PwC & ACN deliver IT security report

Industry heavyweights join forces to establish just how vulnerable the region’s information systems are and how users can best secure their systems as they enter the digital economy.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  May 1, 2003

PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Middle East and Arabian Computer News Magazine (ACN), published by ITP, have teamed up once again to survey the state of the Middle East’s IT security. As in previous years, the three month long survey will be carried out via the internet, phone and fax and will deliver a de facto judgement on the vulnerability of the region’s information systems.

“Due to the dearth of local research within the Middle East, the annual PricewaterhouseCoopers and ACN IT security survey is, perhaps, the only true account of how secure the region’s IT systems are. As such, it is of great interest to end users and vendors alike as the region attempts to establish itself in the digital economy,” says ITP’s Publishing Director, Walid Akawi.

“PricewaterhouseCoopers’ in-depth knowledge and globally recognised methodology, combined with ACN’s reach and authority, makes our annual survey the most accurate picture of the region’s IT security available in the Middle East. It gives both our clients and ACN’s readers an unbeatable insight into the local market and highlights the areas in which it needs to develop both its skills and technology,” adds Ivan Rosario, Senior Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Last year’s survey established that although the region is becoming more aware to the threats presented by cyberspace, the majority of companies have yet to act on this knowledge. As of September last year, 53% of local companies had either no information security policies or only informal guidelines in place.

Furthermore, only 36% of local companies measured the effectiveness of their IT security solutions whilst only 28% of organisations had a separate information security department.

“Last year’s results indicated that there was still a lot of work to be done if the Middle East’s information systems are to be considered secure,” says Gavin Wehlburg, Partner & Middle East Leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Global Risk Management Solutions.

“In particular, the region’s organisations need to understand the benefits of strong IT security because poor security could undermine the potential of an organisation in a similar manner, or worse, than poor financial results. We believe Boards of Directors should make IT security a key concern for everyone within their operation.”

The PricewaterhouseCoopers & Arabian Computer News IT Security Survey will run on www.itp.net from May 1st 2003. It can be accessed at www.itp.net/securitysurvey.

“We heartily encourage the Middle East’s IT professionals to log onto www.itp.net and take a few moments to complete the PricewaterhouseCoopers & Arabian Computer News IT Security Survey. Only by working together can we establish the facts and discover what needs to be done to make the region’s IT systems secure enough to succeed on the global playing field,” says Akawi.

The results of the survey, plus a full analysis of their significance, will be published in the September issue of ACN and on ITP.Net. Subscriptions to the magazine are available for readers who meet the publishers requirements on www.itp.net/subscriptions.

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