22 May 2020
ABU DHABI, 21st May, 2020 (WAM) -- Technology doesn’t alone solve cyber-security challenges as processes and procedures are needed alongside continuous awareness campaigns to ensure that workplaces remain secure, experts at an e-discussion said here on Wednesday.
They also recommended regular vulnerability assessments and the use of best practices to ensure systems are safeguarded against cyber-attacks during these difficult times, adding that people, processes, and technology go together in this fight to ensure cyber-security.
The E-Discussion – Cyber Security Crisis Management: Lessons from COVID-19 – organised by TRENDS Research & Advisory, was part of its Strategic Dialogue E-Forum, which gathered several prominent experts who highlighted the various dimensions of cyber-security crisis management and the lessons learned from the pandemic.
Speaking at the event, Muntaser Bdair, COO of SecurityMatterz, Saudi Arabia, said the challenge is related to national security as even critical infrastructure of countries is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. According to him, the global average cost of a data breach for the year 2019 was almost $3.9 million.
"There have been over 907,000 spam messages, 48,000 hits on malicious URLs, and 737 malware threats detected in the GCC. That tells you that we may be quarantined but hackers are not. They are taking advantage of the situation," he said.
According to him, as many as 76 percent of organisations experienced phishing attacks in the past year.
Naeem S. Musa, Chief Information Security Officer, CISO, at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, CFTC, United States, shared his tips for remote-working taking into account the cyber-security threats during COVID-19. Tele-working, he said, needs extra precautions, which include ensuring that connected devices do not harm or interfere with the office networks.
He came up with a set of recommendations for organisations including steps such as guarding and updating devices, creating strong passwords, using two-factor identification, and encrypting emails.
Giving a European perspective, Andrew Staniforth, Director of Saher-Europe and NonResident Fellow, Counter-Terrorism, at TRENDS, United Kingdom, highlighted the various aspects of organisational resilience and the combatting of COVID-19 cyber threats.
According to him, it is predicted that cyber-crime will cost the world over $6 trillion annually.
Prof. Ernesto Damiani, the Director of Khalifa University Center for Cyber-Physical Systems, C2PS, and the Director of Information Security Centre Electrical and Computer Engineering & EBTIC, UAE, added another dimension to the discussion, highlighting the lessons learned in psychological operations (PsyOp) during the Covid-19 crisis.
Dr. Mohammed Al-Ali, the Director-General of TRENDS Research & Advisory said, since the COVID-19 outbreak, the Center’s priority has been to work with other research centers and 4 an elite group of international experts to exchange views on the challenges posed by the pandemic.