Co-organised by

Ministry of Interior

20 Jan 2020

National and cyber security industry set for double digit growth across the MEA region

The industry’s growth, latest solutions and best practice will be the focus of ISNR Abu Dhabi 2020

Both regionally and globally, demand for national and cybersecurity solutions continues to grow, driven by geopolitical tension and the increasing range and sophistication of cyberattacks. From malware injections and DDoS attacks to phishing, social engineering and brute-force password attacks, any type of breach can result in financial loss and damage to reputation for government organizations and companies alike.

The UAE in particular invests significantly to defend itself as it proceeds with its strategy to build a knowledge-based economy whilst diversifying its economy away from oil.

As a strong step in this direction, Abu Dhabi recently set up a new defence group with the aim to rapidly develop new systems to deal with threats by militant groups and armies. One of the prime directives of EDGE is to rapidly introduce new products into the defence market. These are aimed at addressing key concerns, through existing commercial technologies and a streamlined prototyping process, all of which will be showcased at the 2020 edition of the International Exhibition of National Security Resilience (ISNR Abu Dhabi).

ISNR Abu Dhabi is designed to offer a unique networking platform that connects regional government bodies with security solution providers from across the globe. It is co-organised with the UAE Ministry of Interior, with the intention of bringing the national and cyber security communities together to accelerate public-private collaboration for a safer connected world.

According to Kaspersky, there were more than 150 million malware attacks in the META (Middle East, Turkey, Africa) region in Q1 2019, growth of 108% year on year. In addition, according to the 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report, damage related to cybercrime is projected to hit US $6 trillion annually by 2021.

As the Internet of Things (IoT) takes off, the number of devices that hackers can target is only going to grow. From home voice assistants and thermostats, to medical devices, cars and industrial machinery, more and more devices are going online and the number of ‘things’ connected to the internet is on track to reach 75 billion worldwide by 2025, according to Statista. While these IoT devices generate reams of data that could potentially be used to improve health and boost productivity, poorly secured devices can be taken-over and used as part of a botnet army to launch DDoS and ransomware attacks.

As a result of the increased threat level, the Middle East & Africa (MEA) national and cybersecurity industry is growing rapidly. According to Mordor Intelligence, the market was worth US $6.24 billion in 2018 and will grow at 14.97% per year until 2024. MarketsandMarkets projects that the market will grow from an estimated value of US $11.38 billion in 2017 to $22.14 billion in 2022, at an annual rate of 14.2%.

“While criminals are becoming ever more resourceful and determined, the national and cybersecurity industry isn’t resting on its laurels,” said Meline Soulie, National & Cyber Security Portfolio Director (ISNR Abu Dhabi) at Reed Exhibitions Middle East. “ISNR Abu Dhabi has a history of showcasing the latest advancements and best-practice solutions to combat national and cyber threats and this year will be no different. Attendees will have the opportunity to see some of the most comprehensive solutions offered across the global industry whilst learning about emerging threats and how to mitigate the damage caused at a variety of conference that include: National Cyber Security, National Digital Resilience and the Future of Policing.”

Amongst the key exhibitors at the event is Leonardo, a key player in aerospace, defence, and security, with products, services, and integrated solutions covering every possible operating scenario - air, land, sea, space and cyberspace. Leonardo invests in technologies that can benefit both military and civilian markets, developing dual-use and multi-functional systems for a variety of applications, used in over 150 countries worldwide.

“Threats both regionally and internationally are growing fast,” continued Meline Soulie. “Governments and key stakeholders in the national and cyber security industry from across the region are looking for more intuitive and advanced solutions to safeguard residents, visitors and national interests. There have been some exceptional advancements in technology, specifically referring to Artificial Intelligence that provides governments and organizations with the means to take proactive measures and mitigate the costs associated with relevant attacks – all of which will be showcased at ISNR Abu Dhabi 2020.”

AI and security are closely linked issues. AI exacerbates existing security risks to governments and businesses from the deletion, manipulation, and theft of valuable data. Such risks are especially high in the Gulf due to the combination of concentrated global capital, knowledge-intensive industries with variable understanding of cybersecurity risks, and international supply chains that introduce significant vulnerabilities.

In addition, AI itself provides an important avenue for research and development within the national and cyber security sectors. It can offer scalable real-time threat detection and increasingly automated responses – all of which will be explored at ISNR Abu Dhabi 2020.

More than 600 companies have confirmed their participation at ISNR Abu Dhabi 2020. Five National Pavilions representing USA, UK, France, China, and more will showcase regional innovation, with more set to confirm presence. While it’s clear that the volume and variety of national cyber security threats is as great as ever, ISNR Abu Dhabi will show that the industry is acting decisively to meet the challenge.

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