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Airline Leaders in Pakistan Convene for Airbus’ Airline Lab Seminar

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Airlines from across Pakistan met in Islamabad this month at the  Airline Lab Seminar in Islamabad organized by Airbus. The three-day event which takes place from the 28th to 30th October will host executives and experts from airlines in Pakistan in order to exchange ideas and receive updates on important developments and issues facing the airline industry today.

As per the Airbus Global Market forecast, passenger traffic in Pakistan is predicted to almost double over the next 20 years with a growth rate for passenger traffic of +4.9% per year. Airbus forecasts a demand of 250 passenger aircraft to serve Pakistan’s market by 2037.

The Airline Lab Seminar highlights the importance of civil aviation for economic growth, delegates will benefit from research into the latest industry trends and gain a broad overview of global developments and best-practices.

Presenting its view of the Pakistan aviation industry, the Airline Lab Seminar by Airbus comprises eight key topics, including cabin trends, brand awareness, and fleet & network planning as well as trends and innovation, customer finance, and best practices in aircraft evaluation.

During the seminar delegates will also engage in an airline management simulation game, called Flight Plan, the session highlights practical and dynamic airline management challenges to enhance capabilities.

Airbus’ portfolio of commercial aircraft, including the A220, A320neo and A330neo, are the ideal choice to efficiently serve the region’s growing aviation market, offering unbeatable operating economics and best in class passenger comfort.

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Mega Mall will host the 9th edition of the Sharjah Stamp Exhibition

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Mega Mall Sharjah has announced the launch of the 9th edition of the Sharjah Stamp Exhibition, which is being organized by the Emirates Philatelic Association during November 13-17, in cooperation with Mega Mall Sharjah. The exhibition will include the participation of a wide range of collectors, hobbyists and vendors of stamps, coins and paper currencies.

The exhibition will feature the participation of stamp and coin dealers and exhibitors from 19 countries, which include 46 different themes distributed on 120 platforms. It will also feature an auction for several rare postage stamps, which are expected to attract serious hobbyists in the region, as well as many other events aimed at the general public.

Abdullah Khoury, President of the Emirates Philatelic Association, stated that the new edition of the exhibition will offer a unique variety of postage stamps, documents, and rare currencies that chronicle a number of civilizations and countries. He remarked that he expects the current edition of the exhibition to achieve success due to large interest from the public, intellectuals, and students.

Mohammed Sorour, Marketing Manager of Mega Mall: “The Sharjah Stamp Exhibition, which has been hosted by Mega Mall for 9 years, is considered one of the most prominent events that promote tourism and commercial activity in Sharjah. The exhibition is also an important event that promotes the heritage of both the UAE and the country, and it attracts a large audience of fans, traders and collectors of stamps and ancient coins from around the world.”

The exhibition will be attended by a group of international arbitrators and coordinators who are visiting Sharjah to showcase a wide variety of unique stamps, which chronicle various events at different periods of time, and review the chronology of major events in the history of the UAE and the world over the past few decades.

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Grand Millennium Dubai offers complimentary access to Zero Gravity

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  • Experience the city’s most popular beach club

Guests of Grand Millennium Dubai, the 5-star property of Millennium Hotels & Resorts located in Barsha Heights, will now have access to Zero Gravity, one of the city’s most popular beach clubs.

The hotel is providing its guests with complimentary access to the beach and pool at Zero Gravity and its other facilities. Daily shuttle bus service will bring the guests to and from the beach club in the morning and afternoon.

A spectacular place to unwind and relax especially in this perfect weather, Zero Gravity offers guests myriad of activities. Experience its 39-m glass fronted infinity swimming pool which comes complete with incredible day beds and loungers. The private beach is where you can bask in the sun, lie back and look at the mesmerizing blue skies.

Guests of Grand Millennium Dubai will be provided with complimentary towels, loungers and sun beds and the use of its changing facilities. Large umbrellas are also available to provide shelter during the hottest hours of the day.

