http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=72358 Al Ain By Aftab Kazmi 29-12-2002 E-security is the prime concern of the Internet driven business environment and Middle Eastern companies should adopt pre-emptive safety measures to save their assets, a UAE official said here yesterday. The awareness of e-business security issues is admittedly low in the Middle East's corporate world compared with the advanced markets and this is dangerous, said Dr. Omar bin Sulaiman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Dubai Internet City. He was speaking as a keynote speaker at the 'E-Security Solutions Exhibition', organised by the students of the Al Ain Women's College (AAWC). Dr Sulaiman said that e-security is an important pillar to support the fast pace with which the e-business environment and economy of the UAE needs to develop. New approaches, he said, are being adopted by the businesses around the world to cope with the rising security threats. "The Internet has created an interconnected world that helps businesses both save and make money, but it has also opened a huge electronic window into the core of an organisation's business operation." This gives malicious elements a big temptation to disrupt a company's operations or steal or damage its most valuable asset, information, he added. A recent survey in the U.S. has revealed startling evidence of the rising tide of security threats. Some 90 per cent companies have detected computer security breaches within the last 12 months. The survey further pointed out that 80 per cent acknowledged financial losses took place due to security breaches. About 44 per cent or 223 respondents reported $456 million in financial losses due to the security breaches, he said. The CEO said the most businesses in the Middle East merely react to security threats, rather than assessing risks to manage their security strategically. "This attitude is dangerous," he said while highlighting the need for a change in the approach. He said that companies have to make a strategic commitment to ensure effective security. Most of the companies in this region (Middle East) shy away from making this commitment as can be seen in the widespread lack of a security budget. "For companies doing business online, security spending must be an integral part of overall e-business spending." He said installing traditional protections, such as firewalls, are ineffective as hackers and their techniques are continuously becoming more advanced through technology and learning. Dr Sulaiman suggested that the best way to ensure e-security is to contact specialised solution providers as this trend is growing in the international businesses which realise security is increasingly becoming a service rather than a product. "Effective security is best provided by what is known as a Managed Security Service Provider." The CEO said the Dubai Internet City is keen to offer its support and involvement for these new security trends. "We have been working closely with the region's ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) industry to identify the security expertise and infrastructure needs of enterprises." The DIC, which is already providing e-security solutions through its subsidiary DataFort, has also been encouraging private sector companies to launch managed security services. Earlier, the AAWC's e-security exhibition was opened by the college Director Dr Neel Mangham. More than 20 business and information technology security companies and educational institutions, including universities, exhibited their products and services for safe online content transfers and transactions. The activities of the event also included personal development sessions, online security products and services demonstration, students' presentations, a technology debate conducted by the Bachelor Management Information System students, quizzes and games. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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