Ways to become compliant with Information Assurance Standards

Sebastien Pavie, Regional Director META, Enterprise & Cybersecurity at Gemalto discusses ways in which organizations in the UAE can become complaint with the UAE’s Information Assurance Standards.

Cyber threats and cybercrime are more evident than ever before. With rapidly growing data infrastructures and assets, there are also increasing data security vulnerabilities that must be addressed. According to Gemalto’s latest Breach Level Index Report, 918 data breaches led to 1.9 billion data records being compromised globally in the first half of 2017. It is therefore no surprise that governments are mandating data security regulations in order to improve cyber security and data protection.

To protect the UAE’s critical data information infrastructure and improve national cyber security, the government introduced the UAE Information Assurance Standards (UAE IAS), which is a set of guidelines for government entities in critical sectors. Compliance with these standards is mandatory for all government organizations, semi-government organizations and business organizations that are identified as critical infrastructure to UAE.

In order to comply with these regulations, organizations should take a data-centric approach to security by applying comprehensive encryption methods, enforcing strict authentication and identity management solutions and building strong crypto management techniques to protect their data.

Making sure only the right people can access private information in today’s high risk environments is a critical need if organizations are going to meet their customer and partner expectations. Similarly, ensuring that administrators can manage data without altering it, for instance, is a vital requirement for addressing a range of regulations. Layering access control with strong, multi-factor authentication solutions and hardware security modules (HSMs) ensures only authorized individuals can access regulated information.

Another critical requirement for many compliance mandates and security best practices is centralized, efficient, and secure management of cryptographic keys and policies. Securing cryptographic keys provides reliable protection for applications, transactions and information assets. With keys securely stored in hardware, organizations can ensure both high performance and the highest security available. With robust hardware security modules, encryption appliances, and key management solutions, organizations can maximize the security of encryption keys and policies, adding a critical line of defense for confidential information. This approach is also the easiest way for organizations to integrate application security in order to achieve regulatory compliance.

Many regulations mandate that sensitive data be adequately protected. Safeguarding regulated data in applications, databases, mainframes, storage systems, laptops, and other areas is a critical requirement for security and compliance. With encryption employed, even if an organization’s initial defenses are subverted, they can still guard these critical repositories against theft and manipulation. This will not just meet the demands of regulation, but will also protect your business interests.

As the number of guidelines, rules and interpretations of data compliance regulations continue to evolve, organizations must make it a priority to implement an infrastructure to centrally support, manage, and enforce policy in order to comply with mandates and meet business goals.