The restaurant at Zero Gravity offers a casual and contemporary setting, with a menu that welcomes young and adult diners. In the late afternoon, it is the ideal place to watch the sunset while nibbling on your favourite snack and sipping a refreshing beverage.

This exclusive beach, bar and restaurant is ideally located between the bustling areas of Al Sufouh and Jumeirah Beach Residence, within close proximity to Dubai Media City and Dubai Marina.

The shuttle service to the club is available for guests from Sunday to Thursday and leaves Grand Millennium Dubai at 10:30 am, 11:30 am and 2:15 pm while pick-up times from the club are from 11:45 am, 2:30 pm and 7:00 pm.

For more information about this service, please call +971 4 429 9999, or message the hotel via WhatsApp at +971 50 561 2122.

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Dubai Maritime City to strengthen its international exposure at the Seatrade Maritime Middle East 2018

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  • As part of its goal to make Dubai a global maritime hub, DMC takes part in Seatrade ME 2018 offering progressive solutions for the advancement of the industry and promoting the city as being the “TRUE MARITIME CLUSTER”

Dubai Maritime City (DMC), the world’s first purpose-built maritime centre and a member of the Dubai World Group of companies, has successfully participated in the 9th edition of the Seatrade Maritime Middle East Conference and Expo taking place from the 29th to 31st of October at the Dubai World trade Centre.

Dubai Maritime City’s participation will play a significant role in promoting UAE as a first-class maritime destination and will provide a platform for DMC to showcase the recent and most ambitious initiatives that have played a vital part in establishing Dubai as one of the world’s most competitive maritime hubs. Dubai Maritime City offers a distinctive opportunity for international maritime key players to exhibit at their pavilion that includes MaK ME, Reintjes Middle East, Al Suhail and Drydocks World. DMC aims at also emphasizing the importance of private sector bolstering business and to encourage new initiatives by harnessing the power of innovation and technology.

Reinforcing Dubai’s position as a global maritime hub

DMC’s participation in the event reaffirms its strategic objective for Dubai to become the global innovative hub for maritime industries. It also aims to establish the city as a preferred destination by international companies looking for an environment reflecting growth and sustainability.

Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation clarified, “Dubai has taken its first steps towards international leadership after being ranked fifth among the world’s most competitive and attractive maritime centers. DMC continues its efforts towards modernizing the sector into an inclusive, competitive and attractive area for investments, in line with the UAE’s Vision for building a more sustainable economy based on knowledge and innovation.”

Bin Sulayem further added, “Dubai’s global competitiveness can be further enhanced by the consolidation of public and private sectors. Building productive partnerships, promoting innovative ventures and expanding the scope of joint investments will contribute to the overall growth and progression of the maritime industry.”


Commenting on the Dubai Maritime City’s participation, Ahmed AlHammadi, COO of Dubai Maritime City, stated, “Our presence at this effective platform strengthening our aim to advance all aspects of the maritime industry in the region while upholding the values of quality and excellence. We are proud to participate in Seatrade Maritime ME, and extend our continuous support to all its programmes working to promote a culture of innovation and advancement in the region’s maritime community.”

AlHammadi added, “The UAE shipping sector is valued at Dh200 billion and makes up 5 per cent of the domestic economy. Dubai Maritime City will utilize this gathering of world leaders and experts to promote and provide strong components of competitiveness in order to enhance the attractiveness of the maritime community; encouraging the confidence from regional and international investors.”

AlHammadi continued, “Seatrade Maritime conference comes at a time with the maritime sector at the threshold of major advancements. We at DMC continue to reaffirm our commitment to explore and introduce latest maritime innovations and initiatives, and engage at this convention to build value connections across all investment horizons that act as key elements in building a safe, integrated and sustainable maritime environment; geared towards growth of the national economy.”

Promoting maritime innovation

Rado Antolovic, CEO & MD Maritime Services Division, DP World added, “Dubai is already an established maritime hub. In order to adapt to changing market dynamics, innovation and technology play a central role in our outlook and initiatives. We believe that utilization of new technologies will act as a catalyst for growth; providing Dubai with an immense competitive advantage and positioning it as a world-class maritime center.”

