Half of the Gulf companies are promoting their digital initiatives

GBM revealed the results of the ninth edition of its annual study on cybersecurity, which sheds light on a change in risk priorities for organizations in the Gulf region due to the Covid-19 epidemic, while addressing the cybersecurity strategies they adopt Businesses as they strive to accelerate their digital transformation.

The study surveyed information security executives from a range of sectors in the United Arab Emirates, the Sultanate of Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait.

The study focused on the increasing risks in the field of cybersecurity, due to the expansion of the distributed workforce during the epidemic, with one in every two Gulf institutions reporting an increase in the number of cyber attacks on its digital infrastructure.

The institutions surveyed highlighted the need to ensure data security, with the aim of building trust with customers, so that 84 percent of respondents plan to invest in data security over the next year.

According to the international data company “IDC”, this year has witnessed an increased focus on budget rationalization plans and maintaining liquidity, as it was reported that 58 percent of organizations in the Gulf, excluding Saudi Arabia, are accelerating their digital initiatives, and that 47 percent of them continue initiatives as they are. Planned at the beginning of the year.

Rapid shifts in technology adoption are leading to a major rearrangement of security risks in 2020, which requires IT security and IT managers to invest in security technologies and processes differently to ensure the overall security of their organizations.

The main focus of 71 percent of Gulf institutions was securing digital infrastructure in a distributed work environment, in order to ensure the continuity of their business during the epidemic.

The study said that as the region prepares to launch 5G services in new countries soon, accelerate the adoption of cloud technologies, and the boom in application use, data growth will also accelerate.

Data discovery was arranged and classified as preliminary steps that institutions need to take in the march of data security, as it represents a tremendous challenge and a weakness factor at the same time for about half of the institutions covered by the study.

On the other hand, given that organizations have witnessed an increasing dependence on cloud technologies as part of their efforts for digital transformation this year, the GBM study also addressed companies’ concerns about data and cloud security as they move towards adopting cloud technologies.

34% of organizations surveyed expressed concern about the ineffectiveness of their cloud security measures, while 66% of organizations confirmed that the process of managing identities and reaching users in various cloud environments was full of challenges.

Over the next year, cloud security is expected to have a significant focus by 66 percent of the organizations surveyed.

Speed ​​up efforts

Hani Nofal, Vice President of Digital Infrastructure Solutions at GBM, said that the sudden shift this year towards adopting a distributed workforce has led companies to accelerate their efforts in the field of digital transformation to meet customer needs and operational flexibility requirements.

“As a young region with a passion for technology, the opportunity is now available for us to take advantage of technology to mitigate the effects of the economic downturn and accelerate recovery,” he added.

Nofal added that this corresponds to new threats that impose on institutions to invest in advanced technologies and mechanisms, to ensure that they follow a comprehensive security approach.

He indicated that the main lesson learned by the institutions this year is that their rapidly expanding digital footprint, coupled with the ever-increasing threat landscape, highlighted the need for the cybersecurity issue to have a wide range of key discussions taking place at the boards of directors.

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