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Infoblox, a market leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management showcased its 'industry first' Actionable Network Intelligence Platform at GITEX Technology Week. Actionable Network Intelligence is a unified platform that empowers enterprises to elevate every aspect of network availability, agility, security, and performance.

Telecom Review managed to secure an exclusive interview with the charismatic Cherif Sleiman, Vice President, EMEA, Infoblox during GITEX, in an effort to explore the enhanced security benefits provided by its new platform - and discuss in more detail what enterprises need to do in order to protect themselves from cybersecurity attacks which are exponentially increasing year-on-year.

Sleiman delivered a fascinating insight into how the 'Actionable Network Intelligence Platform' works, and said there were a number of dimensions enterprises needed to consider when examining its own security framework.

Sleiman said, "I think we need to look at this from two dimensions, the number of objects joining the networks is exponentially increasing. We keep talking about the Internet of Things, and Cisco actually refers to it as the 'Internet of Everything', which in my opinion is the correct term for it. So with that, organizations are basically losing control over what's on their network and how they cope with it, and then on the other side there is security. When you really don't know what's going on in the network then you can't really secure it. However, Actionable Network Intelligence is fundamentally the ecosystem that is driven by our global technology adoption program, where we're leveraging the position that we sit on the network. We aim to take all the analytics that we know and then bring all the major security and network players together to really fundamentally combat visibility, governance and security."

Sleiman stressed that in order to really know what's going on in DNS, and be in the best position to protect DNS, then you have to be a DNS server. According to the VP EMEA at Infoblox, this is what differentiates the organization from the rest of their competitors - and ensures that they remain the industry's leading light in relation to security solutions.

Sleiman added, "Infoblox is the DHCP and the DNS. We all know everything starts and ends with DNS. Before you can browse you need DNS, before you can access applications you need DNS, on a social level you can't access WhatsApp or Facebook without DNS. So when your machine is infected with malware, Infoblox knows about it. When malware that's a legitimate piece of software is downloaded maliciously onto your computer without you knowing, we can prevent that. We can prevent any machine from being compromised by any type of malware that siphons data off, because we DPI on DNS. Nobody knows what's going on in DNS, except Infoblox. In my opinion you have to be a DNS server to protect DNS, you have to terminate the queries and dissect them at wire speed in order to identify if something is bad."

The focus on cybersecurity attacks has been intensified following high-profile security breaches in the US with Equifax last month, and the WannaCry ransomware attack in March, which disabled the NHS in the UK. However, when pressed on what enterprises really needed to do in order to close the 'security gap' in light of the exponential rise in cyberattacks, Sleiman identified three clear points organizations have to implement in their security strategy.

Sleiman said, "I don't blame organizations for falling behind. If you take a look at the industry, we've never lived in a time like this before. It's an exhilarating time where innovation is happening at an accelerated pace. The relevance of what we do, regardless of the job or the industry is threatened every single day. So from that perspective there are three things that I feel organizations need to do. The very first thing is they need to rid themselves of the mindset of, 'oh you know what the enemy is outside so I'm going to put up big firewalls'. This mantra is all wrong, and worryingly, around 50% of organizations out there still behave in that way, even though they pay it lip service and say they know. However, it's clear in the way some organizations increment and the way they allocate their budget that this attitude still exists."

The second point in relation to what enterprises needed to implement in an effort to enhance their security framework, is that organizations needed to start challenging vendors more, Sleiman claimed. He added, "Purchasing the best of breed no longer works, buying the best firewall and the best point end system and the best DNS, doesn't really work. Why? Because these things don't talk to each other, and organizations really need to start challenging partners and vendors to say I'm buying this product from you, but how does it really work with all my other things? If vendors can't demonstrate that then they need to walk away."

Finally, Sleiman said unification is critical in order to secure your network and the implementation of a cross functional security policy is absolutely necessary. Sleiman declared, "The third thing is, specifically, we've moved to an environment where the threat intelligence makes or breaks your security architecture and your security policy. The problem is all these organizations are offering security solutions, but they all have different definitions of what a threat is. So how do you action that threat? How do you classify it? Unifying that threat intelligence and having a solid consistent strategy on how you take that information and feed it to the cross functional security policy is really important. These are three things that organizations have to adopt very quickly."

Infoblox has also recently announced that it has made enhancements to its partner program Building-BLOX. Sleiman highlighted the benefits of the program and outlined the three fundamental points that have made it such an overwhelming success.

Sleiman said, "There's three fundamental points. The first one is that Infoblox isn't about quantity. We're not Cisco, we're not interested to sign uploads. We're moving down to a focused set of partners where we will have a mutual understanding and mutual investment. The second thing is we put a lot more incentives, rebates and MDF to enhance our partner's profitability when they hunt. When partners decide to be indoctrinated with what we're saying and doing and can actually represent our solutions from a sales and technical perspective, they can actually hunt and get rewarded big time. There's no other partner program that will fundamentally reward partners with the profitability that Infoblox does. The third thing is we have reinvented. Infoblox has always been a pioneer by creating tools for partners. Today, we've introduced a 2.0 of our portals and solutions and we've even created a big library of partner on demand training, so we don't have to force the partner into a classroom, we give them the libraries at home."

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