Antolovic explained, “Seatrade Middle East serves as an excellent platform for industry experts to deliver insights and offer knowledge on the current landscape and future outlook of the maritime sector; connecting all key stakeholders to unite efforts for the industry’s continued advancement.”

Antolovic concluded “Our primary aim has always been to improve efficiency in maritime. Participation at this event will provide us with ample opportunity to share insights and deep industry knowledge. This will in return assist us in our efforts to improve the competitiveness of our maritime cluster and fortifying our efforts to position the UAE and Dubai as leading maritime destinations.”

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Dubai Land Department signs Memorandum of Understanding with Emirates Islamic

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Dubai Land Department (DLD) has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Emirates Islamic, one of the leading Islamic financial institutions in the UAE, which agreed to be a banking partner for DLD’s efforts to boost the growth of the Dubai real estate sector.

Her Excellency Majida Ali Rashid, CEO of the Real Estate Promotion and Investment Management Sector at DLD, signed the MoU with Wasim Saifi, Deputy CEO – Consumer Banking and Wealth Management at Emirates Islamic.

Her Excellency Majida Ali Rashid commented: “We at DLD are keen to establish partnerships with the private sector in order to work together in support of the Dubai real estate sector. Emirates Islamic, one of the largest national banks in the UAE with a wide range of customers, will support our initiatives and directives in promoting the Dubai real estate market and our ongoing strategy to attract more investors from around the world.”

Dubai Land Department has played an important role in establishing Dubai as the most transparent realty market in the MENA region, as per JLL’s Global Real Estate transparency index. The MOU will seek to leverage Emirates Islamic’s innovation-driven banking solutions expertise and customer-focused approach to support DLD’s vision of positioning Dubai as the world’s premier real estate destination and a byword for innovation, trust and happiness​. ​​​

​Wasim Saifi said: “As a leading local bank, we are delighted to partner with Dubai Land Department as the bank of choice for investors in the Dubai real estate sector. We believe that public-private sector collaborations play a strong role in achieving national objectives of creating a better environment for customers and investors. We also remain committed to supporting DLD’s mission of continually raising the bar for transparency and efficiency in Dubai’s real estate transactions.”

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Forever Living Products invests AED 7.5 million in UAE as part of Middle East expansion plan

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  • Company selects Emirates as headquarters of key regional operations
  • 57% Sales growth in the Middle East recorded in 2017

Forever Living Products International, the largest grower, manufacturer and distributor of Aloe Vera products in the world, continues to infuse large capital investments into the Middle East as part of its expansion bid to secure a stronger and more solid market foothold in the regional nutraceuticals sector. In line with its aggressive expansion approach, the company injected AED 7.5 million in the UAE this year alone to build its new product centers after making the country the main headquarters of its key regional operations.

The UAE and other major markets in the Middle East have been providing Forever Living with exponential growth opportunities. During the first half of 2018, the company witnessed substantial revenue increase from its operations in the UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Oman. The jump was posted after the company’s Global Rally event in the country attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. In 2017, Forever Living experienced a whopping 109 per cent sales growth in KSA, followed by Kuwait (57 percent); Jordan (50 percent); UAE (49 percent); and Oman (42 percent).

Furthermore, Middle Eastern states led by the UAE ranked 8th in terms of global financial performance among 160 countries where Forever Living currently operates in. Japan landed first in the top 10 countries where the company recorded the highest sales, with France and India taking the second and third places, respectively. South Africa, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Scandinavia, and Malaysia completed the list.

Khaled Khayati, Country Manager & Director of Operations for Forever Living Products Middle East said: “Forever Living Products Middle East has been climbing year-on-year since its first trading in 1999. In 2017 alone, it achieved a 57 percent sales growth as of July of that year. So far, this 2018, Forever Living Products Middle East already experienced high record sales in the region, which resulted in the increase of recruitment by 95 percent.  Given its exceptional financial performance in the region, Forever Living Products International witnessed the outstanding potential of the Middle East in terms of growing its business here.”

