Middle East I.T. Security Business Survey

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1 Middle East I.T. Security Business Survey A quiet security revolution gathering pace A report by GISEC Powered by GISEC Analytics Partner

2 Middle East I.T. Security Business Survey About the report: The survey was conducted to understand the key factors driving the information security market in the Middle East as well as the key challenges IT decision makers are facing. A selection of 274 I.T. security professionals were interviewed, over half (55%) of which were C-level executives. The geographical breakdown of those interviewed is: UAE 36% Saudi Arabia 23% Qatar 11% Oman 9% Kuwait 9% Bahrain 7% Eqypt 5% 27% work directly in the IT and information security industry while others are split between key industry verticals including government, real estate, banking & finance, retail and education. 1

3 Middle East I.T. Security Business Survey Key Findings: Organisations across the region are significantly increasing investment in information security. However, despite recent high profile cyber attacks like FREAK and Desert Falcons, the importance given to IT security is still scattered amongst businesses. The amount of data produced annually in the MENA region will grow by more than 600% in However, only 47% of data being generated in the region is being protected. Regional IT security decision makers are there driving urgency to protect critical infrastructure, databases and vital documentation. The region is further vulnerable as a result of aggressive penetration of social platforms and mobility in addition to heavy penetration of video surveillance across key verticals including oil and gas, aviation, hospitality, retail and finance. Further threat surface area is expected to increase with the ambitious investments in smart city projects in the GCC. 2

4 By approximately what percentage has your organisation increased its investment in information security this year compared to last year? Over 100% 19 7% Between 75% and 100% 27 10% Between 50% and 75% 35 13% Between 25% and 50% 57 21% Between 10% and 25% 48 18% Between 5% and 10% 17 6% Between 1% and 5% 13 5% Under 1% 8 3% Yet to make 23 8% Don't know 27 10% Between 1% and 5% Between 5% and 10% Under 1% Between 25% and 50% Over 100% Yet to make any notable investment Between 10% and 25% Don't know Between 75% and 100% Between 50% and 75% Companies are realising the importance of investing in information security. More than half of those surveyed have increased their investment in IT security by at least 25% this year. The market is becoming more aware and educated on the significant costs organisations would have to incur due to cyber-attacks. This is in line with the growing opportunities and untapped regional market for international IT security solution providers. 3

5 Which of the following actions is your organisation taking to increase information security in the next year? Procuring new security solutions 55% Hiring more IT security professionals 31% Training Staff 54% No Action 12% Other Measures 2% Organisations in the region are becoming more aware of threats and vulnerabilities. As a result, specific are seen to be taken by businesses to mitigate the risks. 55% of those surveyed are looking to procure new security solutions while 53% will be training their staff to be more vigilant against IT security breaches. For IT security consultants and solution providers this provides a growing opportunity to tap in to the Middle East market, despite technology regulations and awareness being relatively low compared to other regions. Education remain paramount to the continued growth of the market and protecting organisations against information breaches. 4

6 Has the Sony Hack increased pressure on your organization to protect critical data? Yes No Not sure % 32% 26% 26% NOT SURE YES 42% NO 32% 42% of survey respondents said that the Sony Hack had increased pressure on their organisation to protect critical data. International threats have real implications for the MENA region which is home to some of the world s largest oil & gas companies, banks, airlines and hospitality groups. The resulting impact ripples through business strategies and therefore information security prioritisation. 5

7 What is the single biggest challenge you face in making information security decisions for your organisation? High costs Lack of employee skills Lack of senior mngt knowledge/commitment No particular challenge faced Weakness in your org s tech infrastructure Data is too complex Lack of industry standards around infor security Uncertainty due to new methods of intrusion Lack of regulation Available data is not reliable Other, please specify High Costs 24% Lack of Employee Skills 18% Issues / Senior Management 15% Unreliable data Lack of regulation 3% Uncertainty due to 4% new methods of intrusion 4% Lack of industry standards 6% 23.72% 17.52% 15.33% 10.95% 7.66% 6.93% 5.84% 4.38% 4.01% 2.92% 0.73% Other 1% High costs 24% Data is too complex 7% Weakness in tech infrastructure 8% No particular challenge faced 11% Lack of employee skills Management Issues 15% The top 3 challenges in making information security decisions for the organisations were costs, lack of employee skills and lack of senior management knowledge/commitment. There is increasing opportunity for technical expertise and IT security talent recruitment in the region. 6

8 Is the advent of the Internet of Things having an impact on your organisation s information security? Yes No Not sure % 48 18% 42 15% NOT SURE 15% NO 18% 67% YES A significant 67% believe IoT is having an impact on their organisations information security with a further 29% believing there is a slight impact. This shows that IoT is on the agenda of most organisations even if it varies in terms of its importance. As more companies actively use IoT, data security and privacy are also likely to increase in significance. Companies need to understand how to store secure and analyse data as well as how IoT can be a platform for trading and sharing commercial data. 7

9 What is your most reliable source for information security intelligence? Solution providers Government authorities Colleagues and peers Industry media Industry research organisations Others % 18% 1% 1% OTHERS COLLEAGUES & PEERS INDUSTRY & MEDIA SOLUTION PROVIDERS 30% INDUSTRY RESEARCH 18% GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES The most reliable source of information security intelligence according to 30% of those surveyed is solution providers. This shows how the market relies on industry experts for improving their IT security strategies. Solution providers to the industry include security software developers, security software providers, cloud solution providers, security hardware manufacturers, ISPs, MNOs, police forces, banks, telecommunications regulators and data warehouse providers. Organisations need to assess which information security products and solutions best fit their organizations structure and make sure they are fully equipped to fight the increasing threat of cyber attacks. 8

10 THANK YOU Middle East I.T. Security Business Survey GULF INFORMATION SECURITY EXPO & CONFERENCE April 2015 Dubai World Trade Centre SECURITY INNOVATION FOR A CONNECTED FUTURE Powered by GISEC Analytics Partner

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