Region is up against Uphill Task

Security MEA speaks to Amit Roy, executive vice president and regional head for EMEA at Paladion about the evolving security landscape in the region

How is the security landscape evolving in the Middle East?
The region is up against uphill task as it is witnessing some of the very sophisticated cyber-attacks recently such as Shamoon-2 and now StoneDrill are recent examples. We see the threat landscape becoming more advanced and targeted, influenced by the geo-political situation in the region and the challenges brought on by Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud.

Attacks have been much more financially and politically motivated in the region, experiencing sophisticated hacks on mainstream IT networks as well as Industrial Control Systems (ICS).

What are the current trends in cyber security in the Middle East? Are there any trends that are unique to this region?
The market for security solutions and services is on upswing and has been steadily growing for the past few years. As of today, the country is the largest consumer of cyber security solutions and services across the Middle East region.

There has been an increase in cyber threats and attacks from various sources that include not only traditional hackers and hacktivists, but now even state sponsored cyber threats and organized criminals are becoming a major cause of concern. This has rendered several critical infrastructure assets vulnerable in Saudi Arabia. Today, the kingdom is among the most targeted destination in Middle East. The recent return of Shamoon also left a trail of destruction in the kingdom that has put authorities in the country on alert and has pushed for further strengthening of cyber defences.

Is finding trained security professionals a real challenge in Middle East? 
The demand for cybersecurity professionals in the region is out striping the supply. Developing the right talent locally is a time consuming process, but we are headed in this direction.

In the meanwhile, established MSS providers like Paladion can fill this gap. It should also be noted that MSS providers continuously train their talent to keep up with the latest security trends. This continuous training is difficult to achieve for most businesses trying to manage talent in-house.

What measures should organisations take to safeguard themselves?
To safeguard against sophisticated cyber threats, organizations need to first adopt a robust cyber security framework that continuously adapts to the changing threat landscape. This requires effective ISMS, regular security testing or vulnerability management, round the clock security monitoring, and the right security technologies. While this is fundamental, MSSP go a step above to bring in Machine Intelligence, Data Sciences, Security Analytics and more to provide robust cyber defences.

Paladion’s High Speed Cyber Defense methodology is a case in point. Paladion’s SOCs are driven by machine intelligence, security automation and high people ratio that provide enterprises early detection and faster response to combat today’s sophisticated cyber threats.