In the UAE, Forever Living is managing product centers in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah. The four-story product center in the prestigious Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, which opened in February 2018, serves as its regional headquarters. The construction of the building cost AED 7 million. The company has inaugurated a number of new branches this year to serve its growing number of clients. Its recently opened branch in the UAE is located on the highway of Al Nahda Street opposite to Sahara Center in Sharjah. The cost of developing the new center reached AED 500,000. Elsewhere in the region, its other new product centers are located in Ibri and Salalah in Oman; Irbid in Jordan; Bahrain; and Lebanon.

“Today, Forever Living Products Middle East is operating in eight countries, with a total of 16 branches. Forever Living Products Middle East also has a market presence in Kuwait apart from the UAE; KSA (Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Khobar, Al Ahsaa); Oman (Muscat, Salalah, Ibri); Bahrain; Jordan (Amman, Irbid) and Lebanon. Forever Living Products Middle East is proud to disclose the opening of a branch in Egypt as well. In the near future, Forever Living Products Middle East will announce additional expansions to better serve our customers and spread the opportunity of Forever.” Khayati added.

Forever Living products are registered with the Public Health and Safety Department of Dubai Municipality. It has already started the registration process with the Ministry of Health with some of their products have already been accredited. The company aims to get the remaining products approved by the end of 2018.

Forever Living is also certified by the Orion Registrar, Inc. for the following categories: OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational Health and Safety Standard certification; ISO 14001: 2015 Environmental Management Standard certification; and ISO 9001: 2015 Quality Standard certification.

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The WINDIES suffered a 224-run defeat by India in the 4th One Day International at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. India posted 377/5 from their 50 overs, while the WINDIES were all out for 153 in 36.2 overs.

India won the toss for a fourth consecutive time and this time chose to take first strike on the intimate Brabourne Stadium pitch. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan signaled their intentions from the first ball when Kemar Roach was dispatched to the boundary for four. The pair batted cautiously but explosively towards some fairly wayward bowling from the WINDIES. Just when they looked to be heading to a triple-figure opening partnership, Keemo Paul came into the attack and had Dhawan caught behind for 38.

Sharma was joined by Kohli, who was going after his 4th consecutive century and the pair looking for another mammoth partnership between them. However, it was not to be as Roach had Kohli caught behind for 16, the first time in the ODI series he’s been dismissed on double figures. India 101/2 in 16.4overs.

Then came the partnership that bolstered India’s innings. Ambati Rayudu joined Sharma and the pair added 211 runs together. The partnership saw both men reach centuries. Sharma was the first to triple figures as he punished the WINDIES bowlers, he struck 20-fours and 4-sixes on his way to 162, before Ashley Nurse had him caught by Chandrapaul Hemraj. Rayudu carried on and on 100 even, going for a single, he was brilliantly runout by Fabian Allen of his own bowling.

  1. Dhoni made 23 before Roach scalped his wicket. Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja remained not out on 16 and 7 respectively. India 377/5 from their 50 overs. Bowling for the WINDIES Roach had the best figures of 2/74, followed by Ashley Nurse and Keemo Paul with 1 wicket each.

The WINDIES innings never got off to the start it needed. Chandrapaul Hemraj took his chances early, going after the Indian bowlers. But after hitting 1-six and 1-four, going for another big hit, was caught by Rayudu off Bhuvneshwar Kumar for 14. Run-machine Shai Hope joined Powell, but after facing two deliveries, inexplicably went charging for a single and was runout well short of his ground for 0. Then things got worse, as Kieran Powell who never looked comfortable at the crease was also runout for 4. The WINDIES 20/3 in 5.2 overs.

