EY opens cybersecurity centre for Middle East and North Africa

15 December 2017 Authored by Consultancy-me.com

Global professional services firm EY has unveiled an advanced multimillion-dollar cybersecurity centre in Muscat to offer protection against cyber-attack for businesses located across the Middle East and North Africa.

Situated in the Omani capital, EY’s MENA Digital Security Operations Centre (DSOC) will provide comprehensive 24-hour digital security monitoring of client IT systems, operational technology, and IoT (Internet of Things) for the countries of the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) and greater MENA region, with a focus on threat "hunting" and detection. 

As the first of its kind for the region, the DSOC will utilise EY’s award-winning behavioural cybersecurity tools which can detect anomalies in data-flow to flag a potential attack, while further tracking and actively monitoring any sophisticated and evolving threats inside a client’s network to provide specific insights for appropriate countermeasures and remedial actions.

The MENA DSOC is the latest addition to EY’s global network of cybersecurity centres, developed under its growth and innovation-focused “wavespace” banner, and will correspondingly benefit from the company’s exclusive strategic alliance with cyber-analytics specialists Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

EY opens cyber-security centre for Middle East and North Africa

Yet, the region faces its own unique and growing threats, and EY describes the establishment of the new DSOC as a response to increasing demand. The centre has been designed with the capacity to serve any type of business in the region, according to Ahmed al Esry, EY Oman managing partner. However, it is expected that prospective clients could initially include government departments and larger organisations from the energy and banking sectors.

EY’s chairman and CEO for MENA, Abdulaziz Al-Sowailim, warned of the growing threat to businesses in the region; “As organisations in MENA become increasingly reliant on digital technologies, they also become more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and digital risk. There is no industry that is immune. All enterprise clients need to move to a form of 24/7 monitoring to protect their digital presence from attack regardless of industry.”

Oman on the rise

As to the company’s choice of locating their cyber-operations centre in Oman, Esry says, “The aim is to make the sultanate a hub for cybersecurity operations in the region serving clients across the Middle East and North Africa.” More broadly, Clinton Firth, EY’s MENA cybersecurity chief adds, “The key thing is the strategic location of Oman and its proximity to the GCC, Arab nations and Africa along with the trust enjoyed by the sultanate.”

Oman is currently in the midst of an ambitious international growth program as, like its regional counterparts, it seeks to move beyond a reliance on oil resources by leveraging existing capital. As part of its plans, the capital will shortly welcome a new Muscat Airport with the built-in future capacity to service a projected 48 million passengers per year. Under the guidance of German aviation consulting firm Munich Airport International, the airport has now entered into its final phase of testing.


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