Monica Maria Nunes CO-MD & Executive Director
Monica Maria Nunes CO-MD & Executive Director , Vodatel
Working with solutions that are best-of-the-breed within their domains,Vodatel is a system integrator that offers turnkey solutions to a group of premium customers
Government and gaming operators in Macau and telecommunications/internet services providers in Hong Kong and Mainland China demand highquality services as they either run mission-critical infrastructure to support their business (e.g. the surveillance system of a gaming operator) or they have SLA for their endusers (e.g. selling bandwidth to enterprises). Headquartered in Macao and listed on GEM, the company and its subsidiaries (“Vodatel Group” or “Group”) primarily engaged in the design, supply, implementation, and maintenance of turnkey solutions in the areas of IT, networks, and surveillance and the development of customized software for its customers.
As a system integrator that offers turnkey solutions to a group of premium customers, Vodatel has been selective in the products and services offerings that it carries, ensuring that the vendors and solutions represented are among the best-of-the-breed within their domains. To also ensure that the solutions fit the customers and perform upto required standards, the company will conduct extensive testing on the products in isolation and in combination with other products in a replicated environment similar to that of the customers.
Vodatel was incorporated in 1992 in Macau with an initial business focus to provide digital data networks for telecommunications services providers in Mainland China. “Two major events that transformed Vodatel to who we are today—listing of Vodatel on the Growth Enterprise Market of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong in 2000, and Mainland China entering WTO in 2001, which resulted in companies like Vodatel losing competitive advantages,” explains Monica Maria Nunes, co-Managing Director of the Group. “As a result, we retreated back to Macau and took advantage of Macau opening up its gaming industry.” Transforming from a company that only focused on data networks infrastructure for telecommunications services providers in Mainland China to becoming a well-round company offering a complete array of products also to include enterprise IT solutions, software, and other mission-critical solutions, like surveillance systems, and expanding our customer base also to include government, gaming operators, banks and insurance companies.
According to Nunes, in a project, to diligently design the optimal solution for customers involves three key components. First of all, it involves the “old school” approach, which is “know-your-customer” and understanding their business needs. “Based on the information gathered, we can then complete the first key component, i.e. coming up with a feasible technical solution that fits the business needs, technical environment and within budget. The second component involves pairing a deployment plan, which includes a master implementation schedule and installation method statements,” she explains. “The last component relates to project management, where we will put together a project management team which comprises of (i) professional and experienced project managers, (ii) based on the technical solution, certified technical engineers in the respective disciplines; and (iii) quality assurance supervisors.” Only with these three components working hand-in-hand will Vodatel see this as a true turnkey solution. The company specializes in advising and implementing firewalls and security tools for maximum protection and identifying and analyzing data traffic for challenges on networks, applications, and IoT. They recommend following the NIST Cyber Security Framework, whereby enterprises formulate their security policies and guidelines for companywide adoption and infrastructure services. In formulating the security policies and guidelines, the five golden core functions are to be observed to develop and implement policies, which are to:
1.Identify cybersecurity risk to systems, assets, data, and capabilities;
2.Protect critical infrastructure services;
3.Detect cybersecurity occurrence;
4.Respond to detected event; and
5.Recover impaired capabilities and services.
As for firewall and security tools, they should always be updated with the latest versions, signatures, and rules with known vulnerabilities fixed at the earliest. It is also important for these tools to be connected with internetbased malware intelligence to obtain real-time malware information. These tools should be configured to detect not just known hacking activities but suspicious activities and to send out real-time alerts when a threat is identified, which is where incorporating Vodatel uPM, can help to effectively concert all these tools to provide real-time IP positioning and real-time threat mitigations.
Vodatel uPM Security Solution provides full visibility of the network behind two-tier firewalls. It is a full SIEM that provides real-time security analytics to correlate security events, log events, and traffic flows generated from a vendorneutral IT infrastructure, providing real-time and inducing automatic threat mitigations. uPM Analyzer, the core of Vodatel uPM, is the centralized log management module developed based on ELK (Elasticsearch Logstash Kibana). It is a full SIEM security analytics engine. It filters out non-security related events and flows while consolidating all SIEM logs and data flow from the web, infrastructure, and applications (e.g., surveillance system) to filtrate, classify, aggregate and index. These SIEM data will then be correlated against pre-set key parameters to determine and derive potential real-time security threats and, where identified, will induce automated threat mitigations where suspicious, malicious devices or entries will be quarantined or blocked within 1 or 2 seconds.
Vodatel is vigilant about the near future as COVID-10 still looms and for plans to further invest and develop the team to become more versatile in terms of their skills and expertise. For products and services, they will continue to gear focus on data networks infrastructure in data centers as a data center is the heart of all data networks infrastructure. “Concurrently, we will also focus on products that will complement our existing product portfolios, such as SD-WAN for data networking and Vodatel uPM to complement cybersecurity; and for geographical presence, we will continue to focus on Macau and Mainland China that we now operate as we believe these markets still have huge business potential to offer,” explains Nunes.