Marlon Samuels and Shimron Hetmyer in the middle had the weight of rebuilding the WINDIES innings and it looked like they will do just that. Hetmyer was the aggressor of the pair, striking 2-fours on his way to 13 before Khaleel Ahmed trapped him LBW.  Rovman Powell lasted for 9-balls scoring 1 run before he was bowled by Khaleel. Nine runs later Khaleel had Samuels caught for 18 to pick up his third wicket. WINDIES 56/6 13.4overs.

Jason Holder and Fabian Allen then tried to desperately rebuild the chase, adding 21 runs together before Allen was caught off Kuldeep Yadav for 10. 3rd ODI Man of the Match Ashley Nurse then joined Holder to try and salvage the WINDIES INNINGS. They added 24 runs together, but Nurse was not his explosive self, suffering from a sore shoulder sustained during his bowling spell, Kuldeep had him caught by Sharma for 8. Keemo Paul struck a rapid 19, which included 2-sixes and 1-four before Jadeja had him stumped by Dhoni. Kemar Roach, a big-hitter at the end, joined Holder with the hopes of knocking off as many runs as possible. He took singles to get Holder on strike. The Skipper brought up another well-fought half century from 70 balls. Kuldeep Yadav wrapped up the match for India when he bowled Roach for 6.

The WINDIES all out for 153 in 36.2 overs. Jason Holder finished on 54 not out, next best was Keemo Paul with 19. Bowling for India Khaleel Ahmed had figures of 3/13, while Kuldeep Yadav had 3/42. India now take a 2-1 series lead, with the fifth and final ODI to be played on November 1st in Trivanthapuram.

ODI Squad – India 2018

  1. Jason Holder (Captain)
  2. Fabian Allen
  3. Sunil Ambris
  4. Devendra Bishoo
  5. Chanderpaul Hemraj
  6. Shimron Hetmyer
  7. Shai Hope
  8. Obed McCoy
  9. Ashley Nurse
  10. Keemo Paul
  11. Kieran Powell
  12. Rovman Powell
  13. Kemar Roach
  14. Marlon Samuels
  15. Oshane Thomas




1st Test October 4-8 Rajkot
2nd Test October 12-16 Hyderabad
1st ODI October 21 Guwahati
2nd ODI October 24 Indore
3rd ODI October 27 Pune
4th ODI October 29 Mumbai
5th ODI November 1 Trivanthapuram
1st T20I November 4 Kolkata
2nd T20I November 6 Kanpur-Lucknow
3rd T20I November 11 Chennai


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Deck Up Your Homes for the Festive Season with 2XL Furniture & Home Décor

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The festive season is the time to decorate your home with twinkling lights and lots of glitter. 2XL Furniture & Home Décor has got a beautiful range of decorative items that are sure to impress your visitors as well as social media followers. The scale and grandeur of the festive offerings across the luxury brand’s stores in the UAE is simply magnificent.

Amit Yadav, Head of Marketing at 2XL, said, “The gorgeous range of decorative items at 2XL Furniture & Home Décor is ideal for jazzing up your homes for joyful celebrations. Whether buyers are looking for a spectacular centrepiece or a striking accessory we have a vast choice of products to match every mood and requirement. These also make for great giveaways as Diwali is a time when people exchange a lot of gifts with their family and friends.”

Add a Sparkle

Infuse glamour in your living and dining spaces with metallic accents. 2XL Furniture & Home Décor has a wide range of accessories to brighten up your rooms this season. Amit said “Gold or brass toned furniture or center tables can add personality to any interior style. At the same time a colourful interior can be toned down with natural elements like wood and metal. You can either go for statement pieces of furniture or smaller decorative items to perk up coffee tables. Both gold and copper provide a warming, sophisticated glow that can be easily incorporated into interior schemes to add an element of understated, cool luxury.”

Light it Up

Whether you are looking to create an intimate and intense mood or a relaxed and casual setting, lighting has a huge impact on aesthetics and functionality. Amit stressed, “Illumination is a crucial element in all design schemes and the secret lies in details. Balance of light in a room can be changed to create different moods. For a living room central chandelier and table lamps are a good option to provide vintage glamour and elegance. As a rule, darker rooms require more ambient lighting as dark colours absorb more light. To add glamour in a room with low ceiling, select a style that is wider than it is tall for best effect. Pendant lights suspended from the top over a centre table such as the ones in the latest collection at 2XL Furniture & Home Décor are a great way to make a statement.”


