Palo Alto Networks secures G42 comprehensively

Palo Alto Networks announced that its products and solutions have helped G42, a global leader and Middle Eastern technology organization protect its sensitive data across a growing number of sites, people, and endpoints.

Simple, automated, and complete cybersecurity from Palo Alto Networks ensures G42 can focus on AI and cloud research innovation—not security administration—to propel the world forward.

G42 is an Abu Dhabi-based global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing, focused on exploring the full potential of AI as a tool to power humanity’s progress. Besides building the largest cloud computing infrastructure in the Middle East, G42 also manages a diversified portfolio of companies that develop high-impact AI solutions across a wide range of industries, including smart city, healthcare, life sciences, aviation, geospatial, and financial services.

G42 has expanded exponentially in the last few years in response to the growing demand from  customers for next-generation AI and cloud solutions. With several offices quickly established across Abu Dhabi, and people continue to join the organization. Crucially, vast volumes of increasingly sensitive customer data are also being used to develop and deliver breakthrough innovations.

All this places significant pressure on information security. G42’s attack surface is growing dramatically, creating the potential for inconsistent security policies and gaps in visibility. Data, devices, and users need to be protected without slowing down innovation, and G42 must stay ahead of sophisticated attacks without becoming overwhelmed by security alerts and false positives.

“As the Group CIO of G42, I was tasked to deliver a high-performing, secure, and scalable next-generation digital platform across all of our sites. Our overriding goal was to manage risk without delaying the delivery of customer-focused AI and cloud innovations,” said Hadi Anwar, former Group Chief Information Officer, G42.

Anwar and his team established five key requirements in this environment of elevated risk:

  • Create a highly resilient and secure network infrastructure backbone to protect business continuity, digital transformation, employee engagement, and G42’s brand reputation.
  • Design a robust network security architecture and bridge cloud computing to operate AI and data analytics solutions over a secure network.
  • Ensure this modern infrastructure would scale seamlessly in support of future growth.
  • Provide secure and flexible remote office connectivity to sites across Abu Dhabi while maintaining data protection and security monitoring capability.
  • Achieve operational excellence through a centrally managed network security solution and rapid security onboarding of new branch offices.

G42 signed a strategic partnership agreement with Palo Alto Networks for an intelligent network security platform.

Anwar explains, “The reason we chose Palo Alto Networks is simple. The company’s network security is best-in-class and is a market leader in threat prevention. Nothing else comes close in terms of functionality, flexibility, and security product roadmap. We also receive outstanding support from the local Palo Alto Networks account management and support teams, which is critical to our joint collaborative success.”

G42 has standardized on the Palo Alto Networks portfolio. The ML-Powered Next-Generation Firewall delivers consistent protection across G42’s virtualized applications, workloads, and data spanning the Abu Dhabi headquarters, satellite offices, mobile and remote workforces.

The unified, highly scalable architecture natively classifies all G42 traffic, including applications, threats, and content, and then ties that traffic to the user regardless of location or device type. The application, content, and user—the elements that run G42—then serve as the basis of G42’s security policies, resulting in an improved security posture and reduced incident response time.

“We operate a complex landscape,” says Anwar. “The ML-Powered NGFW platform is deployed at each location, giving G42 complete visibility and consistent, highly effective security. It’s simple, automated, entirely integrated, and centrally managed.”

The quality of the Palo Alto Networks portfolio is matched by the quality of service. According to Anwar, the team understands G42’s business objectives and consistently uses their skills and experience to bring the best value to G42.

“Only recently we made a request which many technology partners would have said ‘no’ to. However, Palo Alto Networks actioned the request immediately. As a true security partner, the entire team is collaborative, proactive, and always thinking in terms of what’s best for our business.”

Anwar added, “G42 trusts Palo Alto Networks. From network security to endpoint protection, the powerful portfolio prevents new attacks and stops attacks in progress, securing the entire organization. The automation it brings means we can scale our security, eliminate errors, and allow our people to focus on real threats.”

This forward-thinking cybersecurity strategy is transforming G42’s operations in multiple areas.

By safeguarding data, applications, people, and devices, the Palo Alto Networks portfolio enables G42 to focus on what matters most: innovation. People can concentrate on research into near-term opportunities while simultaneously focusing on a future where AI will be able to handle generalized tasks, in what G42 coins as “the Age of Artificial General Intelligence.”

The portfolio uses advanced ML and analytics to prevent advanced threats and automate investigations. Anwar comments, “It’s infinitely better to have two security systems that talk to one another. The unified Palo Alto Networks portfolio shares intelligent insights, ensuring much safer protection from hackers and other attacks.”

The NGFW provides next-generation security and advanced threat prevention. It uses the Layer 7 application identity to enable segmentation and controls resource access based on need and user identity. Automation minimizes friction as well as security policy lag as virtual workloads change.

The portfolio unites and automates network security and endpoint protection, streamlining processes and liberating resources to focus on value-add tasks. For example, the portfolio analyzes alerts from any G42 source with a single click to instantly understand the root cause and sequence of events.

Anwar comments, “With Palo Alto Networks, we have the ability to manage and view our entire enterprise network traffic flow—including in branch offices, the data center, and cloud tenant traffic.”

As more of the G42 workforce works remotely post-pandemic, GlobalProtect network security for endpoints protects mobile employees by extending the NGFW to all users, regardless of location. Anwar concludes, “Palo Alto Networks is one of G42’s most trusted partners. Whatever the security challenge we face, their security portfolio offers the proven capability to deliver best-in-class, effective, and coordinated security defense posture.”