In the wake of increasing global cybercrimes and cyber-attacks, the importance of information security as the top priority of governments, businesses and security services in the Middle East has prompted significant investments to detect, protect and react to the ever-changing cyber landscape. Addressing issues on global cybersecurity vulnerabilities and threats against systems, applications, and personal networks, the second edition of Gulf Information Security Expo & Conference (GISEC) will be held from 9-11 June 2014 at Dubai World Trade Centre.
The must-attend event is set to draw 3,000 trade visitors from 51 countries and more than 100 exhibitors from the world’s leading information security companies and brands. GISEC 2014, the region’s only large-scale information security platform, will gather industry, government and thought leaders as well as international and regional cybersecurity experts in various business sectors such as I.T., oil & gas, banking & finance, government, legal, healthcare and telecoms to meet the growing requirements for information security and countermeasures in the region. 91% of last year’s attendees were purchasing decision makers from a wide range of industries.
The two-day I.T. security-focused conference segment of GISEC hosts delegates from over 18 countries. In addition, free-to-attend security sessions on vendor-run educational presentations, workshops, demonstrations, informative speeches and case-studies will be held to give I.T. professionals useful insights to help defend their businesses from cyber-attacks.
Ever-changing security landscape and rise of security awareness in the region
Cybersecurity awareness continues to be on the rise in the Middle East. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the amount of money spent on I.T. security continues to grow at 15% a year, and in some cases, companies are spending big to protect their networks. In 2013, MEED also reported that major national oil companies in the Middle East spend approximately USD10 million annually to secure their systems.
Furthermore, key findings of research and education organisation SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Networking, and Security) Institute last year revealed that companies in the region have a number of Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) with several forums organised to help InfoSec professionals share knowledge and help strengthen defences. Several governmental departments and enterprises in the region are also endorsing the Critical Security Controls as a methodology that is able to prevent a large number of common attack.
Meanwhile, the security landscape in the GCC has continually evolved in recent years, largely due to the increase of cybercrime. More than 65% of I.T. experts in the GCC believe that the region is a prime target for cyber criminals according to a 2013 report by information security specialists GBM, with 21% of respondents said their organisations have not been conducting regular proactive screenings to ensure that their I.T. infrastructure and critical data are protected.
Leading experts in cybersecurity to share insights at GISEC Conference
The GISEC conference will focus on how to tackle the most sophisticated cyber threats in 2014, including threat intelligence and analytics, malicious insider attacks, cloud security, and mobile security among others. The event will serve as a platform of knowledge exchanges and best practices from private and public security experts such as Ray Stanton, Executive Vice-President, BT Global Services, who will deliver a talk about Cybersecurity framework; Jay Leek, SVP and CISO at Blackstone who will be speaking on Threat intelligence and analytics; and John Taylor of Protection Group International, who will give a presentation on the Technical And Non-Technical Solutions to Reduce the Risk of Insider Threats among several others.
The exhibition segment of GISEC will feature a range of companies from security software developers, security software providers, cloud solution providers, security hardware manufacturers, ISPs, MNOs, police forces, banks, telecommunications regulators, and data warehouse providers among others. Key industry decision makers will also have the chance to meet companies such as AccessData, Airbus Defence & Space, BT Global Services, F5 Networks, Fireeye, Gulf Business Machines (GBM), Neustar, Protection Group International and Spire Solutions.
Tareque Choudhury, Chief Security Officer and Head of Professional Services, BT Global, added: “As the Middle East rises in prominence on the global stage, so will the levels of cybercrime that are experienced. The organisations, public or private, that are driving the growth in the Middle East are very attractive targets for cyber criminals and no one is immune, not even smaller organisations. BT’s investment in the Middle East is about extending our global security capabilities to meet the needs of our local customers. BT’s sponsorship with GISEC is just one demonstration of how important we believe the market in the Middle East to be, we’re looking forward to the event and bringing together a range of thought leaders in the security space.”
According to Guy Meguer, General Manager-Cybersecurity at Airbus Defence & Space, formerly Cassidian Cybersecurity; “Following the occurrence of several cyber-attacks in the Middle-East over the last years, GISEC 2014 is becoming the most important I.T. security exhibition in the region that all decision makers need to be part of, to learn about the latest solutions to ensure their business continuity. At the show, we will be presenting our latest managed services for detecting and fighting advanced persistent cyber threats on I.T. networks. This solution, named Keelback, provides continuous monitoring, threat intelligence, malware investigations and immediate alarms, in case of attacks via the networks or directly on the hosts.”
Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President at Dubai World Trade Centre, said: “Companies in the Middle East are becoming more aware of I.T. security issues with the majority spending considerable portions of their I.T. budget on security. With Dubai considered the regional hub for the I.T. industry, GISEC serves as a critical information security knowledge platform and provides organisations not only with worldwide best practices but also global and regional service and solution providers in cybersecurity.”
Security Workshops and Security Sessions
In addition to the conference and exhibition, GISEC will hold free-to-attend Security Sessions that will include vendor-run educational presentations, product demonstrations and case-studies to help defend businesses from cyber-attacks. Regional IT professionals will also receive workshops and training sessions based on the official Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®) Common Body of Knowledge (CBK®) Review Seminar. CISSP is an independent information security certification governed by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)².
IT Security Awards
GISEC will also host IT Security Awards, the region’s first award of its kind that recognises excellence in implementation of projects and applications in the IT security industry by private enterprises and public-sector organisations. The awards, to be held on 10 June 2014, will feature specific awards categories in each of the different vertical markets represented in the show as well as recognising individuals who have made a specific contribution to the industry.
Among the key sponsors of the exhibition are BT Global as Strategic Sponsor; GBM as Diamond Sponsor; Spire Solutions and Protection Group International as Platinum Sponsors; and Access Data and F5 Networks as Gold Sponsors. Meanwhile, Palladium is the sponsor for the IT Security Awards