Two Thirds of Saudi Organizations Rank Cybersecurity as Top IT Investment

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•Saudi Organizations Need to Automate and Reinvent Cybersecurity Processes to Thwart Cyber-Threats, Says VMware On Sidelines of IDC CIO Security Summit Saudi Arabia
•VMware Plans Office Opening in Riyadh in H2 2017 to help organizations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia transform and secure their operations

Two-thirds of IT decision-makers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rank cybersecurity as their top IT priority. However, the current levels of cybersecurity investment alone may not be enough. About half (46%) of Saudi organizations still expect to be hit by a cyber-attack, almost three times the amount of respondents in the wider Europe, Middle East, and Africa region (16%). This is according to research from VMware, a global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility, announced on the sidelines of the IDC CIO Security Summit 2017 Saudi Arabia.

As Saudi organizations drive digital business competitiveness in support of Saudi Vision 2030, connecting applications and devices to networks is exposing them to more and complex cyber-threats, from malware to advanced persistent threats.

As a result, research from VMware finds that two-thirds (64%) of Saudi organizations rank cybersecurity as their top IT priority, with businesses in the region increasing funding for cybersecurity solutions across data backup (74%), encryption (66%), threat monitoring (64%) and firewalls (60%).

“Despite increased spending on cybersecurity, traditional security models need to change. To better protect business brands and customer trust, IT departments should shift their spending focus to securing applications, which are at the heart of business success and competitiveness. That is why we have added VMware AppDefense™ to our security transformation portfolio, to enable organizations to further secure the interactions between users, applications, and data,” said Jean-Pierre Brulard, senior vice president and general manager, Europe, Middle East, and Africa, VMware. “VMware is committed to helping organisations through their transformation journeys and we are delighted to be announcing our expanded presence in the region with a new office opening in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this year.”

Experts agree that staff training on cybersecurity is important as well. Over half (52%) of Saudi respondents said the threat of cyber attacks has caused a “high” or “very high” impact on investment in technology without awareness or education. As a result, the greatest threats in the Kingdom are the use of non IT validated cloud services (44%) and bring your own device (42%) employees (40%).

“Cybersecurity has moved from an IT team discussion to a boardroom discussion, with every employee being responsible for protecting their organization from cyber-threats. Saudi organizations are among regional leaders in recognizing the importance in delivering end-to-end cybersecurity strategies. By leveraging security across the cloud, mobility, and data centre, CIOs can embed security in the IT infrastructure, and keep their employees up-to-date on the best practices and methods on how to protect their data,” said Ahmed Auda, managing director, Middle East and North Africa, VMware. “Having a new office in Riyadh will enable us to better service our customers here in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and we look forward to that opening later this year.”

For the IDC CIO Security Summit Saudi Arabia, VMware is serving as Platinum Partner, and presented on digital transformation and how “Good Technologists Solve Problems. Great Innovators Create Opportunities”.

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