Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 47 | Page 24

TRENDING Jawad Toukna, Director Regional Sales Emerging Markets, Forcepoint There is no doubt that the Middle East has made strides in technology adoption, but the region is still vulnerable to cyberattacks. According to Trend Micro, there were 1.7 billion ransomware attacks detected globally in 2018. Out of these, 2.4 million were in the UAE, followed by Kuwait and Bahrain with 1.9 million and 1.2 million respectively. Yazan A Hammoudah, Senior Manager, Systems Engineering MEA, FireEye Ransomware is a great example of how cybersecurity affects us all here in the Middle East, from the boardroom right down to employee level. Ransomware is not a new threat, but understanding how companies can fall victim to this and other ‘traditional’ threats demonstrates how cybersecurity must be an integral part of a company’s strategy and how firms need to understand puts the region at risk when it comes to cyberattacks. In the first quarter of 2019 alone, FireEye identified large volumes of Iranian state-sponsored attacks targeting organisations in the Middle East, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), UAE, Bahrain, Lebanon and Kuwait, and as well as other financially motivated advanced persistent threat (APT) groups. These nation- state groups are looking at a large-scale espionage across some key sectors in the Middle East such as government, aerospace, energy and utilities. Recently, we have noticed breaches against the education sector in the region, especially when it comes to universities specialised in research. The education sector has the least investment when it comes to cybersecurity for many reasons – one such reason is that it’s important for students to have an open environment and freedom to use devices. Since these devices are not controlled or monitored like a closed enterprise, they are an easy target for cybercriminals. The attackers are more evolved, well- organised and using highly targeted techniques that leave technology-only security strategies exposed. To identify and stop attackers, organisations need to understand how they think, how they work and what they want. Adopting strategic security intelligence solutions will allow organisations to move from reactive measures to proactive threat hunting. 24 INTELLIGENTCIO “ RANSOMWARE IS A GREAT EXAMPLE OF HOW CYBERSECURITY AFFECTS US ALL HERE IN THE MIDDLE EAST, FROM THE BOARDROOM RIGHT DOWN TO EMPLOYEE LEVEL. analytics technologies, something that our survey showed is not happening in more than 50% of organisations in the Middle East (despite 90% of them saying this is a crucial step to effectively stop breaches). The cyberthreat landscape is evolving rapidly and companies need a different approach, as the security challenges posed by Digital Transformation projects need addressing. One such approach is a dynamic, risk-adaptive product such as Forcepoint’s Dynamic Data Protection. Jawad Toukna, Director Regional Sales Emerging Markets, Forcepoint and protect against human behaviour (clicking on a link) which may unwittingly open an organisation up to risks. Recently, Forcepoint conducted a survey across the Middle East and found that while 69% of IT leaders within organisations have high levels of trust in their employees, 50% also acknowledge that human behaviour is most damaging to trust. Forcepoint believes that by taking a ‘human-centric’ approach to cyberthreats, organisations can prevent breaches. Part of this approach means adopting behavioural With human-centric behaviour-analytics at its core, Forcepoint Dynamic Data Protection applies an anonymous and continuously updated behavioural risk score to establish a baseline of ‘normal’ behaviour of each end- user on corporate or unmanaged networks. Forcepoint’s intelligent systems, informed by the individual risk assessment, then apply a range of security countermeasures to address and counteract the identified risk. In this way, organisations can be protected against insider threats, sabotage and corporate espionage. Hassan El-Banna, Business Development Manager, META, Genetec In the Middle East, organsations are most susceptible to attacks. According to a study by McAfee which reported that the UAE is the