Expert says cybersecurity gaining traction in the Middle East
Recent high profile security breaches in Middle Eastern nations have brought the issue of cybersecurity to the forefront of tech discussion in the region. Last year, cyberattacks launched with the stealth malware known as “Shamoon” ravaged both Saudi Arabia's oil industry and Qatar's natural gas producers. With their wealth of natural resources and cantankerous regional conflicts, Middle Eastern nations have been common cybercriminal targets.
One security consultant contends that the region's network administrators are increasingly more inclined to learn from those incidents. James Tarala, a cybersecurity expert and instructor recently spoke to the Arabian Gazette about the current cybersecurity landscape in the Middle East. Tarala's organization has assembled many information sharing sessions with Computer Emergency Response Teams in the region. Tarala expects Middle Eastern investment in cybersecurity resources to increase in the coming years as the issue becomes a great priority.
“There is certainly a lot more discussion and interest both public and behind closed doors on the the topic of cybersecurity,” Tarala told the news outlet.
Tarala recommended implementing a comprehensive security protocol to thwart potential cybercriminals. The key to preventing major breaches is by covering every possible access point and constantly monitoring network conditions. Encryption techniques, in particular, are an absolute necessity for maintaining a secure network. The increased focus on encryption among Middle Eastern nations closely mirrors conclusions reached by the European Network and Information Security Agency. Their 2011 study on encryption techniques in Europe found concluded that a balance of optimal cryptographic solutions was necessary to secure a network. Implementing protocols such as SSL Certificates can obfuscate sensitive data and limit its accessibility. Middle East nations will undoubtedly witness more cyberattacks in the coming years, but with proper preparation, they can limit the scope and effectiveness of those campaigns.
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