and E series. Kuan highlighted that each of the series had its own unique features – for instance, the M (mobility) series provided wireless connectivity via mobile broadband as well as a GPS module, which a Malaysian university had implemented on its campus bus services, both to provide students and faculty with Wi-Fi services in the buses as well as to track the buses to see if they were running on schedule.
According to Kuan, all of Ruckus’ products can be controlled and managed via physical appliances, virtual appliances, or the cloud, and organisations may seamlessly transfer from one to the other as their circumstances change.
“Unlike some of our competitors, where some device models can only be cloud-managed, while others can only be controlled physically, our hardware can be managed any way you choose,” he added.
Kuan also introduced Ruckus’ 802.11ax or Wi-Fi 6 products.
“The R750 is the first-ever Wi-Fi 6 AP certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance, and apparently, the Alliance is using it in the Wi-Fi 8 certification bench tests.”
Meanwhile, Sophos’ Wong, whose presentation was entitled ‘COVID-19’s legacy: This is how to get the Great Reset right’, believes that despite the economic turmoil resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent government lockdown actions globally, this is a great opportunity to do a digital transformation. For instance, he continued, although China started late in terms of laying down telecommunications cables as compared to India, they managed to install fibre-optic cables instead of copper wires; in the same way, post-COVID-19, organisations have the opportunity to put in new infrastructure and processes, given the entirely new ways in which employees gain access to corporate information.
Wong pointed out that cybersecurity remains a significant concern, and has taken on more prominence given the number of people now working from home.
“Ransomware, which is nothing new, is still alive and had evolved, making use of a new wave of techniques to penetrate networks. Ransomware no longer just encrypts data for ransom; they now steal the data.
Another pressing matter is data leakage – the classic example is that of Justo, which was 1MDB related, who stole tonnes of data from his former employer PetroSaudi and sold it to The Age. This is a pressing issue, yet IT security has swept it under the carpet, because it’s not easy to deal with.”
IT Security in Malaysia remains in a less-than-ready state, Wong believes. “In a Sophos IT security survey we conducted about a year ago (July 2019), 32% of organisations have had IT breaches in the previous 12 months, 51% have no cybersecurity team in place and 72% were unable to hire cybersecurity professionals; 60% have an insufficient cybersecurity budget, and 83% found it challenging to keep up-to-date on cybersecurity.”
According to Wong, even organisations with a defence-in-depth model would find their defences incomplete without security automation.
“Security automation means that in the event that a security event happens while people are working from home via VPN, their access should be automatically terminated or quarantined before they gain further access to corporate data while their systems have been hacked.”
Sophos’ solutions is called Synchonised Security featuring the Security Heartbeat – a system that allows the corporate firewall to immediately isolate a virus-infected PC, whether in the office or logged in from home, for instance. “We wanted to automate the entire process with centralised management,” Wong explained.
Wong ended his presentation with a live presentation of the features of the XG Firewall. Sophos’s XG Firewall is able to expose hidden risks with rich in-box reporting; stop unknown threats with a full suite of protection and AI routines; and isolate infected systems using the proprietary Security Heartbeat technology.