Anand Choudha, CEO for Spectrami speaks to Security MEA about the state of cyber security in the region since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world
How would you describe Spectrami?
Spectrami is a Dubai headquartered pan-EMEA cyber security value-added distributor with a local presence across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. We work with the world’s leading cyber security vendors and specialise in end-to-end solutions across information security and infrastructure management, assisting regional enterprises to meet regulatory standards on their infrastructure, protect confidential data assets and applications.
How would you access the situation for cyber attacks in the region, since COVID-19 started?
With Cyber criminals exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic by launching an unprecedented barrage of Covid-19 themed attacks, there has been a big increase in the cyber-attacks since this pandemic started. UAE has been one of the most affected countries in the region, accounting bulk of the Covid-19 themed attacks in GCC.
Similar trends have been witnessed across the globe, as cyber criminals have taken advantage of people using remote working applications. There have been several examples, where cyber criminals have been feeding on the fears of coronavirus as people are spending more time online.
As a cyber security specialist, Spectrami has also experienced similar trends in the market, and we expect to register a growth in our sales of cyber security solutions in close vicinity of 15-20% this year.
Which sectors of the economy are most vulnerable to cyber attacks and why?
Critical infrastructure organisations such as Energy, Utilities, Government, Banking and Financial Services remain the prime choice of cyber criminals and hackers, making them most vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Reasons can be many, but most of the attacks are driven by financial motives, and given the geopolitical nature of the region, several of these attacks are originated only to hurt the countries in the region.
Because of the current situation, sectors that are seeing a lot of layoffs can be extremely vulnerable to such attacks. Frankly, nobody is safe from cyber-attacks, be it large, medium or small enterprises. Even the best of the technology companies have fallen victims of such attacks. Recently, one of the biggest IT services companies in the world, Cognizant suffered a big hit from a Maze ransomware attack.
What are the most popular solutions in your portfolio that are in more demand this year?
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic the demand for VPN security solutions has increased as people are working from home and yet they need to connect with the company’s network or cloud. When you talk about remote connectivity the requirement for multi-factor authentication has gone up, and endpoints such as laptops or mobiles have moved to an unsecured home environment increasing the need for endpoint security. Pro-active approach to security is also required, as their networks are open for remote connectivity and they need to secure those networks.
What is your outlook for the year 2021?
We expect the challenges to continue until a vaccine is made available to the masses. Only the availability of vaccine can ensure free movement of people and allow them to travel for both business and tourism, which will help drive the economy into a recovery mode.
On the technology front, we will continue to see the market for cyber security growing. The cloud and remote services adoption will stay in a higher growth trajectory and digital transformation will gain further momentum.