2017 has been another defining year for cyber security, as the number and sophistication of cyber-attacks continued to rise and have significant real-world impacts. We can expect more of the same in 2018 and beyond.
Digital transformation is changing the way we live and work for the better, though we are witnessing the emergence of a type of ‘tech tension’ as a result. This refers to a type of strain that has been created between the obvious and significant gains being enabled by digital transformation, and the widening cyber threat surface as a consequence of increased connectivity.
There is massive investment in cyber security, and yet we keep hearing of new breaches every day. Clearly there’s something wrong with the way the cyber security is being applied, and changes are needed.
We believe a renewed view of cyber resilience is necessary – resilience being defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties and end up stronger, rather than preventing the difficulties occurring altogether.
The Middle East faces similar cyber threats to those one would expect elsewhere in the world. However, the prevalence of the energy sector and the rapid digital transformation of critical national infrastructure has brought with it an increased attack surface for utility companies, for example. Ransomware is a significant threat for this and other regions given the rise in the value and volume of digital transactions.
Entities need to follow a cyber security life-cycle, which is a multi-stage approach encompassing planning, prevention, detection, protection, and response to cyber incidents. It is invaluable for public and private sector entities alike to audit and assess their performance against regulatory and industry standards on an ongoing basis in order to identify cyber security gaps, work to close them, and ensure or achieve compliance.
Should organisations not have the expertise to achieve a heightened level of cyber security in-house, they should outsource this function to companies that can offer the necessary skills. Cyber security specialists have deep understanding and can fill this void.
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