Virus prevention steps up a gear

Increasing investment by governments and ISPs underlines the determination to prevent online security attacks in the Middle East.

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By  Sarah Gain Published  May 2, 2005

Middle East governments and internet service providers (ISPs) are taking on greater responsibility for protecting residents in the region, according to research by security experts from Trend Micro. Increasing levels of investment in anti-virus solutions and a rise in the number of multi-agency security campaigns demonstrate how seriously these organisations are taking the recent rise in malicious software activity. Trend Micro is one of the most active companies in the government sector in the Middle East, delivering data protection to over 60 percent of regional government institutions in the region. The company is also in discussions with ISPs across the region to integrate anti-virus software directly into their service offering for customers. “A great deal of discussion around preventing security breaches in recent months has focused on the level of employee responsibility and the individual computer user. This is important, but it is also essential to highlight the leading role that large organisations are playing in protecting people in the region,” said Justin Doo, managing director of Trend Micro in the Middle East and Africa. The level of virus attacks and attempted security breaches has risen sharply in recent months, and companies in the Middle East are coming under increasing pressure from malware like trojans and worms. In response to this rising wave, different government agencies in the region are responding with concerted action to protect their systems and those of residents. “Government entities are huge organisations, running on multiple operating systems, with numerous offices throughout the nation and in many cases, across the region. Increasingly, we are seeing these entities share the lessons learned from protecting their own networks with other government groups in the region,” says Doo. Trend Micro’s products have been adopted by numerous regional bodies including Central Informatics Organisation (CIO), the body responsible for regulating the Bahrain Government’s IT systems. “IT executives remain determined to safeguard the confidential information stored on their networks, and prevent the spread of viruses and malware from infecting residents in the region,” Doo adds.

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