Business defence intensifies as software piracy losses hit USD850 million
As cyber-attacks on corporates and individuals in the Middle East are rising at an alarming rate, it is essential that these parties understand and act swiftly to address the challenges. The inaugural Gulf Information Security Expo & Conference (GISEC), which will be held from June 3-5 next year at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), will focus on the latest information security trends, cyber security legislation in the Middle East and solutions on a large-scale platform to tackle the problem. GISEC is an affiliate event of GITEX Technology Week, the region’s leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) event.
“The Gulf Information Security Expo & Conference is the only large-scale platform of its kind in the region to specifically address the issue of information security in a focused format. It provides a much-needed platform for national, regional and international cooperation in protecting and addressing critical infrastructure. Given the increasing threats to information security in the region, the Gulf Information Security Expo & Conference is a timely event for the industry to consolidate its efforts in assessing and solving the cyber-security needs of corporates and individuals,” said Trixee Loh, Senior Vice President at Dubai World Trade Centre.
“Cyber security in the modern age is not a luxury, but a crucial necessity that should form a key part of our social existence as we integrate more and more into a digital lifestyle that crosses over from the corporate world into our private lives,” said Captain Mohamed Obaid Alobaidli, Abu Dhabi Police, IT and R&D Section Manager in the IT and Telecommunication Department.
When it comes to information security of corporates and individuals, the statistics are worrisome. Software piracy losses in the Gulf States rose to USD850 million last year, which is an increase of 11.5% from 2010, according to the ninth annual global software piracy study by the Business Software Alliance. According to an aeCert report - the agency tasked with overseeing cyber security in the UAE - banks were targeted in almost 75% of the phishing attacks recorded in the UAE last year. Meanwhile, cyber-crime costs the UAE's economy USD612 million per year, according to the Internet Security Report 2011 published by Symantec. These costs are associated with internet crimes such as identity theft, online scams and credit card fraud - approximately USD210 million was cash siphoned directly from internet users, with the remaining USD402 million attributed to cost in time and money spent resolving cyber-crime related issues. The latest Symantec Cybercrime Report revealed that 76% of UAE residents have fallen victim to cybercrime. In addition, powerful and sophisticated virus attacks such as Stuxnet, DuQu and recently Flame, have been targeting Middle East countries, signifying a focal shift in cyber-attacks on governments and corporates across the region.
GISEC 2013 is set to draw leading authorities on the latest IT security trends and preventative measures. Delegates will have the opportunity to understand the legal backdrop of cyber security legislation in the region, meet world class companies offering cutting IT edge solutions and network with like-minded professionals across a range of industries from finance to energy, legal, telecommunications and the public sector.
The exhibition segment of the GISEC is a highly focused event tailored to the oil and gas, banking and finance, government, legal and telecommunications industries where representatives can meet with companies offering IT solutions. Various exhibitors including government authorities, software developers, police forces, banks, telecommunications regulators, security software developers and data warehouse providers are expected to participate.
The two-day conference component is focused on IT security and will have industry experts delivering keynote addresses to facilitate training and knowledge sharing. The private and public sector will also have the opportunity to share their agendas to promote better cyber security. Urgent cyber security challenges from electronic fraud to sabotage, malware, data manipulation, theft of valuable intellectual property among others will be addressed. Those participating in the event will include chief security officers, CEOs, IT directors, network and security directors, risk assessment directors, IT engineers and network engineers.