Gulf states can expect steady security software uptake: IDC

DUBAI — The finance, government, and telecommunications sectors have been the biggest spenders on IT security in the last couple years in the Gulf States — making up roughly 70 per cent of overall security software spending there each year.

By (Staff Report)

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Published: Sat 17 Apr 2010, 10:14 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 9:39 AM

According to latest research by International Data Corporation (IDC), Saudi Arabia remains the largest country market in the region, followedby UAE.

“The security software and appliance market is expected to grow at a faster rate than other software technologies in the coming years, as Internet penetration continues to improve and mobile technologies continue to spread,” says Senior Analyst Megha Kumar, IDC MEA.

“As greater Internet connectivity means increased exposure to viruses, malware, trojans, phishing attacks, and data and identity theft — the latter a problem especially in the finance sector, where ATM fraud can also be added — CIOs and IT managers in the region now view IT security as a business enabler.”

Since employees can accidentally or deliberately mishandle data with severe financial repercussions, IT administrators’ security concerns have extended beyond the perimeters of an organisation to internal threats.

Also, the growing mobile workforce has added to the number of access points that businesses need to secure. As a result, mobile security has experienced strong early adoption within the region’s financial sector and will grow with the increased use of handheld devices for financial and informational transactions.

“Financial institutions are now required to adhere not only to regional regulations but also to international standards,” says Kumar.”Expenditure on identity and access management solutions has increased as financial institutions have been taking a more aggressive approach to protecting themselves against identity fraud and governments have pressed ahead with national identity programs.”

Governments in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar have set up computer emergency response teams (CERT) to not only increase Internet security awareness but also to combat domestic cybercrime. Also, countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE are implementing national identity initiatives, through which they will issue smart cards carrying citizens’ biometric data and other crucial information.

IDC’s research shows that IT security will remain a top priority for businesses in the region, since threat sophistication and frequency of attacks will only continue to increase. Companies will require security installations to meet regulatory requirements, and it will also be imperative for firms to protect themselves better from deliberate or accidental mismanagement of data.


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