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Outlook 2022: Top Physical Security Trends Predictions



Genetec Inc. has shared its top predictions for the physical security industry in 2022.

Monitoring occupancy and space utilization will remain a top priority
Within months of the pandemic, businesses were deploying different solutions to track occupancy in their buildings and control social distancing. Almost two years later, this trend is still growing because they’re seeing value from the data collected.

Beyond safety objectives, organizations will embrace the use of spatial analytics data to reduce wait times, optimize staff scheduling, and enhance business operations. As businesses give employees the flexibility to split up their work time between the office and home,  organizations will be looking for ways to best optimize their workplaces. By using space utilization intelligence, they will be able to analyze employee office attendance, monitor meeting room demands, and make informed floorplan changes such as adding more desk-sharing options.

Video analytics will become more viable for large-scale deployments
In recent years, demand for video analytics solutions has been strong. As AI techniques such as machine learning and deep learning continue to bolster the power of analytics, more organizations are eager to invest.

However, because complex video analytics still require very powerful servers for adequate data processing, deploying analytics at an enterprise level isn’t always practical. As we move into 2022, we believe video analytics applications will mature in ways that make them easier and more economical to deploy at scale. This evolution will be made possible by vendors who focus on hardware resource efficiency and offer more granular controls for running analytics at certain intervals or schedules, instead of continuously.

Cybercrime will continue to grow and inspire new strategies
report by Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that global crime costs will reach $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025. With a growth rate of 15% per year, this cost is said to represent the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history.

As more devices come online and data processing becomes central to operations, businesses will need to remain agile and responsive to the evolving threat landscape. Their customers will also demand greater transparency about how they are keeping data secure and private. All of this will usher in an entirely new model for cybersecurity that relies on continuous verification rather than just hardening networks and systems.

Building layers of protection into a security ecosystem won’t be enough. Decision-makers will need to implement more offensive cybersecurity strategies and choose partners who offer higher levels of automation to stay on top of potential threats.

Supply chain risks will gain more focus and attention
The supply chain issues that the world is currently experiencing will encourage businesses to be less dependent on single-source, proprietary solutions. Forward-thinking organizations will instead seek open architecture solutions that offer increased choice and flexibility based on requirements and current availability.

But there’s more to supply chain issues than the current shortage of goods and materials. As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, organizations are under greater pressure to scrutinize the cybersecurity measures, standards, and certifications of their entire supply chain ecosystem.

In a world where organizations no longer have clearly defined network perimeters, we anticipate seeing more businesses and government agencies broadening the scope of their cybersecurity policies to establish baseline security standards for the solutions they purchase and the vendors they partner with.

More organizations will make the move to cloud and embrace a hybrid deployment 
As more businesses take a step towards trialing cloud applications, they’ll quickly understand the benefits of hybrid cloud, which will produce even greater forward momentum in the adoption of cloud technologies in the new year.

This could include implementing a digital evidence management system to speed up video and data sharing between different departments during investigations, deploying a cloud video management system to secure a high-risk remote location, or installing a physical identity access management (PIAM) solution to better manage access rights for all employees.

Forward-thinking security leaders and their organisations will think less about how a product capability is delivered, and more about how and where they will employ this technology to improve and strengthen their security and data insights in 2022 and beyond.


Outlook 2022: “Cybersecurity is on Top the Mind for CISOs”



Emile Abou Saleh, the Regional Director, Middle East & Africa at Proofpoint, says the shift to remote working has accelerated digital transformation and the move to the cloud

How was 2021 for the industry and your company?
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated both planned and unplanned re-engineering of the IT environments across organizations to keep pace with hybrid working. In 2021, CISOs priorities have continued to focus on addressing enhanced cybersecurity risks due to workforces being outside the usual perimeters of the office.

According to Proofpoint’s latest research, 72% of CISOs in the UAE felt their businesses were unprepared to cope with a targeted cyberattack in 2021. Furthermore, there is still a strong perception of lack of support from the boardroom, with only 31% of CISOs in the UAE strongly agreeing that their boards see eye-to-eye with them on issues of cybersecurity.

As a result, cybersecurity tops the list of priorities for CISOs alongside cloud/cloud migration, customer experience, and digital transformation to meet an ever-increasing demand from the digital marketplace.

Throughout 2021 and beyond, Proofpoint’s people-centric approach to threat protection, information protection, and compliance, continues to protect customers from the risks they face in today’s active threat landscape, by putting people at the heart of cybersecurity strategies in the UAE and globally.

