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
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
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
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 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
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 is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet.
Cisco news and information are available at Cisco.com/me/news.
Cisco equipment in Europe is supplied by Cisco Systems International
BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc.
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 www.ehc.ae.
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
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 www.datafort.net.
Posted by Richard Price,
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