Home / / Enterprises in the UAE and KSA are leaving IoT devices vulnerable to cybersecurity threats, finds nCipher Security

Enterprises in the UAE and KSA are leaving IoT devices vulnerable to cybersecurity threats, finds nCipher Security

New report from Ponemon Institute reveals cloud-based services are the leading driver for PKI in the Middle East

Philip Schreiber, Regional Director, Middle East, Africa and South Asia at nCipher Security
nCipher Security
Philip Schreiber, Regional Director, Middle East, Africa and South Asia at nCipher Security

IoT is one of the fastest growing trends in technology today, yet enterprises are leaving themselves vulnerable to dangerous cyberattacks by failing to prioritize PKI security, according to new research from nCipher Security.

The 2019 Global PKI and IoT Trends Study, conducted by research firm the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by nCipher Security, is based on feedback from more than 1,800 IT security practitioners in 14 countries/regions, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.

According to the study, 56% of IT security professionals in the Middle East cited that cloud-based services are most likely to be driving the deployment of applications that make use of public key infrastructure (PKI), followed by 46% stating mobile devices and 37% citing IoT as the driving force. Globally, however, the Internet of Things (IoT) was found to be the fastest-growing trend driving PKI application deployment – with 20% growth over the past five years.

Respondents cited concerns about several IoT security threats, including altering the function of IoT devices through malware or other attacks (62%) and remote control of a device by an unauthorized user (60%). A positive indicator however, is that Middle East respondents rated delivering patches and updates to IoT devices, the capability that protects against that top threat, as one of the four most important IoT security capabilities today. Protecting the confidentiality and integrity of data pulled from the device was listed as the most important IoT security capability for the UAE and KSA.
PKI plays a strategic role, but organizations are continuing to face challenges leaving them vulnerable

PKI is at the core of the IT infrastructure for many organizations in the UAE and KSA, enabling security for critical digital initiatives such as cloud, mobile device deployment, and IoT. However, an overwhelming majority cite continued barriers, to enable applications to use PKI. These include the incapability of existing PKI to support new applications (66%), insufficient skills (43%) and no ability to change legacy apps (39%).

Philip Schreiber, Regional Director, Middle East, Africa and South Asia at nCipher Security, adds: “A key takeaway from the findings of the report for the region is the need to invest not only in mobilizing resources but also in honing talents to drive the ongoing focus on digital transformation, given that the region is now attracting local datacenter infrastructure. With the governments emphasizing on building a digital backbone that drives all operations – from governance to business best practices – ensuring the highest standards of cybersecurity is a strategic imperative that organizations must seriously pursue.”

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