Senior industry experts gather in UAE captial for IDC’s IT Security Roadshow 2012

United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, June 13 - 2012 @ 09:57

With more than 100 of Abu Dhabi’s most influential IT end users in attendance, the event explored the likely scenarios that will characterize the use of IT security technology over the coming years.

Drawing on a mix of keynote addresses, high-impact presentations, plenary sessions, in-depth panel discussions, real-life case studies, and interactive Q&A sessions, the conference provided guidance on how to deal with the wide array of constantly evolving threats currently plaguing the security landscape at a time when IT systems, networks, and applications are expanding at a rate never seen before.

Ranjit Rajan, research director for software at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, got the day’s proceedings underway by exploring the potential security implications of cloud, social business, and mobility, outlining the key challenges and priorities associated with each of them. He also offered advice on drawing up effective strategies, laying down policies and processes, and deploying optimal technology solutions as part of the quest to secure the next-generation enterprise.

He was followed by Dells’ enterprise product manager for the Middle East, Basil Ayass, who explained that the emergence of technologies such as cloud computing and virtualization, coupled with the need for anytime/anywhere access to information on an endless array of new devices, has resulted in a new ‘virtual era’ and, with it, greater threats to information security. Detailing how customers can maximize productivity without sacrificing security in this virtual era, he analyzed a range of solutions that simplify, standardize, and automate security tasks, freeing up IT departments to focus on the bigger picture.

IBM’s sales manager for the GCC, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, Ragy Magdy, then addressed the issue of security outside the digital domain, explaining that industrial systems and smart grids are increasingly being tampered with, thereby threatening national stability and causing vast economic losses. Highlighting the latest security challenges facing the energy and utilities sectors, he reflected on the lessons learned from major industrial breaches worldwide and detailed ways to combat such attacks in the Middle East.

Kasperky Lab’s Senior Corporate Sales Manager, Khalid Abu Baker, then took to the stage to assess the current state of play in the murky world of cybercrime. Discussing how traditional cybercrime has evolved, he opined that the vast majority of the malware being written today has just one purpose: financial gain. He also delivered fascinating insights into what the future of cybercrime holds, analyzing the new platforms that cybercriminals are targeting, explaining who their latest victims are, and evaluating their ever-increasing profits.

Following a short break, Schneider Electric’s Fahad Mahboob, a pre-sales manager for security solutions within Schneider Electric’s Gulf buildings business, presented an overview of various IP-based technology platforms that help drive data convergence and physical security in buildings, leading to improvements in operational efficiency and driving building/citywide performance optimization. Muhannad Khammash, a systems engineer at Fortinet, then addressed the massive rise in security breaches caused by Web-application DDoS attacks, which he said were the result of the widespread availability of botnets at very little cost on the digital black market. With this in mind, he showed how organizations could protect themselves from DDoS attacks at all levels by implementing both network and application layer protection mechanisms, identifying requests from legitimate users, and blocking access to attacks originating from clients associated with botnets.

Next on stage was Sherif AbdElGawad, general manager at Barracuda Networks, who expressed his opinion that traditional security is no longer sufficient for the changing nature of today’s enterprises and explained how the delegates could enable end-to-end security for their entire IT operations, whether they are physical, virtual, or in the cloud. He was followed by Check Point security consultant Ram Narayanan, who took an in-depth look at the next generation of firewalls set to hit the market.

Bringing the event to a close, Brian Meenagh, an associate at the Abu Dhabi office of Latham & Watkins, served up a legal perspective on the security risks that organizations need to consider when procuring cloud computing services. In order to ensure that the very latest technology developments were covered at the IT Security Roadshow 2012 in Abu Dhabi, IDC partnered with some of the world’s foremost software and technology vendors. Dell, Intel, and IBM participated as Paltinum Partners, while Kaspersky Lab, Schneider Electric, Fortinet, Secureway Network Distributors, and Barracuda Networks were the event’s Gold Partners. COMSEC and Check Point partnered at the Silver level, and Solutions Middle East, PCCW Global, Codenomicon, and Synergivity Software served as the event’s Exhibition Partners.

IDC’s IT Security Roadshow 2012 began in Ankara on February 15 and is set to visit a total of 13 of the region’s foremost business hubs during its tour of the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. Next up is Cairo on July 9.

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Wednesday, June 13- 2012 @ 9:57 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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