The past three years (2015 – 2017) have been transformational for cybersecurity in the Gulf
Region, clearly becoming a boardroom discussion rather than an IT department agenda only.
Notably, the last two years have seen cybersecurity truly arrive in the mainstream as attacks
and hacks played a major role in an already clustered news cycle. Nothing was safe.

The rise of digital, cloud, mobile and IoT has brought forth a whole new era of threat.
Sophisticated and powerful cyberattacks are compromising businesses at an unprecedented
rate – from crippling day-to-day running, to holding data ransom, and even influencing key
elections. It is important to note that not only were organizations plagued with complex and
sophisticated attacks, even “known” vulnerabilities e.g. WannaCry were exploited to create a
large impact. The threat now posed by the average cybercriminal cannot be underestimated
and can come with unprecedented consequences. One key aspect of significant importance
to organizations in the Gulf is the risks around the OT (Operating Technology) environments
running on legacy Industrial Control Systems (ICS) which needs immediate attention.

The cyber landscape is complex and continuously evolving, and the battle between protecting
a company’s infrastructure and penetrating it is an ongoing one. The huge development in
modern technology and the online connected world have given hackers the perfect
playground and a number of high-profile companies in the Gulf have struggled with the
constant demand for up-to-date security.

As the rise in threat continues, so has the demand for a comprehensive and responsive cyber
defense on a much grander scale than previously thought possible. The threat looms like a
dark cloud as it is fast becoming the reality that it is no longer a case of ‘if’ they break through
your defenses, but ‘when’.

This white paper was prepared to discuss the results of our 7th Annual Security Survey, carried
out in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait, and will elaborate on how the
region’s leading businesses are implementing their cybersecurity strategy. The survey polled
over 600 executives and IT professionals from a range of industries including IT, healthcare,
education, oil and gas, hospitality, and many others.

Click to download GBM 7th Annual Security Whitepaper, 2018