GISEC 2013 Raises the Bar in Cyber Security
The Middle East is well positioned to stem the tide of cyber crime as governments and corporations implement various counter-measures, said exhibitors and conference delegates at the recently held Gulf Information Security Expo & Conference (GISEC) 2013.
As the only focused platform in the region to specifically address cyber security, the latest solutions were showcased by leading companies and industry experts.
The three-day event, hosted by Dubai World Trade Centre from 3-5 June 2013, was characterised by a high turnout of about 2,956 attendees hailing from 18 countries as far afield as Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Turkey, Pakistan, Singapore, UK and USA.
One of the major talking points of the event was a riveting presentation delivered by the world’s most famous ex-hacker and information security specialist, Kevin Mitnick. He gave a live demonstration on how easy it is to circumvent the security at some of the world’s biggest banks, by calling an international bank and manipulating its automated helpline. This tactic, among several others, is used by cyber criminals use to install a false helpline which then intercepts the credit card details that customers enter.
Statistics show a surge of investments in information security among regional companies with several high profile deals and strategic agreements concluded at GISEC, featuring some of the regional and global ICT heavyweights. Eagerly anticipated new security packages were unveiled during the event, covering such areas as cloud infrastructure, security frameworks and vendor network systems.
Deloitte’s TMT Global Security Study indicates that an increase in cyber awareness has led to more regional companies progressing beyond basic security to focus on cyber resilience, in order to ensure a rapid recovery in the event of an attack. In Saudi Arabia, for example, approximately USD400 million will be invested in data loss prevention (DLP) between 2013 and 2017. This is according to the latest market research by the InfoWatch Group, which also anticipates a similar awakening in information security awareness across the GCC.
The investments are not only limited to technical resources but extend to human resources, with banks and the “Big Four” consulting firms stepping up their recruitment of IT auditors, IT security architects and ethical hackers to pinpoint and bridge any gaps in their security systems.
The sponsors at the maiden edition of GISEC included GBM, CSC, eLearnSecurity, help AG, Juniper Networks, Aujas Networks, BlackBerry, Guidance Software, Qualys and Zeroday.
Approximately 90 companies participated, including AirWatch, Akamai Technologies, Arbor Networks, Cassidian CyberSecurity, Comendo, Deep Secure, Lancope Inc., Dell SonicWALL Inc., Spire Solutions, Splunk Inc. and Watchguard.
Participants confirmed their return to next year’s event taking place from 9-11 June 2014. GISEC is powered by GITEX Technology Week, the region’s largest annual ICT event.