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Defeating ransomware - Ideal's first cyber security briefing proves to be a hit

30 November 2016

Last week we hosted the first of our series of cyber security briefings, in association with one of our key security partners, Palo Alto Networks (PAN), and distributor Exclusive Networks. We knew cyber security is a hot topic at the moment - particularly in relation to ransomware - but even so we had an absolutely amazing response: it was literally standing room only at our City View office, as 60 people came to hear about the the shortcomings of anti-virus in the new era of ransomware and zero-day exploits, and how endpoint protection forms part of the PAN next-generation security platform, along with firewalls and cloud.

CISSP-certified senior cyber security consultant Adrian Clarke kicked the event off by outlining the current threat landscape: a diversity of threat sources, multiple attack vectors, the business cost, and the organisational and government response.


From there, Palo Alto Networks' Simon Williams took over, showing Locky ransomware in action, and outlining the shortcomings of conventional anti-virus. For many delegates, the stand-out statistic was one which perfectly illustrates the unsuitability of AV to deal with today's threat landscape: of the 5.3 million malware files analysed by PAN's threat prevention service each month, only 37% are detected by the top six anti-virus vendors.


Introducing Traps

Clearly, a new era of threats demands a next-generation response, and the rest of the event was given over to the discussion and demonstration of Traps, next-generation endpoint protection from Palo Alto Networks. Ideal was the first Palo Alto Networks partner in the UK to achieve Traps Specialisation status, so we are particularly well placed to share insight into how it can sit within an overall security strategy. Ideal's sales director, Mo Merrick hosted a roundtable with two businesses who have already deployed Traps: Martin Perkins from award-winning savings and investment company OneFamily, and Carl van Eijk from London's exclusive Les Ambassadeurs casino. In a lively session with many questions from attendees, a key area of discussion was building the business case for a new approach to cyber threats, and how Traps offers a better return than AV.


Meanwhile, technically focussed delegates had the opportunity for an 'Ultimate Test Drive' (UTD), discovering first-hand how Traps anticipates and responds to known and unknown threats. Traps employs 'multi-method' protection and cloud-based malware analysis to ensure it remains effective where conventional anti-virus is not - even against zero-day exploits and unpatched vulnerabilities.


For Adrian, the fact that "so many customers attended and said it was an extremely beneficial use of their time" confirmed that cyber security, and ransomware in paricular, is a board level topic across all of the sectors we deal with, and that customers are looking for partners like Ideal who can help them navigate through the often confusing claims made by vendors. He added, "Our first Proof of Concept arising from the event was booked within just 24 hours. The event has opened up numerous new cyber security conversations, and all of us at Ideal look forward to progressing these over the coming weeks."

If you want more details about Ideal's security proposition, including Traps, or are interested in having a conversation around the issues we covered at the event, please get in touch with me on 01273 957500, or contact us online.


All images © David McHugh/Brighton Photography