UL outlines importance of collaboration to help prevent cyberthreats in ME

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Newsgate360 – Dubai: UL, a global safety science leader, has advised authorities in the Middle East to continue stepping up their efforts to help protect the region from cyberattacks.

With the widespread use of technology and with the Middle East establishing itself as a key market for trade and tourism, countries are facing constant challenges to stop cyberattacks.

According to a report published by SonicWall Cyber Threat, 7.2 billion malware attacks were launched in the first three quarters of 2019 while there were 151.9 million ransomware attacks.

With the evolution of Internet of Things (IoT) and the emergence of 5G, the cybersecurity challenges will be even higher during the next five years with more than 40 billion connected devices predicted by 2025.

UL has been playing an important role in supporting organizations and businesses across the Middle East to help stop potential threats.

UL signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Cybersecurity Authority of Saudi Arabia (NCA) recently that will see the two organizations collaborate toward building a more secure cybersecurity system in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Hamid Syed, vice president and general manager for UL in the Middle East, said: “It’s essential for organizations, and especially governments, in the Middle East to work holistically to improve their overall cybersecurity in order to ultimately help in making the world a more secure place.”

As well as providing their expertise to businesses, UL has co-authored more than 25 cybersecurity standards and frameworks including strategies and evaluating and certifying security products and devices.

Among UL’s growing list of IoT security solutions are their Supplier Cyber Trust Level, Cybersecurity Assurance Program and the IEC 62443. As a global standard for the Industrial Control System networks, the IEC 62443 helps organizations to reduce both the risk of failure and exposure of ICS networks to cyberthreats.

These frameworks are helping provide businesses with more security and Syed emphasized that cybersecurity cannot be overlooked as just an ordinary IT issue.

He said: “Our certification programs and frameworks will not solve the problem completely. Individuals and businesses must be aware of the significant impact cyberthreats can have. Basic internet security is not the solution. Hackers are using the most sophisticated ways to get the information they want and it requires companies to rethink their approaches and be proactive to deter the hackers.”

According to a report by Research and Markets, the cybersecurity market in the Middle East is expected to be worth $22.14 billion by 2022. Countries are already taking the necessary steps by investing in technology and Hamid emphasized the importance of businesses collaborating with governments.

Hamid added: “Every government in the region is working towards creating a secure digital environment and this is encouraging to see. But they have to ensure that these efforts are not fragmented and not just reactive and includes the participation of all crucial stakeholders.”

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