What sort of opportunities did 2021 bring along?
The COVID-19 pandemic and the changing business dynamics meant we had unprecedented opportunities knocking at our doors. Among others, we felt that data and cybersecurity was huge opportunity. Companies across all industries are scrambling to effectively protect their proprietary and customers’ data.

Proofpoint’s recent research revealed that CISOs in the UAE and KSA feel at risk of suffering material cyberattacks in the next 12 months, with phishing being a concern for nearly one-third of CISOs.

There was also a focus on accelerating automation, with intelligent decision-making. Automation was a big part of the digital shift due to the pandemic, enabling companies to mitigate person-to-person contact and optimize costs while ensuring uninterrupted operations.

Moreover, every organization, regardless of size, industry, or location, was forced to completely re-evaluate its operations – whether it was via implementing safety measures in the workplace or by transitioning completely to remote work. No company has remained untouched by COVID-19. This also opened up a lot of opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit the COVID-19 lures.

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, scammers continue to use social engineering to tie their attacks to the news agenda, from the appearance of the coronavirus to vaccines, pandemic financial relief or healthcare information. One such example is that of the increased volume of COVID-19 related credential theft campaigns, identified by Proofpoint researchers.

Did you face any challenges in 2021?
With the pandemic, organizations were forced to adopt innovative ways to stay afloat – remote or hybrid work, cloud computing, and digital transformation, posing new challenges for CIOs.

One key challenge is the shift to long-term hybrid working environments, as 66% of CISOs in the UAE agree that remote working has made their organization more vulnerable to targeted cyberattacks.

Cybersecurity teams around the world were challenged to enhance their security posture in this new and changing landscape, literally overnight. This required a balancing act between supporting remote work and avoiding business interruption while securing those environments.

The past year of disruption and uncertainty with the onset of the pandemic has further emboldened cybercriminals. The result is a broad and varied threat landscape, with numerous attack methods focused on users in relatively new working conditions across a much larger attack surface.

For instance, in the UAE, over two-thirds feel at risk of suffering a material cyberattack within the next 12 months. Furthermore, 71% of CISOs in the UAE are more concerned about the repercussions of a cyberattack in 2021 than they were in 2020, the highest percentage across the 14 global countries surveyed in Proofpoint’s 2021 Voice of CISO report.

What were your key achievements in 2021?
In this changing business landscape, Proofpoint has contributed immensely towards protecting the way people work with a unified platform that stops the most advanced threats, simplifies compliance, and improves incident responses.

What promises does 2022 bring along?
Despite widespread acknowledgment of the struggle to stay secure during the pandemic, most CISOs are hopeful in their outlook for 2022. Assuming appropriate strengthening and strategizing, 77% of CISOs in the UAE believe they will be better able to resist and recover from cyberattacks in the coming year.

In 2022, Proofpoint is committed to furthering its people-centric approach to security that protects organizations’ most important cybersecurity targets, its people.

With an integrated suite of cloud-based solutions, Proofpoint helps companies and their CISOs to stop targeted threats, safeguard their data, and make their users more resilient against cyber-attacks.

Other areas of focus are insider threats in the modern workplace as well as continued innovation, urgency, and speed in identifying potential threats — to keep customers a step ahead of the latest attacks.

Do you see opportunities in the regional markets with new markets opening up?
Yes, there will be huge opportunities for supporting remote working, enabling business innovation, and addressing supplier risks. As per our research, the top three priorities across the board for UAE CISOs over the next two years are: addressing supplier risk (29%), supporting remote working (28%), as well as enabling business innovation (28%).

According to you, which technologies will be in demand in 2022?
With remote and hybrid work becoming the norm, people are increasingly targeted when it comes to cyber threats, making a people-centric approach to cybersecurity necessary to fortify the human element against advanced threats, data loss, and compliance risks.

In the midst of this, technology solutions will focus on combatting email and cloud threats, data loss and insider risks, modernizing compliance and archiving, protecting cloud apps, defending remote workplaces, among others.

What will be your key focus areas for 2022?
At Proofpoint, we continue to focus on protecting the way people work today with a unified platform that stops today’s most advanced threats, simplifies compliance, and improves incident responses. Looking ahead, we are committed to our people-centric approach to security that protects organizations’ most important cybersecurity targets, its people.

