Almost half of UAE firms lack key cyber security personnel: poll

Survey by DarkMatter aimed at raising awareness on corporate UAE’s attitude to rising cyber security threat

Tags: DarkMatter ( Arab Emirates
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Almost half of UAE firms lack key cyber security personnel: poll AL Bannai: "Raising awareness regarding the real and evolving threat of cyber-attacks is imperative in any modern, digital society."
By  David Ndichu Published  May 29, 2016

DarkMatter has found that 48% of respondents to its DarkMatter Cyber Security Poll do not have a senior management executive assigned to oversee cyber security, while 46% of respondents said their organisations did not have a Board-level representative responsible for cyber security.

The statistics are extracted from a poll conducted by cyber security firm DarkMatter during the Gulf Information Security Expo & Conference (GISEC) 2016 held in Dubai, at which the company was the Cyber Security Innovation Partner.

DarkMatter polled over 200 information and communication technology (ICT) visitors to the event, aiming to identify attitudes held by ICT professionals towards the role of cyber security in modern, highly digitised economies, and the state of their organisations’ cyber threat resilience.

The poll revealed that 23% of respondents believe that their organisations have been victims of an internal cyber security breach, while 32% believe their organisations have fallen victim to an external attack. This suggests external threats pose a greater threat to organisations’ digital assets than internal ones, with a further poll result indicating 46% of respondents believe cyber security breaches are most often the result of human factors. 

DarkMatter is looking to secure digital infrastructure for nations, businesses, and individuals and while the expectation is that cyber threats will persist, the company advises entities to assume a state of breach, in order to establish the necessary strategic and tactical posture to guard against and mitigate cyber risks.

Commenting on the results of DarkMatter’s Cyber Security Poll, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Faisal Al Bannai said, “Raising awareness regarding the real and evolving threat of cyber-attacks is imperative in any modern, digital society. It is not about fear-mongering, it is about understanding what is at risk when entities and people operate in a connected online environment; what threat actors may be present and what they are in search of; and what steps can be taken to reduce vulnerabilities or mitigate threats.”

Faisal Al Bannai continued, “It is highly encouraging to note that almost 70% of respondents said they would trust a UAE-based company to provide their organisation with end-to-end cyber security solutions, as this is precisely what DarkMatter is here to do. We combine tier one cyber security experts located in the UAE, drawn from around the world, with trusted relationships with governments, and cutting-edge research and development undertaken right here in the country.”

However, challenges still exist given 34% of respondents said if their organisation was to experience a cyber security incident, they did not believe it possessed sufficient network monitoring capabilities to identify the breach in a timely fashion.

Further, 49% of respondents said they believed cyber security is ultimately the responsibility of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) more than it is the organisation using it, which is a cause for concern as it may result in companies abdicating the responsibility of actively defending their data assets.

DarkMatter advises the consideration of its Cyber Security Life-Cycle, which entails a four-stage approach encompassing planning, detection, protection, and recovery and is aimed at ensuring an organisation remains aware, guarded, and protected against cyber intrusions at all times.

Already a trusted partner to the UAE Government and other entities, DarkMatter is staffed by tier one international cyber experts who develop, manage and deploy innovative technologies.

DarkMatter is leveraging this experience in the wider market as it looks to serve regional and international clients. The company provides a portfolio of cyber security solutions and services to organisations that have sophisticated security requirements, from governments and infrastructure operators to large corporations.

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