Training for cloud computing security in Germany

Training for cloud computing

 

Data leaks and malware are the top security threats for 2011 according Norbert Kiss, Singapore-based vice president of the internet security firm Astaro.

In an interview with ZDNet Asia, he explained that IT managers must adopt enterprise-wide solutions to protect infrastructure and data.

The National University of Singapore is expected to send interns to train with four top security experts from Germany.

Mr Kiss, previously an executive in Australia, Hong Kong and Korea with Lexmark, Oracle, Geac and WatchGuard said, "Enterprises today should be looking at security from a very high level.

"Don't just address your spam problem, because it's a very small part of the total security issue. A lot of companies using point solutions are now looking at expanding these services".

He said data protection against viruses was now very strong, but malware threats were increasing "exponentially".

Having launched in East Asia, and in Singapore slightly over a year ago, Mr Kiss said the company's innovative offerings such as RED (remote Ethernet device) and commitment to open source collaboration with users have allowed the UTM (unified threat management) player to capture around 2,000 clients in the region.

While the vendor continues to offer a variety of hardware solutions, it is the cloud offerings, especially the private cloud, which are attracting most interest from enterprises.

"The trend is shifting now. Up to one or two years ago, enterprises were still investing in their own [IT] infrastructure. But now, they're seeing the benefits of cloud computing through applications such as salesforce.com. The uptake [of these applications] is significant," he said.

He added that in the near future, products such as a private cloud for a particular industry can no only be easily integrated into a business' operations, but also comply with local legislation and be of keen interest to many industry players.

For now, IT managers are still on the learning curve to know more about cloud benefits, such as where the data is being held.

Like its competitors, Astaro's cloud solutions are charged on a per-user basis, which makes it more affordable for small and midsize businesses (SMBs).

Kiss said: "Cloud offers substantially more value for the customer, and that's a big thing for the midrange market, which is that the way security is charged will change dramatically."

But, in order to provide more support for its customers, Astaro will first need to fix a weak link in its operation. The executive admitted that with its only full-scale support office in Germany, the vendor has not been able to respond quickly to clients' security concerns due to time differences. Some of its local partners have also experienced difficulty providing solutions on the spot, said Kiss.

The executive said these two issues are most critical to the business now. "We probably underestimated the support requirements and now we're catching up a little bit. Threats are moving so fast, we need to train our partners quickly enough. We're also setting up a competency support center here and it should be ready by Q1 next year," he revealed.

The executive also said that Astaro is in talks with the National University of Singapore and tertiary institutions in the region, which will send their students to train as interns with four security experts from Germany. These experts are "guys who coded the product from the beginning", according to Kiss.

The company also actively participates in educational forums and hacking conferences to create greater threat awareness.

Alongside training initiatives, the security vendor is discussing with the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Singapore on providing solutions to primary and secondary school students.

"Singapore has good IT security policies in schools, but elsewhere in the region, the level of protection that school children get is very poor. By providing each student with a computer and Internet access with no security, this not only opens the network to threats, but also to inappropriate content," he explained.

He said private schools in Singapore have also shown great interest in the programme.

 

Computer Security © Ralf Roletschek - Wikimedia Commons

 

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