With an integrated suite of cloud-based solutions, Proofpoint helps companies and their CISOs to stop targeted threats, safeguard their data, and make their users more resilient against cyber-attacks. Other areas of focus are insider threats in the modern workplace as well as continued innovation, urgency, and speed in identifying potential threats —to keep customers a step ahead of the latest attacks

What would you like to do differently in 2022, when compared with 2021?
The shift to remote working has accelerated digital transformation and the move to the cloud, expanding the attack surface for enterprises. Today, cybercriminals increasingly target people within organizations rather than systems or infrastructure. This requires a mind shift from IT security teams to take a people-centric approach to cybersecurity to combat threats effectively. Our focus is helping organizations easily identify vulnerable users.

Do you plan to enter new markets or add new products/applications to your portfolio in 2022?
Proofpoint is committed to its 100% channel go-to-market strategy globally and expanding to new markets amidst growing demand for our market-leading solutions. We are constantly looking at cybersecurity with a people-centric view and focus on solutions that protect the most targeted individuals across various industries globally.

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Outlook 2022: “Adversaries Will Thrive on Constant Innovation”



Gaurav Mohan, the VP of Sales for SAARC and Middle East at NETSCOUT, says his company has been enhancing digital infrastructures by leveraging cyber intelligence

How was 2021 for the industry and your company?
Against the backdrop of immense disruption and the increasing prevalence of remote workers across the region, enterprises have dealt with a constantly evolving cyber threat landscape. As such, many organizations found themselves defending a more distributed and vulnerable environment, as hybrid work and online collaboration services create vulnerabilities that attackers are quick to exploit. In short, cybercriminals have become bold in their ability to hit users where it hurts.

Adversaries developed new DDoS attack techniques designed to evade traditional defenses. Using adaptive DDoS principles, threat actors can now customize each attack to bypass cloud-based and on-premises static DDoS defenses. These attacks can directly affect the organization’s ability to service customers, thus impacting revenue and profitability.

Enterprises have also seen a surge of cyberattacks including phishing, data breaches, and ransomware in the past few months. The consequences of these ranged from critical data loss to financial damage. Ransomware gangs also added triple extortion attacks to their service offerings. By combining file encryption, data theft, and DDoS attacks, threat actors have hit a ransomware trifecta designed to increase the possibility of payment.

At NETSCOUT, we’ve been enhancing our client’s digital infrastructures by leveraging our unique cyber intelligence, in-depth attack analytics, and effective incident response.

What promises does 2022 bring along?
Adversaries thrive on constant innovation. Armed with an ever-improving set of tools that have lowered the bar to entry for launching more complex and more disruptive attacks, cybercriminals have eagerly leveraged the weaknesses of organizations in the region. In 2022, we can logically expect to see threat actors target vulnerabilities exposed by the global crisis and discover and use new attack vectors that poke at the weak spots of our new normal.

After all, cybercrime is a multi-billion-dollar business. These adversaries are smart and motivated, and we can count on them to discover and weaponize new vectors or use innovative techniques on existing ones. Thus, we expect adaptive DDoS attacks, triple extortion, and DDoS extortion attacks to carry over into 2022.

Increased global complexity means there will always be challenges. Therefore, it is imperative that defenders and security professionals remain vigilant to protect the critical infrastructure that connects and enables the modern world.

Do you see opportunities in the regional markets with new markets opening up?
The Middle East is one of the fastest-growing commercial hubs, and many of our target markets are pioneering digital transformation in the region. Recently, this region has experienced a new wave of cyber-attacks, which are a considerable obstacle to overall growth and development. However, enterprises cannot protect what they can’t see.

Therefore, the need for comprehensive solutions that provide visibility into complex network infrastructures cannot be understated. Our solutions deliver real-time, pervasive visibility and insights that customers need to accelerate and secure their digital transformation. These capabilities are driving our growth and expansion in the region.

What will be your key focus areas for 2022?
We’ve noticed the need for robust security has significantly increased. In 2022, we’re committed to leveraging our threat intelligence tailoring our solutions to our clients, and acting as partners on their journey to comprehensive network security.

At NETSCOUT, we assure digital business services against availability, performance, and security disruptions. Our patented Smart Data technology and continuous monitoring were engineered to penetrate the countless layers of services, applications, and hybrid cloud servers that comprise today’s digital architectures.

Regional private and public sectors are engaging in rapid digital transformation. Their digital success requires seamless visibility and monitoring for performance and security across a complex set of platforms, locations, and providers. In 2022, we are committed to further enhancing the performance of our customer’s digital ecosystems.

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Outlook 2022: “Fraud and Scams Will Continue to Grow and Evolve”



Saeed Ahmad, the Managing Director for Middle East and North Africa at Callsign, says the company will focus on making digital identity simple and secure

How was 2021 for the industry and your company?
2021 has further enhanced the region’s digital trends and transformed consumer habits and preferences. We’ve seen consumers’ interest in digital payments soar, with about 90% of Middle East consumers opting to stick with digital payments in the post-pandemic era.

