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Cybersecurity top priority of UAE government

sandhya@khaleejtimes.com Filed on June 5, 2016
Faisal Al Bannai, chief executive officer of DarkMatter
Faisal Al Bannai, chief executive officer of DarkMatter

(Supplied photo)

GCC-wide sector set to grow from $340m to $1b by 2018

What is the point in feeling safe when your house is locked but your window is open? Or is it safe when you locked the house and slipped the key under the doormat? Or can you outsmart hackers by simply having a very predictable password - 123456 - to your device controlled security?

These anecdotes will make one ponder that nowadays when we are constantly hooked in cyberworld, security not only becomes prime concern but inevitable to track best solutions to live safe and that is exactly the top priority of the UAE government towards its residents.

Cybersecurity top priority of UAE government (KT700262.PNG)

"The UAE is extremely conscious about the cybersecurity being offered to its residents as it globally evolves to be among the top smart cities in the world," Faisal Al Bannai, chief executive officer of DarkMatter told Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview.

DarkMatter is a UAE headquartered company that is transforming the cybersecurity landscape by providing a complete range of state-of-the-art services and solutions to government and commercial clients. Its end-to-end expertise extends to: governance, risk and compliance; cyber network defence; managed security services; secure communications; infrastructure and system integration; smart solutions; agile and innovative.

"Cybersecurity needs to be viewed as collective measure at corporate levels as companies not only need to invest more but invest in a smart way so as to get maximum benefit to ensure they stay protected. Higher connectivity only means higher vulnerability and hence companies need to be extra prudent as to where they are investing in terms of boosting their safety."

Most employees use their devices for their personal use and the same is used for their corporate needs giving rise to massive vulnerability issues.

"Cybersecurity now stands at the centre of further progress of the modern, electronic-based global economy. Pro-activity and a holistic approach to cybersecurity has never been more important as it is critical now," added Al Bannai.

"Buying few pieces of hardware and firewalls means nothing, its like staying in home safely with doors open."

Cybersecurity is not only a local but a global concern and in a day where we all need to stay connected it makes the world shrink. The security needs in US may not differ much from any other developed or developing country the issues remain more or less same.

The company's CEO strongly recommends that security needs to cover end to end points covering policies, hardware to monitoring and implementation of the solutions and many entities are yet on learning curve.

The cybersecurity is dominated by large entities either US or Europe headquartered and this made it inevitable for DarkMatter to not only set up its operations here but bring global pool of talent to UAE headquarters and position itself as global player.

"We are currently developing our own IP, product development and research and development centres that are already developing products for next generation which will be out by 2017. The aim is to support the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to build the nation which is known for innovation and the one which can develop its own IP - Intellectual Property.

Currently with 150 extremely talented and specialised staff serve the company and by the end of the year this number can be seen reaching 600. The company will launch products in first-half of 2017, which will see technologies, patents, IP developed from the UAE and competing in global markets. The company is all set to announce series of peer-to-peer partnerships in current and next year targeting over 300 per cent growth in 2016," said Al Bannai.

The regional network security spend in a GCC-wide sector set to grow from $340 million to $1 billion by 2018, according to a Frost & Sullivan.

The international cybersecurity firm headquartered in the UAE, has found that 48 per cent of respondents to its DarkMatter Cyber Security Poll said their organisations do not have a senior management executive assigned to oversee cybersecurity, while 46 per cent of respondents said their organisations did not have a board-level representative responsible for cybersecurity.

The statistics are extracted from a poll conducted by DarkMatter during the Gulf Information Security Expo & Conference 2016 held in Dubai, at which the company was the Cyber Security Innovation Partner. DarkMatter was able to poll the answers of over 200 information and communication technology visitors present at the event, with the aim of the exercise being to identify attitudes held by enlightened ICT professionals towards the role of cybersecurity in modern, highly digitised economies, and the state of their organisations' cyber threat resilience.

The poll identified that 23 per cent of respondents believe that their organisations have been victim to an internal cybersecurity breach, while 32 per cent believe their organisations have fallen victim to an external attack.

This suggests external threats pose a greater threat to organisations' digital assets than internal ones, with a further poll result indicating 46 per cent of respondents believe cybersecurity breaches are most often the result of human factors. - sandhya@khaleejtimes.com

author

Sandhya D'Mello

Journalist. Period. My interests are Economics, Finance and Information Technology. Prior to joining Khaleej Times, I have worked with some leading publications in India, including the Economic Times.





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