EDITOR ’ S NOTE
Welcome to the latest edition
of Intelligent CIO Middle
East magazine . As we start the last quarter of the calendar year , it is encouraging to see that business activity in the technology sector has started to pick up as lockdown restrictions are gradually being lifted across the region . This is reassuring and certainly from our standpoint , the past six months have been quite busy even when we have had to work from home .
Given the security concerns that most organisations have been grappling with as employees switch to working remotely , most companies have had to train their staff on the importance of the human element in cybersecurity as a way of cementing the overall organisation ’ s security posture .
With businesses slowly returning to some level of normality , we have this month ’ s cover featuring Tareq Abdulrasheed , IT Head , Marina Pharmacy Group , a UAE-based retailer of pharmaceutical medicines and over thecounter products , which recently deployed SonicWall Unified Threat Management ( UTM ) solutions . Abdulrasheed shares with us how the implementation of next-gen firewall solutions has improved the group ’ s security posture and secured network connectivity of its 40 retail stores across the Gulf state .
“ The company was expanding both organically and strategically to become a leading pharmaceutical retailer in the UAE , while maintaining a singular customer experience for all its outlets in various locations across the country . It was equally important during this period of growth to provide consistent security , such as a strong firewall defence , reliable security , monitoring and compliance services to all the branches . In an ever-changing threat landscape , especially in the retail industry , where uptime of systems is critical , it ’ s important that Marina Pharmacy Group is at the forefront of securing its environment . We are not a technology company , but , similar to most other organisations in this sector , we rely heavily on technology to run our core business . Any disruptions that prevent someone from doing their job efficiently is an immense problem ,” he says .
Among the many insights Abdulrasheed shares with us is that prior to the SonicWall next-generation firewall implementation , the company narrowly avoided an attack at the head office and thankfully the IT team was working late that day and noticed something was odd and managed to disconnect the networks before any real damage was done .
You can hear more of Abdulrasheed ’ s views by turning to page 58 .
Elsewhere in the magazine , we look at the state of the CIO as Digital Transformation is currently underway . With IT leaders across various industry verticals expanding their roles to take on more business strategy responsibilities , identify new areas of revenue growth and opportunities for competitive differentiation , we hear from industry experts on the State of the CIO in the Middle East and Africa ( MEA ) region .
The feature starts on page 40 .
Tamer Odeh , Regional Director at SentinelOne in the Middle East , shares with us how enterprise organisations can successfully defend the endpoint in the age of remote working . “ Huge damages can occur in one minute . With millions of people working from home , there is an enormous attack surface ripe for the taking by malicious actors ,” he says .
The article starts on page 82 .
As usual , we have all your favourite features , analysis , opinions and a comprehensive news round-up from across the Middle East . You can also read daily news updates on our website at www . intelligentcio . com / me /. And kindly , don ’ t hesitate if you would like to get in touch please email me at manda @ lynchpinmedia . co . uk .
I would like to wish you all a great month ahead and please enjoy the read !
Manda Banda Editor www . intelligentcio . com INTELLIGENTCIO