As more and more consumers, businesses, and financial institutions interact online, we’ve seen that bad actors have increasingly targeted vulnerable users. Our research revealed 66% of people in the UAE had received messages from scammers masquerading as their bank. E-commerce and retail are, unsurprisingly, not far behind, with 50% of UAE customers receiving a scam message purporting to be from retailers.

APP fraud, particularly where victims are tricked into making a payment to another account, has seen a substantial rise. It’s a type of fraud that is notoriously difficult to detect and prevent and one that the industry has been trying to tackle.

When we moved online, authentication processes from the physical world were digitized rather than re-designed for the digital world. The trouble is that digitized processes lack security, aren’t privacy-preserving, and are usually cumbersome. At Callsign, we believe that fraud, scams, bots, social engineering, and malware are symptoms of the bigger problem – that digital identity is broken. Throughout this year, we’ve supported regional organizations in bolstering and enhancing their authentication processes to preserve their customer’s digital identity.

What promises does 2022 bring along?
If there’s one thing we can be certain of, it’s that fraud and scams will continue to grow and evolve. Bad actors constantly innovate new attack vectors and ways to defraud people and organizations. No industry or channel is immune to scams and fraud. MEA customers received scams through email (64%), SMS (67%), phone (44%), messaging apps (45%), and social media (36%) in the last year.

As our reliance on digital platforms and payments continues to rise, scams and fraud will likely accompany this increase. However, we anticipate that organizations will rise to the occasion by prioritizing secure yet seamless user experiences. Organizations have realized that protecting their user’s digital identities is paramount. In the following year, more and more businesses will wake up to the importance of security and re-think how they fight fraud.

Do you see opportunities in the regional markets with new markets opening up?
We’ve recently seen various governments, regulators, and private sector organizations seek to enhance online customer authentication through regulations and more robust technologies and processes. Often these measures leverage different forms of biometric technology to assist with reliable identity verification and authentication methods.

For example, AI-driven facial recognition, digital fingerprints, and iris scans are increasingly adopted in industries across UAE. Moreover, earlier this year, the UAE government announced that it would use facial biometrics technology to allow citizens and residents to register for “UAE Pass,” a first-of-its-kind digital national ID. Similarly, more organizations in the region will adopt technologies to streamline authentication and verification processes.

According to you, which technologies will be in demand in 2022?
To fight the rising tide of fraud, scams, and social engineering attacks, organizations will seek solutions that maximize their user’s privacy and security while providing a seamless digital experience.

Moreover, businesses are realizing that user experience is more important than ever for enhancing brand loyalty. We can expect the desire for a common user experience across mobile and desktop to be the factor that catalyses password-less adoption. Unified log-in experiences will become more prominent in 2022, catalysing the extinction of traditional log-in methods
We also expect businesses to adopt behavioural biometrics – a step further from physical biometrics.

Behavioral biometrics (such as how someone holds and swipes on their phone, types in their password, or moves a mouse on a computer) provides privacy-preserving, frictionless, accessible, and inclusive methods to authenticate users in robust and failsafe ways.

Artificial intelligence technologies are already widely adopted across the region. In 2022, we will see more organizations utilizing AI in identity access management. This involves applications that allow organizations to manage business logic around handling customer journeys. Therefore, companies will no longer have to manually review authentication factors but set certain boundaries and let the system decide for them within those boundaries. This will drive efficiencies when it comes to the cost of operations of systems in enterprises.

What will be your key focus areas for 2022?
Our focus for 2022 is to empower organizations and provide a solid defense against sophisticated scams and fraud without adding undue friction to the customer journey. Behavioral biometrics are a key technology in this area. Behavioral biometrics is an unobtrusive authentication method and can be collected passively while users interact with their device without adding friction to their journey.

We believe fraud monitoring should take place passively and behind the scenes, triggering interventions only when there’s a likelihood of danger. By looking for anomalies in the customer journey and unusual behavior patterns, we can bring together risk factors and assess the possibility that a scam is underway. Our Dynamic Fraud Intervention solution provides a robust and adaptable solution that will keep pace with, and combat, the constantly evolving threat of scams and APP fraud.

At Callsign, we make digital identity simple and secure by seamlessly powering the identification of every web, mobile and physical interaction. In the coming year, we will continue on our quest of securing the digital consumer by providing seamless and secure experiences for all.

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