Evolving complexity of network security

The rate of cybercrime continues to climb in the Middle East. Cyber attacks in the region remain a threat that is challenging to mitigate. The reason is not far to seek. The attacks are constantly evolving. The rising threat of data breaches among enterprises in the Middle East underscores the issue of securing enterprise networks.

“Keeping up with the ever-evolving threat landscape is becoming more complex and challenging, especially when traditional network security management tools need weeks, if not months, to process updates. Businesses are aspiring to grow smarter and operate on systems of insight rather than systems of record,” says Ram Narayanan, Country Manager at Check Point Software Technologies, Middle East.

The development of technologies such as artificial intelligence, industrial Internet and 5G technology has led to the growth in the requirement for network security solutions. “As part of their digital transformation plan, businesses in the Middle East are quickly implementing new technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence, and machine learning with cloud computing as the foundation to enable such massive amounts of data to be handled extraordinarily fast, on-demand, and to foster the adoption of such technologies at scale,” said Ram Narayanan.

“As enterprises embrace such technologies, digital transformation and build remote work cultures, the risk to network technologies expands. Reliance on older models of computing and legacy architecture mean that organizations may need to rethink how to secure network technologies.”

Ram Narayanan, Country Manager at Check Point Software Technologies, Middle East

Middle East Security Revenue
Research firm MarketsandMarkets expects Middle East Cybersecurity Market size to grow from USD 20.3 billion in 2022 to USD 44.7 billion by 2027, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.1% during the forecast period.

According to Check Point Software’s Threat Intelligence report an organization in Middle East is being attacked on average 1409 times per week in the last 6 months.

Threat landscape evolving and increasing in complexity
Middle East’s threat landscape is evolving and increasing in complexity. Continued digital transformation and innovation, 5G and remote working challenges have enhanced the challenges faced by security leaders in terms of protecting their companies’ digital assets.

“The network security market in the Middle East has been growing in recent years, driven by factors such as increasing cyber threats, digital transformation, and government regulations. The market is expected to continue growing in the coming years, with a focus on solutions such as cloud security, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things,” says Ilyas Mohammed, COO at AmiViz.

Cyber threats have become more sophisticated, frequent, and costly. The expansion of IoT devices and multi-cloud has dramatically increased complexity and the opportunity for more impactful breaches. Therefore, enterprises must apply security measures that are not only effective but efficient. “With so much of complexity arising due the shift in how business operates in the new normal, it’s important that we keep things simple,” says Ram Narayanan.

Hence it is in the essential fitness of things we should focus on real-time threat prevention which is the key to preventing the next attack. Everything has to be reassessed and made secure – current network posture, processes, compliance of connected mobile and PC devices. Businesses must improve network security measures while moving to the cloud. Move to a unified management- organization should aim for high visibility levels by consolidating. They must revisit their security investments and focus on consolidating their security investments by reducing the number of point product solutions.

Network Security involves access control, application security, network analytics, types of network-related security (web, wireless), firewalls, VPN encryption and more.

Middle East Network Security Market
A wide range of industries in the Middle East, including finance, healthcare, energy and government are prioritising the deployment of security solutions thanks to the enormous amount of sensitive and confidential data they hold.

Ram Narayanan of Check Point says, “The adoption of network security in the Middle East area is also being driven by the fast expanding IoT implementation as a result of digitalization.”

“In 2023, some of the technologies which are anticipated to go mainstream are Internet of Things (IoT) and Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). We also continue to see breakneck adoption of AI/ML tech in the military and medicine.”

“The virtualization of servers is another trend in remote working that is expanding and is contributing to the growth of the regional network security market,” says Ram Narayanan.

Ilyas Mohamed, COO at AmiViz

Security Best practices
When assessing their cybersecurity posture and selecting the best tools, CIOs should consider factors such as their organization’s specific security needs, budget, and the level of support and maintenance required for the tools.

CIOs should also consider tools that integrate with existing systems and can be easily managed and monitored. It’s also important to regularly review and update the security tools to ensure they are still effective in protecting against current threats.

“It is a good practice to consult experts in the field, to have a professional assessment of the current security measures in place and to identify the gaps that needs to be filled. It’s also important to have a security testing service to ensure that the implemented solution is working as intended and to identify any potential vulnerabilities,” notes Ilyas Mohammed.

He further added that organizations can improve their network security posture by implementing the best practices including:

  • Conduct regular security assessments.
  • Implement a robust security strategy
  • Implement security automation and orchestration.
  • Keep software and systems updated
  • Train and educate employees
  • Implement network segmentation
  • Monitor and respond to security incidents in real-time
  • Have a disaster recovery and incident response plan
  • Have a breach notification policy

The majority of cyber attacks occur over the network. Strong network-level defences are key. When it comes to modern network security threats, traditional, signature-based detection methods are often ineffective. “Network Detection and Response (NDR) solutions can help advance the network-level security, offering the prevention capabilities that modern businesses require. Network Detection and Response solutions can integrate automated response capabilities into security systems, allowing for the prevention of attacks ahead of any damage done. Network Detection and Response technologies also leverage machine learning and data analytics to help organizations respond to novel cyber threats,” says Ram Narayanan.