GISEC Global brings focus to key cyber trends

The exhibition will focus on key trends such as AI, cloud, and operational technology, as well as bridging the skills gap

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Ezzeldin Hussein
Ezzeldin Hussein

Published: Tue 23 Apr 2024, 2:19 PM

GISEC Global, the Middle East and Africa’s largest and most impactful cybersecurity show, is marking its 13th edition. The event is expected to welcome more than 750 leading cybersecurity companies, both from the region and globally, as well as 350-plus speakers and 1,000 cybersecurity professionals from different countries.

The UAE is focused on becoming a global hub for business and innovation, which is driving digital transformation in the region. This has led to rapid adoption of cloud technologies. Against this backdrop, the cyber threat to organisations has significantly increased with the head of cybersecurity for the UAE government warning that the public sector alone faces nearly 50,000 cyberattack efforts every day.

Maher Jadallah
Maher Jadallah

“Attackers see many ways in and multiple paths through technology environments, to inflict damage to organisations. That said, organisations are not helpless,” said Maher Jadallah, senior director, Middle East and North Africa at Tenable. "To secure the modern attack surface security teams need a unified approach to security that transcends silos. I am looking forward to GISEC and the opportunity to showcase our latest solutions that help our customers understand and address their business risk."

Tenable will be showcasing its flagship products including Tenable One Exposure Management Platform, Tenable Cloud Security, Tenable OT Security, and Tenable Identity Exposure.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming industries across the globe, but it remains a double-edged sword in cybersecurity. While it enables more sophisticated and automated threat detection, adversaries are simultaneously leveraging AI to launch more complex and adaptive attacks. Yes, AI can significantly improve security postures, but ongoing research and training are crucial, and this is where the SANS Institute comes in.

SANS Institute recently launched a new training course, AIS247: AI Security Essentials for Business Leaders, that delves into the unprecedented adoption of GenAI tools in business and the pivotal role of cybersecurity in AI development. With courses like AIS247, professionals can better understand the risks in AI implementation and develop secure organisational AI frameworks.

Ned Baltagi
Ned Baltagi

“We want to instill a culture of continuous cybersecurity learning, especially now in the Middle East, where industries such as critical infrastructure, financial services, and government entities are particularly at risk of AI-driven cyber-attacks. Platforms like GISEC connect us with government leaders, regional and international industry players, and partners,” says Ned Baltagi, managing director, Middle East, Turkey and Africa, SANS Institute.

Sujoy Banerjee
Sujoy Banerjee

The significant benefits from Artificial Intelligence are penetrating the cybersecurity industry. Sujoy Banerjee, associate director at ManageEngine notes, "The cybersecurity landscape is always changing, with the emergence of newer technologies such as AI and ML paving their way into the cybersecurity niche. With cyberattacks becoming more complex and sophisticated, it puts more importance on the adoption of such novel technologies to enhance security capabilities."

AI capabilities have contributed towards strengthening defense mechanisms against high octane cyber threats. AI can now proactively identify cyber threats as well as automate responses in such scenarios. At an endpoint level, AI technology can be used for ransomware detection, patch deployment and isolation of affected systems to prevent further attacks. Considering the wide range of usage for AI capabilities, it will play a pivotal role in the future of cybersecurity.

ManageEngine, a division of Zoho Corp, is showcasing its entire suite of security products at GISEC, which includes latest upgrades to its SIEM solution, Log360; and its AD security and compliance solution, ADAudit Plus with its latest Attack Surface Analyzer.

AI is also creating challenges for the cybersecurity industry. Alarmingly, AI has lowered the barrier to entry and enables those with no or low skill to become a threat actor overnight and build tools and attack methods by simply asking their closest generative AI model for help.

Aaron Bugal, field CTO APJ, Sophos says, "Like with many technological enhancements, it can be a double edged sword, either helpful or hindering. Artificial Intelligence is no exception, and malicious code and enhanced phishing lures generated by the multitude of generative AI models have been encountered in the wild."

Cyber defenders are struggling to keep up with the sheer volume of new malware and attack origins given anyone can now become a threat actor. With cyber defenders inundated with alerts and events from these attacks and typically under-resourced, they will struggle to drive new initiatives to move their organisations forward and potentially fall victim to fatigue and potential burnout.

“This ripple effect will become a crippling force for not just the cyber defender on the front line, it will more than likely introduce a larger risk for the organization that they may not be able to mitigate,” continues Sophos’ Bugal.

The cybersecurity industry now more than ever needs an influx of aspiring practitioners comfortable with Artificial Intelligence tools and models. The shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals exacerbates the challenge of defending against these threats. Organisations struggle to keep up with the evolving threat landscape, leaving them vulnerable to attacks.

“AI, while offering promising solutions for enhancing cybersecurity, also introduces new risks. The complexity of AI systems can create new vulnerabilities if not properly secured. The overlap of these factors drives the critical need for organisations to invest in cybersecurity talent development and AI-driven security solutions,” says Ezzeldin Hussein, regional senior director, solution engineering, META, SentinelOne.

Pan regional events like GISEC significantly help to raise awareness about the ongoing transformation in the cyber security industry and the impact of Artificial Intelligence.

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