Land of Exquisite Delights – Geneva, Switzerland

By Shereen Shabnam

Switzerland is an addiction – once you set foot in the country, you have to head back every year to explore a new Swiss destination and after exploring Laax, Crans Montana and revisiting Gstaad and Zermatt last year, my latest adventure took me to again to Geneva, this time as a base to head to Basel for the famous Baselworld exhibition.

Geneva, Switzerland’s second-largest city is full of delightful surprises and has more to offer than watches, chocolates, cheeses and banks. It is the perfect Swiss cosmopolitan city for exploring the surrounding countryside, the famous Lake Geneva and the nearby Alps.

Home to the World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, International Committee of the Red Cross, branches of the United Nations and World Bank, the city is popular with business travellers who often extend their trips to be tourists indulging in the many boutiques, jewellers, restaurants and chocolatiers.

Whether you enjoy heading into the mountains to ski or go out boating, hiking and biking, Geneva has it all in addition to day trips to the nearby towns of Montreux, Chamonix and Lausanne. My favourite places in Geneva are below:

Lake Lemanis set along Geneva’s right bank with stunning views of the Alps beyond, Lake Leman is great stop for breath taking views. From here, you can see the towering Jet d’Eau, which is the world’s tallest fountain.

Geneva’s Old Townis a typical European town that has a maze of cobblestone streets.  It offers a glimpse into the past as you visit the historic Saint Peter’s Cathedral and wander down along the old city walls to Geneva’s theater district and center of culture at Place Neuve. I enjoyed stopping at the antique shops.

Bastions Parkfor a glimpse of Reformation Wall containing the effigies of Geneva’s founding fathers. It is a superb place to spend an afternoon people watching and enjoying nature.

Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCO) is a must visit. There are close to thirty museums and art galleries that capture the rich and vibrant history of the city so pick one that suits you.

Lake Genevais possibly the most famous feature of the city so stroll along the promenades, have a dip at Bains des Pâquis, relax in one of the lakeside parks or cafes or take a boat cruise around the lake.

Carougeis just a hop across the L’Arve River and resembles Nice, France. It has quaint boutiques and watching artisans at work in their studios is fascinating in between coffee stops at the many artsy cafes in the area.

Paquis and Les Grottesis Geneva’s most international districts and perfect for foodies looking to try ethnic restaurants or shopaholics looking for retail therapy. As an architecture lover, I stopped over to see the Schtrumpfs Building before sampling freshly baked pastries along the road.

The Salèveis for nature lovers. You can either ride the gondola up Geneva’s backyard mountain to enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding Alps or hike up along one of the Saleve’s many marked trails.

Palais des Nations is another interesting building overlooking Lake Geneva. It was built in the 1930s to house the League of Nations and visitors can take tours to explore its grand monuments and murals.

If you have a few extra days in Geneva, I suggest taking a boat ride to Lake Geneva’s other lakeside paradises or hopping on an excursion bus at Gare Routiere to visit one of Switzerland’s famous mountain towns.

Geneva, like other Swiss destinations is a perfect place for memorable moments and breathtaking natural views. From the UAE, I flew Emirates Airlines, which flies daily to Geneva and used it as a base to explore the nearby tourist areas.

SonicWall Empowers MSSPs, Launches Enhanced Managed Security Services Program

SonicWall today unveiled an enhanced version of its SecureFirst Managed Security Service Provider (MSSPs) Program to provide the licensing models, resources and tools needed to help MSSPs profitably scale and accelerate their managed security services business, leveraging SonicWall’s award-winning technology.

Built on the SonicWall SecureFirst Partner Program, the enhanced three-tiered MSSP program offers benefits such as flexible pricing options, tailored premier technical support access, access to MSSP field sales and technical specialists, increased access to co-marketing funds as well as specialization training and assessments for sales and technical staff.

“As organizations in the region are forced to review their business continuity plans as a result of the ongoing health crisis, cybercriminals are capitalizing on trends that play on human behavior and response to fear. In addition, the explosion of exposure points has not only increased the attack surface area of organizations, it has also taxed IT departments that increasingly call upon MSSPs to help mitigate the rapidly growing threat volume,” said SonicWall Vice President, Global MSSP & Carrier Sales, Luca Taglioretti. “We’re combining our 28 years of experience, data and technology with our partner-led culture to deliver the next round of enhancement to our MSSP program.  We are helping organizations be prepared for an influx of cyberattacks, and are giving participating partners, both regionally and globally, a competitive edge.”  

Taglioretti added, “Due to the unprecedented need to quickly and efficiently deploy security to rapidly expanding remote workforces, SonicWall will include its Secure Mobile Access (SMA) solution for MSSPs, allowing managed security service providers to swiftly deploy and scale on-demand security and connectivity at costs based on the number of concurrent users.”

