In recent weeks we have had the pleasure of participating in a number of high-profile technology exhibitions and conferences, including taking part in our inaugural GITEX Technology Week as the event’s Cyber Security Innovation Partner.
It has been a huge education for us being able to interact with the region’s, and in many cases world’s, leading IT and technology providers.
Our greatest learning at these shows, however, has come from an unexpected source. In the midst of all the amazing technologies and innovations, we have found the most compelling take-away from the shows is that organisations and essentially people want to live and work in an environment – real and virtual – in which they feel empowered to become all they can be.
This may sound like an odd take-away from major technology events, but it is true to say that in our conversations and interactions with partners, clients, and visitors alike, the main theme we heard communicated time and again during our attendance at these various events was how to create an environment in which the world could continue to benefit from digital transformation.
Don’t misunderstand me. Technology and innovation is hugely important, and on our own part we have been proud to showcase some of the unique and ground-breaking developments we are undertaking in the areas of blockchain, big data analytics, and the provision of cyber resilience capabilities to smart cities.
These innovations are set to have a real and lasting impact on how entities and individuals operate in digital environments, but ultimately it all comes back to empowering the ecosystem to operate at its optimum capability.
In our public engagements we have been interested to have conversation with tech-savvy individuals to reiterate that security is not something any organisation or individual can take for granted. It never has been, even in the IT era, but the significance of securing networks in today’s highly digitised environment has risen exponentially given the amount of data being transferred and the level of hyper connectivity all around us.
We believe maintaining simplicity in technology is one of the greatest challenges given the technical requirements needed to achieve it. However, I believe as a community and as a region we are taking significant strides in the right direction.
Take for example the gathering of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) (Subcommittee SC) 27 that took place in Abu Dhabi recently, presented an opportunity for local firms to offer up a voice in securing our digital economy in the region.
For the first time since this international working group was founded in 1990, a country in the Middle East hosted the global discussion on IT security standards, and ultimately shifted the nexus of discussions on the delivery of resilience in digital networks.
Data security vulnerabilities threaten economies of all sizes. Inadequate governance, unethical or uninformed computer users, insufficient legislation, in addition to poor technical standards chip away at internet and IT security. It is our shared responsibility to take ownership of the requirement to keep our networks and devices secure, and to be aware of the expanding threat landscape in order to achieve the goal of becoming all we are capable of.
About the author: Faisal Al Bannai, Chief Executive Officer of DarkMatter, an international cyber security company based in the UAE, which is empowering digitisation globally. Connect with him on Twitter handle @albannai_faisal
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