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Hitesh Dharmdasani's Vision for Secure Connectivity and Real-Time Threat Protection

Discover how AnexGATE, under the leadership of CTO Hitesh Dharmdasani, is revolutionizing network security and connectivity.

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Aanchal Ghatak
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network security

Hitesh Dharmdasani, CTO, AnexGATE

In an exclusive interview with Hitesh Dharmdasani, the CTO of AnexGATE and founder of NetSense CyberSecurity, we explore his insights into the ever-evolving landscape of network security and connectivity. With a wealth of experience garnered from his tenure at FireEye and his academic background in Information Security, Hitesh provides a comprehensive overview of AnexGATE's role in shaping the industry. Let's delve into his vision for secure connectivity and real-time threat protection in the tech industry. Learn how Dharmdasani's expertise and strategic vision drive AnexGATE's commitment to providing robust and reliable security for businesses across all verticals.Excerpts:

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How has the landscape of network security and connectivity evolved over the years and what role has AnexGATE played in shaping these changes?

Over the years, the landscape of network security and connectivity has witnessed a transformative shift in the way businesses secure their networks. Initially, organizations heavily depended on expensive leased lines and MPLS networks for communication between offices, leading to high capital costs and complexity in maintaining multiple MPLS networks. AnexGATE has played a pivotal role in shaping these changes by introducing innovative solutions that adapt to the evolving needs of businesses. By introducing innovative Virtual Private Network (VPN) solutions. Unlike traditional methods, VPNs allow secure communication over public broadband networks, thereby reducing the need for costly leased lines and MPLS. AnexGATE's VPN solutions, including Unified Security Gateway (USG) and VPN Concentrator appliances, have not only provided a more cost-effective approach but also enhanced flexibility, security, and performance in the evolving digital era. AnexGATE has embraced the shift towards secure remote access, offering a range of comprehensive solutions via the USG. AnexGATE has contributed to creating a secure pathway for organizations, enabling seamless connectivity, and safeguarding sensitive data in an ever-changing digital landscape.

Could you provide more details on how AnexGATE Unified Security Gateway (USG) addresses both internal and external threats?

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The AnexGATE Unified Security Gateway (USG) is a comprehensive solution designed to tackle both internal and external threats with advanced features.

    Externally, it safeguards networks from outside cyber threats through robust firewall capabilities, intrusion detection and prevention (IDS/IPS), and secure Virtual Private Networks (VPN) options. These measures create a fortified defense against unauthorized access and potential attacks from the internet.

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    Internally, the USG ensures security through user-friendly and proactive Unified Threat Management (UTM). It monitors and manages the network traffic, providing detailed logs and reports on every communication originating from within an organization. This internal defense includes safeguarding against potential threats that may arise within the network, ensuring a holistic approach to security. By addressing both external and internal threats. AnexGATE USG provides comprehensive and reliable security solutions. The evolution lies in the shift catering to the evolving needs of networks, whether small, medium, or large enterprises. Let’s consider a for Large Organization: Imagine a large enterprise with AnexGATE USG implemented. Externally, it acts as a fortress, detecting and blocking external threats attempting to breach the network. For instance, if there's a cyberattack targeting sensitive company data, the USG's next-gen firewall and intrusion prevention system swiftly identify and block the threat, ensuring the organization's security. Internally, in a large enterprise, the USG serves as a vigilant supervisor. It monitors internal network activities, recognizing any unusual patterns that might indicate insider threats or unauthorized access. For instance, if an employee's device starts behaving suspiciously, the USG's Unified Threat Management steps in, logs the incident, and prevents any potential data breaches, maintaining the organization's integrity. The USG can also put this user inside a bubble to prevent further damage.

    Whereas in the for Small Organization with limited resources. AnexGATE USG in this scenario becomes an all-in-one security solution. Externally, it shields the organization from external threats, such as phishing attempts or malware attacks. If a phishing link tries to penetrate the network, the USG's security features block access, safeguarding the small organization from potential data loss or compromise. Internally, in a small organization, the USG ensures user-friendly security. If an employee accidentally tries to access a restricted area of the network, the USG's detailed logs and reports pinpoint the incident. This not only prevents internal security breaches but also assists in educating users about potential risks, fostering a secure and informed work environment.

    In both examples, AnexGATE USG showcases its adaptability to the security needs of organizations, providing a tailored defense against threats, whether large or small.

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    In what ways does AnexGATE ACE optimize bandwidth, and how does this contribute to achieving seamless connectivity for users?

    AnexGATE ACE priorities secure connectivity and bandwidth optimization by employing innovative features to make the most efficient use of available networks resources. The device optimizes bandwidth by providing WAN Link Aggregation and Multi-Link Auto-Failover capabilities. Bandwidth Aggregation combines multiple network links to increase overall data transfer capacity, enhancing the speed and efficiency of data transmission, such as WAN connections, USB, and SIM cards. This is similar to merging lanes on a highway, allowing more data to flow at the same time. For example, if a branch office depends on multiple internet connections, AnexGATE ACE aggregates their bandwidth, creating a wider "data highway" for smoother and faster communication.