Specific to the MSSP program tiers — MSSP Protect, MSSP Powered, MSSP Powered Plus — partners will be offered new program benefits including:

  • Expanded annual and monthly pricing model licenses
  • Aggressive volume-based pricing based on assets under management
  • Priority access to Premier Support tier 3 engineers
  • Increased access to MDF, including accruals for Powered Plus partners
  • Support from a new and expanding MSSP strategic account management team, globally
  • Addition of Secure Mobile Access (SMA) to MSSP portfolio

Participating MSSPs will continue to be required to meet annual revenue requirements, have a operating NOC or SOC with Help Desk L1/L2 Support capabilities, as well as sales and technical staffing criteria. Authorized MSSPs will need to be established in the SecureFirst program at the Silver level or above.

“These enhancements to our MSSP program are aimed at bringing value to participating partners in the areas of flexible pricing options including monthly subscriptions, simplified operations through our automation tools, priority technical support access and go-to-market collaboration,” said SonicWall Vice President, Global Channel Sales, HoJin Kim. “SonicWall is perfectly poised to help MSSPs looking to expand their managed security practice lead in the market and drive enhanced scalability and profits.”

Created in 2016, the award-winning SonicWall SecureFirst Partner Program now includes over 20,500 partners worldwide. In addition to receiving real-time cyber threat intelligence, participants also receive education regarding today’s threats and the SonicWall solutions that address them through SonicWall University.

The program provides an accreditation and certification capability that significantly increases partners’ effectiveness and success rate. To date, more than 285,000 hours of training – or over 7,000 weeks – have been completed and over 575,000 successful exams administered.

For more information on how to enroll please visit,

Preparing Employees to Be Cybersafe when Working from Home

By: Ashraf Sheet, Regional Director, Middle East & Africa at Infoblox

As companies across sectors encourage—and even mandate—that their employees work from home to protect themselves and others from the spread of coronavirus, IT professionals are tasked with the increasingly complex and challenging responsibility of cyber safety for employees’ devices and companies’ networks.

Individuals and organizations are likely to face increased cyberthreats from malicious actors attempting to target weakened network security as a result of more people teleworking.

For organizations that already offer work-from-home options for all or many of their employees, their network infrastructure and institutional awareness are most likely prepared to protect them from outside cyberthreats. But for companies and employees where the option to work from home is new, it is important that IT professionals and individual employees take the steps necessary to prevent attacks.

Infoblox recommends that businesses implement the following guidelines and best practices to ensure the security of their networks and corporate data while employees are working from home.

Develop and communicate clear and consistent cyber safety policies

It is essential that employees have clearly defined IT policies and protocols in place for working from home. These cyber safety guidelines should include, but are not limited to:

  • Making sure that employees use only approved devices to access and store corporate data, where possible
  • Mandating the use of strong passwords—at least 12 characters—when accessing corporate networks; and
  • Implementing multi-factor authentication—ideally with hardware tokens instead of text messages (which can be spoofed).

 Leverage technological solutions for cyber safety

Companies most likely already have a robust security infrastructure in place to ensure the cyber safety of their corporate networks. With users increasingly working from home, the traditional corporate security perimeter has vanished and VPNs are often no longer necessary to get work done. Instead, employees are increasingly using cloud applications, many of which have not been vetted for security issues.

Network managers and security teams need to ensure that technologies used when working from home are ready and secure, including:

  • Ensuring that all corporate security products are patched and updated to the most recent version across users
  • Providing a fast, secure, reliable and easy way to protect users, enforce acceptable use policies and ensure business continuity
  • If they continue to use VPNs, ensuring that they are encrypted, updated and protected with strong passwords and 2-factor authentication
  • Increasing the monitoring of endpoint, email and remote access security events.

 Educate employees about the increased risk of cyberthreats

Above all, employers should make sure that employees are aware of the increased risk of cyberthreats tied to the coronavirus pandemic and train them on how to avoid them, including:

  • Alerting employees to expect an increase in phishing attempts and other malware, and to not respond to any emails seeking personal, corporate or financial information
  • Reminding employees that malicious actors often disguise themselves using legitimate-looking email addresses and to verify a sender’s identity before clicking on a link in an email. Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and to be wary of email attachments (for example, malicious actors are using fears of coronavirus to distribute the LokiBot malware)
  • Teaching employees how to make sure their work-from-home setup is secure and that WiFi and other devices are properly configured; and
  • Re-enforcing with employees the importance of reporting suspected security events.

As networks continue to be more decentralized and more employees take advantage of the benefits of working from home, securing networks from malware and other cyberthreats will remain a challenge. Emphasizing and implementing these cyber safety best practices for working from home will help IT managers ensure that corporate networks remain cyber-safe.