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The panel titled ‘Raising the Cybersecurity Barrier - Data Privacy and Protection’ was moderated by Zayan Sadek, SP Director, Cisco.

The line of esteemed panelists included:

  • Mohammed K AlHarth, Sr. Director of Cybersecurity, salam
  • Alain Sanchez, CISO, Fortinet
  • Nicolai Solling, Chief Technology Officer, HELP AG - Cybersecurity arm of e& enterprise
  • Maria Stebneva, VP, Global Head of TMT, Luxoft
  • Jaifar Al Mamari, Cyber Security Lead, Vodafone Oman.

Sufficient Resource Allocation

The panel discussion focused on the optimization of security spending in the context of digital acceleration. It emphasized the importance of allocating sufficient resources towards cybersecurity as organizations invest in technological advancements.

Mohammed K AlHarth noted that cybersecurity challenges are high and getting higher. He pointed out that business risk is bidirectional and that managing the risk and investment must be proportional with proactive mitigation of risk, threat hunting, predictive analysis and so on. 

Underscoring the importance of security integration, Alain Sanchez pointed out that if organizational platforms do not talk to each other, there is no security. “The value comes from integration rather than the intricacies of various components,” he explained. He also pointed out that cybersecurity is a new language that technical people have to learn. He said that the complexity of cybersecurity attacks compels us to use AI proactively to get a bird’s eye view of the threats. “Human firewalls are very important when navigating cyber risk with training and education.”

Data privacy and the increasing threat of cyber-attacks were addressed, with experts emphasizing the importance of continuous monitoring and adaptation to evolving threats.

Developing Quick Recovery Tactics

Nicolai Solling said that there needs to be a change in how we need to think about security, focusing on specific risk areas and developing quick recovery tactics from attacks. He also noted that data privacy is a key element; and organizations need to understand it is both an asset and a liability. To deter online threats, he advised that one should always “stop and think.”

The deployment of artificial intelligence in strengthening cybersecurity defenses was also discussed.

Maria Stebneva stressed the importance of keeping it as simple as possible; optimizing investment with the selection of the correct architecture, risk assessment and timely deployment of AI tools.

Anticipating cyber risks and adopting a proactive approach to cybersecurity were deemed essential, with continuous training and education emphasized.

Jaifar Al Mamari warned stakeholders about the rise of financially motivated attacks and the dangers of remote access, SIM swapping, etc. Regarding the use of AI, he pointed out that cybersecurity expectations must be realistic and the best way forward is to “go proactive.”

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