News, Security

The pressure for cybersecurity is more critical than ever: GBM’s Nofal

Hani Nofal, VP, Intelligent Network Solutions, Security and Mobility, GBM, discusses how having the right intelligence enable organisations make effective decisions for responding to cyber incidents or attempts to attacks.

How important is the role of security in the success of an organisation’s digital transformation?

Identity theft leading to data breaches, the rise in ransomware, and the risk around Cloud services are directly blocking the organisations in their journey to digital transformation.

The cyber landscape is complex and continuously evolving. The huge development in modern technology and the online-world has given hackers the perfect playground and a number of high-profile companies in the Gulf have struggled with the constant demand for up-to-date security.

As the rise in threat continues, the demand for a comprehensive and responsive cyber defense is also growing on a much grander scale than previously thought possible.

Last year, we have seen a spate of ransomware attacks globally. Do you see this trend continuing in 2018 and how can organisations prepare to combat this threat?

Cybercrime is now ranking 2nd as a Top 10 risk to the global economy according to a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit. The pressure to improve cybersecurity is more critical than ever, as cybercriminals are becoming more advanced, armed with latest technology trends and backed financially by criminal organisations. Our region is no different.

GBM’s latest research demonstrated that 41 percent of Gulf organisations suffered a security incident in 2017 compared to 29 percent in 2016. 15 percent of those who suffered a security breach actually experienced more than 5 security incidents over the past year, which is an alarming fact.

Cloud, mobility and IoT are always prone to new attacks. That’s why organisations need to take a risk based approach towards new technology adoption, such as getting their business services assessed for weaknesses from a “people, process and technology” perspective.

Adopting Cloud Security Technologies can be key to ensure visibility, data security, compliance and malware protection.

Also, organisations should start deploying Security Operation Centers for SCADA networks to provide them with the much needed visibility to take appropriate actions.

Most breaches occur by compromising the identity of a user and accessing confidential data. To secure information, it is not enough to adopt a silo approach without data classification. We advise organisations to use Identity Management as a business enabler with a seamless experience.

Furthermore, visibility is another vital aspect of data security. Organisations are lacking the intelligence they need to take quick and effective decisions for responding to incidents or attempts to attacks. Finally, organisations should conduct pilots of AI and ML to assist them in fighting the adversaries. It is important to implement use cases which will show the benefit of the technology and move your organisations towards predictive security.

What is the primary focus of your participation at this year’s GISEC?

GBM has always been one of the leading sponsors of GISEC. This year again, we are continuing our support and we are participating in GISEC as a Platinum Sponsor. This participation testifies our commitment to pioneer the cyber security practices and our ability to reveal the cyber security trends in the region as well as to help our clients foster data protection and information security.

As part of GBM’s participation at this year’s GISEC Nofal will present the higlights of the firm’s latest survey, which focuses regional security trends and will share top tips for IT security leaders.



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