    Simultaneously, Multi Link Auto-Failover ensures uninterrupted connectivity by automatically switching to an alternative link in case of a network failure. This optimization significantly contributes to achieving seamless connectivity for users in several ways. This is similar to having a backup route ready when the main road is blocked. For instance, if the primary internet connection experiences an outage, AnexGATE ACE seamlessly switches to an alternative, ensuring almost 100% network uptime for users.

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    First, Bandwidth Aggregation enhances overall network performance, allowing users to experience faster and more reliable connections. Second, Multi Link Auto-failover ensures continuous connectivity, minimizing downtime and providing a smooth user experience even in the face of network disruptions.  Consider a scenario where a branch office heavily relies on its internet connectivity for critical applications. If the primary connection faces a sudden disruption, AnexGATE ACE swiftly activates the secondary Broadband or 4G link, ensuring uninterrupted access to essential services. This not only maintains seamless connectivity but also reflects the efficiency and reliability AnexGATE ACE brings to bandwidth management in real-time situations.

    As the CTO at AnexGATE, can you share your insights on the current state of security, connectivity, and real-time threat protection in the tech industry?

    As the CTO of AnexGATE, I bring a unique perspective to the current state of security, connectivity, and real-time threat protection in the tech industry. In today's fast-paced digital landscape, these elements are more connected and crucial than ever. Security is no longer an afterthought but a foundational aspect of tech infrastructure. AnexGATE, with its on-premises and cloud-based solutions, recognizes the evolving security needs of businesses. We're witnessing a shift towards comprehensive security architectures that address both external and internal threats. Our focus extends beyond traditional boundaries to encompass end-to-end security solutions, ensuring robust protection across all verticals.

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    Connectivity has become the lifeblood of modern enterprises. AnexGATE acknowledges the importance of seamless and secure interconnectivity, especially as businesses operate across distributed locations. Our products, such as AnexGATE USG, AnexGATE ACE and our cloud services augmentation approach demonstrate our commitment to providing advanced technologies, catering to the demand for secure and efficient connectivity. The paradigm is shifting from mere data transfer to ensuring that this connectivity is robust, responsive, and tailored to the specific needs of businesses.

    Real-time threat protection remains at the forefront of our strategy. The tech industry is grappling with an ever-expanding threat landscape, and AnexGATE is at the forefront of this battle. Our USG and cloud service work alongside the AnexGATE ACE to embody our commitment to swift and effective threat detection. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies and maintaining a robust threat intelligence framework, we stay ahead of emerging threats, offering our clients a secure digital environment. In essence, the current state of security, connectivity, and real-time threat protection demands a holistic approach. AnexGATE is not merely adapting to these changes but actively shaping the narrative by providing innovative, secure, and connected solutions for businesses across diverse industries."

    Designing and understanding large, complicated networks can be a challenging task. How does AnexGATE approach this challenge, and what strategies or technologies do you employ to ensure the efficiency of such networks?

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    AnexGATE addresses the challenge of designing and understanding large, complicated networks by adopting a strategic and technology-driven approach. One key strategy is the implementation of the AnexGATE Unified Security Gateway (USG) family, which provides a comprehensive suite of features, including networking, network security, web security, secure VPN, and more inside a single box. This removes the complexity of maintaining multiple appliances to accomplish the same task. To enhance network efficiency, AnexGATE employs technologies such as Quality of Service (QoS), which prioritizes and manages network traffic to optimize performance. The use of IPSec VPN communication with third-party VPNs ensures compatibility with existing infrastructures, facilitating seamless integration into complex networks. AnexGATE’s commitment to detailed built-in logs and reports on every feature further supports in understanding and optimizing large networks. In essence, AnexGATE combines strategic planning with advanced technologies like QoS, consolidated devices, and seamless integration to streamline the design and management of large, complicated networks, ensuring their efficiency and performance.

    Automated flagging of phishing websites is a crucial aspect of cybersecurity. How does AnexGATE’s approach to automated flagging contribute to enhanced security, and what measures are taken to stay ahead of evolving phishing techniques?

    Our robust cybersecurity strategy integrates the advanced capabilities of AnexDNS, USG and our backend threat gathering infrastructure to automate the flagging of phishing websites, significantly enhancing security for businesses. In both our on-premises device and cloud-based solutions, we leverage AnexDNS and USG as a crucial component in our defense against evolving phishing techniques.

    AnexDNS is a cloud-based solution, plays a significant role in the automated flagging process. When a user requests access to a specific website or application through AnexGATE ACE, the request is checked with AnexDNS for confirmation. In the process, AnexDNS verifies the request with the existing web policy, ensuring that the access is legitimate and aligns with our fixed security standards. Our cloud-based web filtering solution, AnexDNS, contributes to the automated flagging mechanism through real-time analysis and customizable filtering settings. It is designed to efficiently cross-reference requests against an extensive database of millions of safe and malicious websites. This functionality allows AnexDNS to promptly flag phishing websites, providing a robust defense against cyber threats.

    To stay ahead of evolving phishing techniques, AnexGATE, including AnexDNS, employs proactive measures. Our cybersecurity team continuously updates the database, combining threat intelligence and adapting to emerging patterns. For example, if a new phishing technique appears, AnexDNS adapts through continuous machine learning, contributing to the swift detection and prevention of potential threats.

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