EDITOR ’ S QUESTION
WHY SHOULD CIOS PRIORITISE NETWORK SECURITY THAN IN THE PAST ?
In IT , network security is the act of maintaining the integrity of a computer network and the data within it . A network is comprised of any number and variety of interconnected devices . Network security is important because it keeps sensitive data safe from cyberattacks and ensures that the network is usable and can be trusted .
Network security management may involve a wide variety of security tools , for both hardware and software . Security becomes more important as networks become more complex , and enterprises become more reliant on their networks and data to conduct business .
Ian Engelbrecht , Veeam Systems Engineering Manager – Africa , Veeam Software
What is the state of the network security market in the Middle East now ?
Ian Engelbrecht , Veeam Systems Engineering Manager – Africa , Veeam Software , said security , in general , is a key business topic and concern . According to Engelbrecht , in 2021 , cyberattacks increased to every 11 seconds , from 120 seconds the year prior , with the global cost amounting to US $ 20 billion in 2021 . “ Security has become a crucial topic in driving solutions into the market . The cybersecurity market is projected to grow from US $ 16.1 billion in 2020 to US $ 28.7 billion by 2025 ,” he said . “ Shodan . io keeps track of all devices that are directly accessible from the Internet . It reveals there are 513,615 exposed devices across the UAE vulnerable to cybercrime incidents .”
Engelbrecht said this demonstrates why cybersecurity and resilience are important for all organisations across the Middle East and Africa ( MEA ), not just enterprises . “ The US $ 20 billion global cost of ransomware doesn ’ t just include data ransoms paid , but reputational damage and downtime too ,” he said . “ Homeworking has increased customers ’ demands too , with them expecting 24 by 7 by 365 availability of a platform or service . With a huge increase in e-commerce driven businesses , it takes a matter of seconds for a consumer to decide which platform to consume or purchase from . If company A ( who the customers prefer to use ) is offline at the time , and they would like to buy their favourite football jersey at 10pm , the sale will go to company B .”
Haider Pasha , Chief Security Officer , Palo Alto Networks , MEA , said network security is a vital capability that enables the business to evolve through digital innovation – an effective strategy with every organisation across multiple industries . Pasha said when building a cyber resilient strategy , it is important to build trust with customers , partners and the whole supply chain . “ The integrity of any organisation ’ s cyber posture serves as a competitive advantage and ensures that the company involved is not just protecting the business but empowering it ,” he said .
Emad Fahmy , Systems Engineering Manager , Middle East , NETSCOUT , said network security and integrity have become key topics within the enterprise segment as companies would instead safeguard their networks against potential risks rather than clean up the damage afterward .“ CIOs and their IT teams must emphasise robust cybersecurity best practices to design a secure network . The best practices include educating users on proper cybersecurity hygiene and employing network and endpoint cybersecurity protection solutions to detect malware , anomalous activity or indicators of compromise ,” he said .
26 INTELLIGENTCIO AFRICA www . intelligentcio . com