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Give your home a Diwali makeover with Western Furniture

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  • Gift your loved ones aesthetically pleasing items combined with functionality

When the festivities are around the corner, there is a lot of hustle to decorate your house with the latest trends or find the perfect gift for your loved ones. Upscale furniture retailer, Western Furniture, has put together some thoughtful and beautiful, purely decor accents for your home decor obsessed friend or family member. The furniture retailer’s showroom showcases a captivating collection from the furniture industry’s crème de la crème Italian brands such as Natuzzi Italia, Reflex Angelo, Flou, Gruppo Tomasella, Gamma, Calligaris, Draenert and Bonaldo.

Customers can find an eclectic collection of home furnishing products designed by various well known personalities enhancing the visual appeal of every room. The gift guide includes products such as chandeliers that perfectly pair trendy style and retro inspiration – lighting up the whole living room with an air of sophistication and celebration; a set of classy candle holders which add a touch of elegance and accentuate the natural beauty of candle light; lighting fixtures that drastically alter the atmosphere of the room or throw pillows as they are versatile enough to complement a variety of decor styles, set a cheerful mood for the occasion and add tons of personality to the couch.

Other perfect home decor gift ideas to add a unique touch to the space include serve ware, cutlery, table linen, bed linen, place mats, napkins, crockery, chinaware, glasses, decorative vases, collection of table and wall clocks and a lot more.

Whether you are looking for something functional, classy or artsy, you are sure to find it at Western Furniture’s showroom.  Visit our showroom to look at various gifting products to match any style or budget. For more information and details, visit the website, or call +971 4 3377152, +971 2 6444048 or +971 4 3380777.

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Sensitive information stored in the cloud, SaaS collaboration and IaaS/PaaS configuration mistakes, along with cloud threats, are at all-time highs—creating significant risks to enterprise data

  • Twenty-one percent of all files in the cloud contain sensitive data, demonstrating a steady increase year-over-year (YoY)
  • The sharing of sensitive data with an open, publicly accessible link, has increased 23 percent YoY
  • Organizations have more than 2,200 individual misconfiguration incidents per month in their public cloud instances (IaaS/PaaS)
  • Threat events in the cloud, e.g., compromised account, privileged user and insider threats, have increased 27.7 percent YoY, with threats in Office365 growing by 63 percent YoY

McAfee, the device to cloud cybersecurity company, today released its Cloud Adoption and Risk Report, which analyzed billions of events in anonymized customers production cloud use to assess the current state of cloud deployments and to uncover risks. The report revealed that nearly a quarter of the data in the cloud can be categorized as sensitive, putting an organization at risk if stolen or leaked. Coupled with the fact that sharing sensitive data in the cloud has increased 53 percent YoY, those who do not adopt a cloud strategy that includes data loss protection, configuration audits and collaboration controls, will endanger the security of their most valuable asset—data—while exposing themselves to increased risk of noncompliance with internal and external regulations.

The study found that while organizations aggressively use the public cloud to create new digital experiences for their customers, the average enterprise experiences more than 2,200 misconfiguration incidents per month in their infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) instances. Cloud service providers only cover the security of the cloud itself, not customer data or customer use of their infrastructure and platforms. Companies are always responsible for securing their data wherever it is, hence highlighting the need to deploy cloud security solutions that span the whole cloud spectrum, from SaaS (software-as-a-service) to IaaS and PaaS.

“Operating in the cloud has become the new normal for organizations, so much so that our employees do not think twice about storing and sharing sensitive data in the cloud,” said Rajiv Gupta, senior vice president of the Cloud Security Business, McAfee.  “Accidental sharing, collaboration errors in SaaS cloud services, configuration errors in IaaS/PaaS cloud services, and threats are all increasing. In order to continue to accelerate their business, organizations need a cloud-native and frictionless way to consistently protect their data and defend from threats across the spectrum of SaaS, IaaS and PaaS.”

