Middle East behind on cybersecurity, warns Deloitte report

12 February 2024 Consultancy-me.com 3 min. read
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More than half of business leaders in the Middle East say cybersecurity is essential for the success of their digital transformation. Despite that, regional leaders are more likely to face obstacles than their global counterparts.

Cybersecurity remains a serious risk for organizations of all sizes worldwide. And that risk is growing: A remarkable 91% of organizations reported experiencing at least one cyber incident, compared to 88% in 2021. That is according to an annual report from Deloitte, which looks at the overall cybersecurity landscape and the degree of readiness from businesses in different regions.

The Middle East is certainly no exception to this uptick in cybersecurity incidents. In fact, Middle East organizations reported being quite a bit less prepared and more vulnerable. According to the survey, 69% of business leaders in the region noted the need to further train and certify cyber talent within their organizations.

Number of significant cybersecurity events

Source: Deloitte

“As organizations face a constant barrage of cyber threats in today's rapidly evolving digital world, it’s important to adopt a strategic approach to effectively safeguard critical assets,” said Tariq Ajmal, cyber leader at Deloitte in the Middle East.

“A proactive approach to cybersecurity is paramount, as it focuses on building long term value and is considered an essential part of the framework for businesses to produce their desired outcomes.”

The Deloitte report urges business leaders to integrate cybersecurity protections into their expansion plans now – before it is too late. Businesses often move to adopt a ‘zero trust’ approach to new technology, which leaves no corner of their IT infrastructure unprotected.

Middle East behind on cybersecurity, warns Deloitte report

Source: Deloitte

“Businesses need to build resilience against disruption by planning for complex events and developing proactive incident response plans. There’s a need to view cybersecurity as a key business enabler through adequate funding, as well as training existing talent and actively recruiting top professionals,” said Ajmal.

However, leaders face several obstacles in boosting their cyber frontiers, including lack of funding, lack of talent, technological complexity, and too much focus flowing to the daily operations. Notably, 51% of Middle East business leaders cited a lack of cybersecurity funding as a serious problem – that is compared to 36% globally that said the same.

The report also emphasizes the role that AI can play in beefing up cybersecurity. By leveraging AI and automation tools, organizations can eliminate some of the more tedious functions that analysts need to perform. That way, cyber analysts can focus on more value-adding roles.

As cyber threats increase and organizations become more vulnerable the more they adopt emerging tech like cloud computing and internet of things, cybersecurity is set to continue being big business.

A previous report showed that the overall cybersecurity market in the Middle East is set to grow by more than 17% per year, to reach about $45 billion by 2027.