Bridging the digital divide: Interview with SonicWall


For a Special Feature on ‘Bridging The Gap Between Technology And Business,’ Rabab Zehra, Executive Editor of TECHx Media, sat down with Mohamed Abdallah, Regional Director, Middle East, Turkey, and Africa at SonicWall, to learn more about the role SonicWall plays in empowering businesses during the ongoing wave of digital transformation.

TECHx: For 2021 and beyond, hybrid is the buzzword, and the pandemic has only expedited the shift. What role does SonicWall play in this transition, particularly in terms of bridging the technology and business divides?

Mohamed Abdallah: Last year, SonicWall introduced the Boundless Cybersecurity model designed to help organizations navigate a hyper-distributed IT reality where everyone is remote, everyone is mobile and everyone is less secure. By helping know the unknown, providing real-time visibility and leveraging breakthrough economics, SonicWall enables businesses to close the cybersecurity business gap and guard against the growing ranks of opportunistic cyber-attackers. By gaining a fuller understanding of where we find ourselves in 2021, we can move as safely and resolutely as possible toward the future, whatever it has in store.

TECHx: What more can the cybersecurity sector do collectively to combat the scourge of ransomware, given the increase in cyberattacks during the pandemic?

Mohamed Abdallah: Conventional cybersecurity systems are often expensive and labour intensive. There are always new threats on the horizon, and there is a danger in more traditional cyber security systems of falling behind and reacting to each new development too slowly. SonicWall is identifying and creating definitions for around 140K new threats each business day. Threats that were once thought to be two or three years away are now a reality, with do-it-yourself, cloud-based tools creating an army of cybercriminals armed with the same devastating force and impact of a nation-state or larger criminal enterprise. It is therefore vital for businesses to build a layered defense that starts at the network and moves down the endpoint and then back up to the cloud.  SonicWall solutions are purpose-built for businesses that demand cyber security anywhere, anytime. This is even more crucial when considering the explosion of unsecured exposure points created by the new remote-working model.

TECHx: What do you think the major trends and advances in firewalls and cyber security solutions will be in the next years?

Mohamed Abdallah: Leveraging automation and machine learning, along with maintaining oversight and control over a highly distributed network of devices and systems, enables critical network and data protection – delivering users enterprise-grade security without the financial burden usually associated with traditional solutions. Machine learning, such as what’s found in SonicWall’s patent-pending Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection™ (RTDMI) is able to weed out false positives and block unknown, evasive threats that have not previously been identified, enabling always-on, real-time, continuously updated protection. It enables security systems to guard against emerging threats rather than being purely reactive. In this way, organisations can mitigate the harm that could be done by these new kinds of attacks before they’ve been properly identified and catalogued. 

TECHx: What role does the channel partner ecosystem play in your company? In the face of a shifting business landscape, how does SonicWall empower its partners?

Mohamed Abdallah: If security teams lack the right personnel internally, having a channel partner that understands how the threat landscape is shifting, and crucially what solutions can mitigate new variants, will go a long way to bolstering the security of the enterprise. Underline the importance of the role a skilled resource could play; some customers would find it difficult to deal with the current wave of attacks on their own.

Sharing threat intelligence to defend enterprises more adequately in the escalating cyberwar, is crucial to our channel development programs. We deliver web training, real-time cyber threat intelligence, accreditation and certification capabilities through the award-winning SonicWall University and will cover topics such as cloud security, advanced persistent threats (APT), secure remote access, secure access service edge (SASE) and the principles of zero-trust security at no cost to authorized partners participating in the SonicWall Secure First Partner Program. SonicWall University has overseen the completion of 390,000 hours of training administration of 778,000 successful exams. SonicWall’s continued commitment to not only provide security but also threat intelligence and training is a commitment we look to provide to all of our trusted partners. 

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