Cloud Collaboration a Blessing and a Curse:

Cloud services bring a momentous opportunity to accelerate business through their ability to quickly scale, allowing businesses to be agile with their resources and provide new opportunities for collaboration. Cloud services like Box and productivity suites like Office 365 are used to increase the fluidity and effectiveness of collaboration. However, collaboration means sharing, and uncontrolled sharing can expose sensitive data. Findings demonstrate that:

  • Twenty-two percent of cloud users share files externally, up 21 percent YoY
  • Sharing sensitive data with an open, publicly accessible link, has increased by 23 percent YoY
  • Sensitive data sent to a personal email address also increased by 12 percent YoY

To secure sensitive data in cloud storage, file-sharing and collaboration applications, organizations must first understand which cloud services are in use, hold their sensitive data, and how that data is being shared and with whom. Once organizations have gained this visibility, they can then enforce appropriate security policies to prohibit highly sensitive data from being stored in unapproved cloud services and provide guardrails that prevent noncompliant sharing of sensitive data from approved cloud services, such as when data is shared with personal email addresses or through an open, public link.

IaaS and the Risks of Misconfiguration:

With SaaS, securing data, user identity and access to data is primarily the customer’s responsibility. With IaaS, customers take on a much larger share of security responsibility that includes data, identity, access, applications, network controls and host infrastructure. While this provides customers with an opportunity to have greater control over their cloud infrastructure, it also increases the organization’s surface area for security risks and their responsibility for the same. IaaS providers, like Amazon Web Services (AWS), provide several infrastructure and platform services, each having deep and complicated security settings. Magnifying the IaaS/PaaS security challenge is the fact that organizations use multiple IaaS/PaaS vendors running several instances of each vendor’s product. Our research found:

  • Ninety-four percent of IaaS/PaaS use is AWS, but 78 percent of organizations using IaaS/PaaS have both AWS and Azure
  • Enterprise organizations have an average of 14 misconfigured IaaS/PaaS instances running at one time, resulting in over 2,200 individual misconfiguration incidents per month
  • Five-and-a-half percent of AWS S3 buckets have world read permissions, making them open to the public

McAfee recommends that organizations continuously audit and monitor their AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform and other IaaS/PaaS configurations as a standard security practice, while protecting data stored in IaaS/PaaS platforms. IaaS/PaaS use is growing rapidly as an alternative to on-premises data centers. Businesses need to get ahead and address their security responsibilities—data protection and threat defense as they would for SaaS cloud services and also configuration compliance and workload protection for IaaS/PaaS cloud services—before they experience a security incident.

Compromised Accounts and Insider Threats:

Most of the threats to data in the cloud result from compromised accounts and insider threats. The average organization generates over 3.2 billion events per month in the cloud, of which 3,217 are anomalous behaviors and 31.3 are actual threat events. In addition:

  • Threat events in the cloud, such as a compromised account, privileged user, or insider threat, have increased 27.7 percent YoY
  • Eighty percent of all organizations experience at least one compromised account threat per month
  • Ninety-two percent of all organizations have stolen cloud credentials for sale on the Dark Web
  • Threats in Office 365 have grown by 63 percent YoY

To get ahead of comprised accounts and insider threats, organizations should understand how cloud services are used. They should also identify anomalous behavior, such as when the same user accesses the cloud from disparate locations simultaneously, which could indicate a compromised account threat.

As a first step towards protecting data in the cloud, cloud access security brokers (CASB) should be implemented. CASBs are cloud-native services that enforce security, compliance and governance policies for cloud services. They help organizations leverage and extend their existing security controls where appropriate and define and deploy new cloud-native ones where appropriate to enable enterprises to consistently protect their data and defend from threats across the spectrum of SaaS, IaaS and PaaS.

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