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Businesses spend more on coffee, less on security

Posted: 26 June 2003

Round table in Dubai highlights the need for security policies and cyber laws in Middle East organizations regardless of size

In a technology security round table chaired by Cisco Systems, eHosting DataFort and Tech Data and attended by Dubai’s leading technology publications, all present agreed that the Middle East needs to have firm cyber laws in place to protect end users and businesses alike from technology security threats, and that managers in the region need to treat security as an essential business policy, regardless of the size of their organizations.

“Security is a serious business,” says Cisco Systems’ business development manager, Tim Scott. “All organisations, large and small, private or public, need to realise the power of information and the necessity of protecting it. The initial step is having a security policy that establishes standards for what is permitted or denied within the framework of the company.”

Scott referred to the Cisco blueprint called SAFE, which is a comprehensive security strategy specifically designed to provide maximum performance for e-business, yet each ensures that security and integrity are maintained.

eHosting DataFort engineers presented a live hacking demonstration to attending media. The demonstration proved that hacking technologies are becoming simpler and easier to use for the average person.

Amer Attar, senior marketing manager at eHosting DataFort said: “Hacking has become so easy to a point that with a wireless card attached to your PDA or with an external antenna placed on a balcony, hackers can crack into any unprotected network.”

The discussion raised the point that cyber laws are urgently needed in the Middle East, especially the ones that regulate the Internet service provision industry.

Internet Service providers are normally concerned with denial of service attacks only, since this type of security attack consumes a lot of bandwidth.

What end users and businesses alike really need, according to most round-table participants, is a minimum level of protection, either in the form of a central firewall or by simple notification alerts when their customers log onto the web.

Internet service providers can evolve to be security consultants for their customers by offering secure connectivity solutions as an added value service.

Along with the need for cyber laws to protect Internet users in the Middle East from cyber threats and the adoption of security policies on managerial levels, Dorian Breakspear-Coyle, Cisco Business Unit Manager at Tech Data said that everything is a target for hackers and viruses, once an end-user or a business is connected to the Internet.

He said: “From the smallest to the largest organization, once logged on the Internet, hardware and software are all subject to intrusion one way or the other.”

Cisco Systems and Tech Data stressed on the need for businesses to treat security as a primary matter and adopt it as part of the business policy instead of a casual overhead.

Breakspear-Coyle ended saying: “Many businesses today spend more money on coffee than on their security. We will work hard to see this trend reversed.”

Tech Data
Tech Data Corporation, founded in 1974, is a leading global provider of IT roducts, logistics management and other value-added services.

Ranked 117th on the Fortune 500, the company and its subsidiaries serve more than 100,000 technology resellers in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.

Tech Data's extensive service offering includes pre- and post-sale training and technical support, financing options and configuration services as well as a full range of award-winning electronic commerce solutions.

The company generated sales of $17.2 billion for its most recent fiscal year, which ended January 31, 2002.

Tech Data is the largest trade-only distributor of computer hardware, software and services for MENA (Middle-east and north Africa region).

Tech Data’s main office is located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates with warehouse and logistics operations are in Dubai, Jebel Ali, Dubai Airport Free Zone & Bahrain Air port Free Zone.

Cisco Systems
Cisco Systems is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Cisco news and information are available at

Cisco equipment in Europe is supplied by Cisco Systems International BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc.

eHosting DataFort
eHosting DataFort was created as an administrative consolidation of the e-Hosting Center and DataFort subsidiaries of Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone.

The e-Hosting Center was founded as an Alliance between Dubai Internet City and IBM.

The e-Hosting Center offers a wide rang of solutions, services and technologies to organizations throughout the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Europe and the Asian Subcontinent.

These unique offerings are perhaps the most advanced suite of services made available to the security/service quality-conscious corporations and businesses in the region.

The background of the organization has been centered on strategic partnerships to provide the scope of services this market demands in the hosting zone.

For more information on e-Hosting Centre see

DataFort offers a complete portfolio of security services that fortify companies’ data networks against the rising tide of security threats. Combining industry-leading expertise, cutting-edge technology, world-class professional services and reliable customer support, DataFort offers complete solutions to enable and manage secure E-Business.

DataFort offers a range of high-level security services including: secure systems architecture design, penetration testing, internal security audit and application security.

DataFort’s Security Operation Center (SOC) provides Managed Security Services to companies across the region. These services guarantee 24/7 monitoring and management of information assets and efficient reporting of intrusions and hacking attempts.

DataFort also offers Security Consultancy Services, Security Analysis Services and various security training courses for both the technology and management staff of organizations.

Over the last year, DataFort has expanded its reach to cover the Gulf Region, the Middle East, Africa, and the Indian subcontinent.

For information see


Posted by Richard Price, Editor

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