May 17, 2020

Honeywell unveils cybersecurity centre of excellence at Dubai headquarters

Cybersecurity
Centre of Excellence
honeywell
Dubai
Jonathan Dyble
2 min
Small to medium-sized enterprises stand to gain the most from Expo 2020 Dubai's new Online Marketplace
US engineering giant Honeywell has announced the launch of its first industrial cybersecurity centre of excellence, located at its Middle East headquart...

US engineering giant Honeywell has announced the launch of its first industrial cybersecurity centre of excellence, located at its Middle East headquarters in Dubai.

Honeywell will use the centre to expand its footprint in the Middle Eastern cybersecurity market, whilst also supporting regional government initiatives such as the Dubai Cyber Security Strategy that looks to strengthen cyber defences throughout digital transformation initiatives.

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“This centre of excellence is the first of its kind dedicated to developing world-class industrial cyber security expertise for our customers in the region,” said Jeff Zindel, Vice President and General Manager, Honeywell Industrial Cyber Security.

“It provides a safe, real-world environment to learn in, allowing us to innovate and augment industrial cyber security skills. The centre is also a critical part of Honeywell’s network of global Cyber Security COEs dedicated to improving industrial cyber security for critical infrastructure, information technology and operational technology (IT/OT) convergence and digital transformation.”

The centre includes distributed control systems, physical plant processes and the latest cybersecurity software and solutions, capable of creating simulation cyber-attacks.

As a result, the facilities and technology available at the centre will be used to test and reveal network vulnerabilities, in addition to training its customers and providing in depth customer consultations on cybercrime.

“As threats to industrial control environments become more sophisticated, it will be crucial to train the workforce of the industry for effective cyber security implementation,” said Safdar Akhtar, business development director of Industrial Cyber Security for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Honeywell Process Solutions.

“At the centre, we are able to demonstrate cyber security solutions and controls in attack scenarios to show which of them are most effective at combatting various attacks.”

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Jun 8, 2021

Fastly's CDN Reportedly to Blame for Global Internet Outage

Technology
Fastly
servers
websites
Tilly Kenyon & Oliver James Fr...
3 min
Multiple outages have hit social media, government, and news websites across the globe

A huge outage has brought down a number of major websites around the world. Among those affected are gov.uk, Hulu, PayPal, Vimeo, and news outlets such as CNN, The Guardian, The New York Times, BBC, and Financial Times.

It is thought a glitch at Fastly ─ a popular CDN provider ─ is causing the worldwide issue. Fastly has confirmed it’s facing an outage on its status website but fails to specify a reason for the fault ─ only that the problem isn’t limited to a single data centre and, instead, is a “global CDN disruption” that is potentially affecting the company’s global network.

“We’re currently investigating potential impact to performance with our CDN services,” the firm said.

What is Fastly?

Fastly is a content delivery network (CDN) company that helps users view digital content more quickly. The company also provides security, video delivery, and so-called edge computing services. They use strategically distributed, highly performant POPs to help move data and applications closer to users and deliver up-to-date content quickly.

The firm has been proving increasingly popular among leading media websites. After going public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2019, shares rose exponentially in price, but after today’s outages, Fastly’s value has taken a sharp 5.21% fall and are currently trading at US$48.06. 

What are CDNs?

Content delivery networks (CDNs) are a web of small computers, or servers, that link together to collaborate as a single computer. CDNs improve the performance of internet-connected devices by placing these servers as close as possible to the people using those devices in different locations, creating hundreds of points of presence, otherwise known as POPs.

They help minimise delays in loading web page content by reducing the physical distance between the server and the user. This helps users around the world view the same high-quality content without slow loading times. 

Without a CDN, content origin servers must respond to every single end-user request. This results in significant traffic to the origin and subsequent load, thereby increasing the chances for origin failure if the traffic spikes are exceedingly high or if the load is persistent.

The Risk of CDNs

Over time, developers have attempted to protect users from the dangers of overreliance through the implementation of load balancing, DDoS (Denial of Service) protection, web application firewalls, and a myriad of other security features. 

Clearly, by the state of today’s major website outage, these measures aren’t enough. Evidently, CDNs present a risk factor that is widely underestimated ─ which needs to be rectified with haste. Content delivery networks have become a key part of the global infrastructure, and so it’s imperative that organisations start to figure out risk mitigation strategies to protect companies reliant on the interconnected service from further disruption and disarray. 

Over the coming days, both Technology Magazine and Data Centre Magazine will continue to provide updates on the current situation as developments are made.

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