(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Gulf information security expo and conference to explore ways of warding off rising attacks
recent high-profile cases in the middle east highlight the risks of cybercrimes to local corporations and individuals. — ap
leading experts from the banking and financial sector will convene at the second gulf information security expo and conference (gisec) 2014 to explore ways of tackling cybercrime as a new survey shows a major share of middle east firms are being targeted.
pricewaterhousecoopers’ (pwc) 2014 global economic crime survey suggests that banks are an increasingly desirable target for cyber terrorists and hackers. nearly 40 per cent of financial sector respondents said they had been victims of cybercrime compared with 17 per cent in other industries.
one of the key session topics at the gisec conference will look at case studies of how cybercrime is being tackled in the financial sector. the session will look at the ways in which financial institutions use a combination of fraud and cybercrime prevention technology.
the conference will be held from june 9 to 11 at dubai world trade centre (dwtc).
gisec conference speaker mohammad abbas the chief security officer of bank al habib a pakistan-headquartered bank with branches in the gcc will explore measures and techniques that banks and financial organisations need to focus on to fight the increasing cybercrime rate. he will also address the importance of managing a malware outbreak since malware ranks among the top threats facing organisations.
“online offences such as money and identity theft are the most common and profitable strategies used by cyber criminals” said abbas. “however cybercrime syndicates are now using even more sophisticated attacks to defence systems put in place by organisations and nations and these need to be tracked accurately with robust defence mechanisms against these syndicates.”
habib added: “many government organisations and private sector companies need to take necessary steps and tactics when dealing with malware infections while balancing and maintaining a high operational and low risk profile. they also need to address challenges faced to control deficiencies and align defences with people processes and technologies.”
according to the pwc survey the most common cyber threats in the region target applications systems and networks. but mobile devices removable storage devices and data held by third parties are also at risk.
recent high profile cases in the middle east highlight the risks — an example is the 2012 attack on two of the region’s largest oil and gas companies affecting tens of thousands of individual computers and causing widespread disruption.
“threats are getting more sophisticated and advanced targeted attacks such as apts are now being launched towards financial services firms. in this it security context many of them in the region are now rethinking their it security strategy and replacing their legacy firewalls both to meet the higher throughput requirements and to tackle the growing number and complexity of threats” said alain penel regional vice-president — middle east at fortinet.
joakim sundberg security solution architect at f5 said: “recently financial organisations — both globally and in the middle east — have had to cope with waves of damaging ddos attacks forcing a rethink in network protection measures. in parallel f5 has developed a recommended ddos protection reference architecture a multilayer approach that provides the flexibility and manageability to mitigate even the most crippling of ddos attacks.”
the uae has been tightening its cybersecurity net becoming a leader in this area not only in the gulf but globally as well.
the country’s stance on cybersecurity has ranked it number one in the gcc and number four worldwide in 2012 according to a report issued by the international institute for management development switzerland.
the uae jumped 31 places that year from its number 35 position in 2011.
“uae has managed to be at the forefront of middle east’s information security development because of its continuous efforts to address key challenges faced by emerging economies” said trixie lohmirmand senior vice president of dubai world trade centre.