In this article, we discuss the current cybersecurity ecosphere in the Middle-East region and delve into Endpoint Detection and Response technology. We will also cover the major Endpoint Security providers in the Middle East.
An April/May 2017 Cybersecurity Development Indicator (CDI) report by research firm Gartner outlines emerging cyber-attack trends, key technology issues observed worldwide and regional developments in cybersecurity-related tools. This CDI provides an update of how businesses around the world are dealing with threats and suggests their preparedness for a changing security landscape tomorrow which will certainly include how to choose the best software for your business.
Middle East Cybersecurity Landscape In 2022
The last decade saw a large influx of software and media companies seeking business opportunities in the Middle-East region, with cities like Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi at the forefront. National governments in the Middle East are striving to enrich their infrastructure with heavy digitization of the business and consumer sectors.
Now, with the advent of Covid-19, the entire ecosphere of digital business has rapidly accelerated. This has led to heavy adoption of digital practices within the traditional model of businesses that otherwise were reluctant to cross the bridge. Traditional sectors such as banking, telecoms and transportation are now heavily reliant on the Internet of Things (IoT) for their day-to-day operations.
A recent study conducted by SIMI Research estimates that by 2025, 60% of all global jobs will be in the IoT sphere. Needless to say, cybersecurity is paramount in this rapidly evolving ecosystem where malfunctions or disruptions can have a significant impact on organizations and individual consumers alike.
Cybersecurity and EDR are both important solutions for businesses in the Middle East. Cybersecurity is a critical aspect of protecting your data and an Endpoint Detection and Response system can help identify and respond to threats as soon as they happen, meaning you can keep your business safe from dangerous malware variants and state-sponsored cyberattacks.
With such a large-scale medium of change in business practices online, comes the evident risk of cyber-attacks and security breaches. Naturally, all major companies in the regions are adapting to the best practices in cybersecurity and are looking to build a robust mechanism to deal with any potential threats. The cyber warfare threat keeps evolving every year and Cybersecurity professionals need to be in the know on how to deal with any unprecedented attacks on their business.
Cyber-attacks on Middle-Eastern companies continue to be on the rise each year with more cyberattacks reported from outside the main 5 clusters in the region. Companies in manufacturing, utilities, oil and gas, critical infrastructure and more recently media and technology companies in the region are predominantly targeted in these cyber-attacks.
Role of an Endpoint Detection and Response System
It is imperative for organisations to deploy systems that detect and investigate suspicious activities on hosts and endpoints. Security teams should be able to quickly identify the threats and respond to them using a high degree of automation to enable this. This is where the term coined by Anton Chuvakin comes into play- End Point Threat Detection & Response (EDR). An endpoint can be an employee workstation or laptop, a server, a cloud system, a mobile or IoT device.
On average, an IT team manages anywhere between 5000 to 500000 endpoints within their organization, which can be a doorway for cyber-attacks, clearly highlighting the need to fix this vulnerability.
An EDR security system would help you monitor and collect crucial data from endpoints that could potentially be a threat. This data is then analysed in real-time to observe the patterns in order to formulate a solution. Sometimes EDR systems automatically respond to such threats on endpoints by nullifying or containing them and providing this crucial information to the security professionals.
Endpoint detection and response (EDR) systems are incredibly important for organizations operating in the Middle East. Recent attacks have shown just how vulnerable businesses can be against sophisticated cyberattacks when they don’t have an EDR solution in place.
EDR tools not only help protect your endpoints from risky activity but also detect and respond to advanced threats more quickly than traditional security solutions. This means you can keep your business safe from dangerous malware variants, as well as state-sponsored hacking campaigns.
Some major organisations in the Middle East have adopted EDR solutions, however, a major share of companies are yet to initiate a discussion around EDRs yet. The adoption of EDRs will see significant growth in the next 5 years in the region with several security professionals being hired by companies in order to guide them and implement a successful EDR security system.
Moreover, the EDR security solution is a very cost-effective and efficient solution as it enables the protection of endpoints against attacks and threats. The latest EDR security solutions have capabilities to combat advanced cyberattacks, malware detection and response capabilities as well as detection of malicious network activity in real-time without any delay which has made EDR an ideal platform for businesses operating in different economies such as UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait besides other Middle East countries where email security can be a serious threat. Endpoint defence consists mainly of enterprise email protection systems and cloud threat intelligence.
What should IT Security Professionals in the Middle East region act on?
Endpoint detection and response security systems in the Middle East are important as cyberattacks become more sophisticated and hackers target organisations with greater frequency. Professionals responsible for Cybersecurity in the Middle East should consider EDR as a solution to mitigate vulnerabilities and increase protection from advanced threats.
IT security professionals in the Middle East region should focus on the following in the immediate short term:
- Educating and training employees on email security and endpoint protection measures
- Implementing EDR solutions to protect enterprise email systems and cloud data
- Updating malware detection capabilities as cyberattacks evolve
In the long term, IT security professionals in the Middle East region should focus on the following:
- Developing and implementing threat intelligence capabilities to track and predict cyberattacks
- Enhancing email security and endpoint protection capabilities with cloud threat intelligence
- Implementing EDR solutions to protect enterprise email systems and cloud data
What EDR security solution is the best for businesses in the Middle East?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as EDR security solutions vary depending on the specific needs and requirements of each business. However, some of the most popular EDR security solutions in the Middle East include endpoint protection capabilities and malware detection and response capabilities. Endpoint protection capabilities and endpoint detection and response capabilities are the two EDR security solution options that cybersecurity professionals in the Middle East region can consider as enterprise email security threats and cyberattacks evolve.
Endpoint protection capabilities help to protect enterprise email systems by detecting malware and ransomware as well as other advanced cyberattacks on enterprise email servers, cloud data centers, network devices and endpoints such as endpoint security solutions (security software) or antivirus applications installed.
There are multiple solutions providers like CrowdStrike, SentinelOne, Cisco, Carbon Black, Microsoft Defender, Fortinet, Tanium and many others, which we will cover in-depth in our next EDR publication.
First-generation endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools simply cannot keep pace. They require manual triage and responses that are not only too slow for fast-moving threats but also generate a huge volume of indicators that burden already overstretched security teams. Further, legacy EDR tools drive up the cost of security operations and can slow processes, negatively impacting business.
What Next for Cybersecurity Professionals?
If you are an IT Security Professional or a Business Owner based in the Middle East, you would have now understood the reality checks and importance of investing in a top-quality EDR solution for your organisation. Naturally, it is a long-term investment and quite an expensive one but it is of paramount importance that you initiate a discussion around this within your organisation. With the region emerging as one of the fastest to adopt the digital boom, organisations should adapt and be prepared for any untoward incident in terms of a cyber-attack.
In our upcoming publications, we will write about the parameters to consider while choosing an EDR system and also compare the Top EDR providers in the Middle East.
As a cybersecurity provider, you may want to check out the report on Cybersecurity Market in the Middle East published by our partner- Straits Research, to understand the overall market dynamics, trends and potential opportunities to tap in.
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