IDC hosted its 10th annual IT Security Roadshow at the Sofitel Hotel Abu Dhabi Corniche. Focusing on the theme of ‘The Rise of Predictive Security’, the event attracted a broad range of IT security experts, respected industry analysts, and senior heads of IT from across the UAE. The growing sophistication of the threat landscape sat at the heart of the agenda, with speakers providing in-depth analysis of Middle East IT security spending patterns and offering advice on successfully managing the new wave of security challenges that have surfaced with the adoption of 3rd Platform technologies.
The event was held in association with ISACA, an independent, non-profit, global association that engages in the development, adoption, and use of globally accepted, industry-leading knowledge and practices for information systems.
Megha Kumar, research manager for software at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey got the day’s proceedings underway by explaining how the region’s IT security environment is evolving at a rapid pace. “The region has seen a considerable increase in instances of advanced persistent threats over the past two years,” she said. “As the use of the hacktivsim for political and economic gain has risen significantly over recent years, organizations in the oil and gas, finance, telecommunications, and government sectors have increased their investments in IT security solutions accordingly.
“There has been a notable rise in IT security budgets for the year ahead, while spending on governance for data protection and privacy purposes has surged,” she continued. “In the Gulf region, meanwhile, the emphasis on physical security has risen, with the UAE and Qatar mandating CCTV installation in public areas. And as elements of the 3rd Platform (mobile, cloud, Big Data, and social) go into operation within the Middle Eastern enterprise, the need to implement new-age security strategies becomes critical.”
The conference also saw Ahmed Yahya, CIO of Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, address the need for organizations to implement accurate, quick, and decisive information systems. “These information systems require solid security frameworks that ensure the confidentiality, integrity, availability, and authenticity of critical organizational assets,” he said. “Creating a reliable and effective security system in the modern world is not easy; human behavior impacts information security and ultimately heightens the associated risks. Users have the ability to swing the balance one way or the other; unfortunately, the unpredictability (or predictability) of human behavior can render the most concerted of security efforts as irrelevant.”
Other sessions featured speakers from leading technology vendors such as Palo Alto Networks (in partnership with co-sponsors Westcon and HelpAG), Canon, Kaspersky, Global Knowledge, and CA Technologies, along with media partners Security Kaizen. An informative panel discussion including IT security experts from Takreer and Etisalat brought the day’s proceedings to a close by assessing the inherent challenges faced by IT leaders when managing risk and security in a complex world.
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