Cutting-edge cybersecurity protects the mobile workforce – Intelligent CIO

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Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC) is responsible for managing refining, liquefied natural gas and petrochemicals activities. KIPIC is a critical national infrastructure organisation, which makes cybersecurity a high priority. Here, Husain Al-Maghrabi, Head of Cyber Security at KIPIC, discusses the successful implementation of Lookout Mobile Endpoint Security to protect 1,600 devices and reveals how it has educated its workforce on best practices for protecting against cybersecurity threats.

The challenge: Securing an unseen and uncontrolled mobile attack surface

The COVID-19 pandemic created new challenges for KIPIC as employees worked remotely and increasingly relied on mobile devices. As a critical national infrastructure organisation, the petroleum products company is highly visible and a valuable target for threat actors. KIPIC needed a security capability that would self-install for mobile users and provide clear alerts, guidance and protection on observed risks.

“When the pandemic began and our workforce started working remotely suddenly, we were no longer communicating from within the network inside our office,” said Husain Al-Maghrabi, Head of Cyber Security at KIPIC. “With staff more frequently using personal devices from home, we needed a mobile cybersecurity solution to protect our organisation and our staff from cyberthreats.”

KIPIC has a philosophy that security should enable the business, not constrain it. As such, the organisation needed a cybersecurity partner to educate its workforce on best practices and help it stay on the cutting edge to prevent a future breach.

Solution

With a newly dispersed workforce, the KIPIC Cyber Security Team knew it needed a cybersecurity solution that incorporated:

  • Ability for the remote workforce to self-install the software on their personal mobile device
  • Support in English and Arabic to meet the needs of KIPIC’s diverse workforce
  • Securing data travelling from mobile devices to the cloud

Lookout worked with KIPIC to develop a mobile defence solution its remote workforce could install on their mobile devices. Given KIPIC’s global bilingual workforce, Lookout provided a solution that accommodated both English and Arabic speakers.

The KIPIC cybersecurity team also enabled the KIPIC workforce by educating them on cybersecurity best practices to make them part of the organisation’s cybersecurity defence. “Cybersecurity awareness protects our employees at home and in the office, which in turn protects KIPIC,” said Al-Maghrabi. “Understanding where our enterprise is vulnerable to a cyberattack and consistently running tests to find gaps in our defence is a critical part of how Lookout has improved our cybersecurity.”

KIPIC quickly understood the value of developing its user’s security awareness and built an effective triad of people, processes and technology to improve KIPIC’s security posture and reduce risk.

Results

Lookout worked with KIPIC to implement the cybersecurity technology and best practices throughout the organisation, ensuring the enterprise was well protected against cybersecurity threats. KIPIC deployed Lookout Mobile Endpoint Security across 1,600 devices, giving its security team visibility into potential mobile threats.

With Lookout, KIPIC was able to provide continuous cybersecurity education to its employees, ensuring that the company is well protected against future cybersecurity threats. By partnering with Lookout, it can empower its employees to serve as part of the organisation’s cybersecurity defence by teaching them how to spot security risks. Through the partnership, Lookout is committed to KIPIC over the long haul through monthly touchpoints and reports to help the organisation constantly adapt to new and emerging threats.

As a major energy provider in Kuwait, KIPIC believes in the importance of strong cybersecurity to protect its enterprise. In Lookout, it has a trusted partner to help it ensure devices are secure and cybersecurity best practices are followed at all digital touchpoints of the organisation.

We caught up with Al-Maghrabi to find out more about the project and its benefits.

As a major energy provider in Kuwait, what are some of the most prevalent cybersecurity challenges you face in your industry and how does Lookout help you to tackle these?

These challenges are changing all the time due to the nature of IT. This means that we are faced with new cybersecurity threats and we must address them and find some level of control. An example of one of these challenges is understanding how we can protect people working remotely.  

Why did you decide to work with Lookout on this occasion?

Myself and my team did a lot of searching regarding what was the right solution, protects the smart device and at the same time, maintains user privacy. We also needed it to support the Arabic language as we are an Arabic country, as well as supporting the English language. It needed to have a lot of features that can assist the user wherever they are outside the organisation in a simple way. So, the Lookoutsolution meets ourexpectations.

How far do your employees feel protected when working from home since deploying the Lookout Mobile Endpoint Security solution?

In the beginning, we faced a lot of challenges. Some of the devices were given to the employee by the organisation and a lot of them were their own devices. So we’ve done a lot of cybersecurity awareness sessions to explain to them how much Lookout is a secure application and about its privacy capabilities.

How would you now describe your organisation’s security posture and how does this differ from before?

It’s much better now. Usually, cyberattacks are attacking from servers, endpoints and laptops. So, you know who is attacking you or the type of threat, but behind that, from the smart device where most of the users using the smart device are looking to our environment, you don’t know anything. By utilising the Lookout solution, we have more visibility of the attack surface.  

Since working with Lookout, has KIPIC managed to uphold its philosophy that security should enable the business, not constrain it?

Yes, I totally believe that. This is one of the major things that they target because technology is changing very fast. You cannot catch it. To be able to reach what management want as an organisation, you have to support your business environment with all controls needed. We believe as part of our philosophy that whatever technology is there as a trend, you will never prevent fraud against it.

What does the future hold for KIPIC in terms of your cybersecurity growth as a company?

When you work in a happy environment and an environment where you feel secure, you will do amazing things. Working in a safe environment, especially with Lookout, will be a great achievement for KIPIC.

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