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Regional Cybersecurity Leaders Promote Joint Action Against Cybercrime at GSMA M360 EURASIA 2023 Conference



On the sidelines of the GSMA M360 EURASIA 2023 conference in Baku, Azerbaijan, cybersecurity experts from the Middle East and Central Asia highlighted the need for collective action to address the global cybersecurity challenge at an exclusive media roundtable.

Dr. Tural Mammadov, Director of the Azerbaijan Computer Emergency Response Center (CERT), was joined in the panel by Dr. Mohammad Khaled, Director of Business Development and Strategic Projects, e& Enterprise, Dr. Elvin Balajanov, Chairman of the Board of Azerbaijan Cybersecurity Organization Association and Dr. Aloysius Cheang, Chief Security Officer, Huawei Middle East & Central Asia. Dr. Haitham Hilal Al Hajri, Sr. Executive – Cyber Security Projects, Oman National CERT, moderated the discussions.

Dr. Tural Mammadov observed that given the scale of the cybersecurity threat, no single regulatory body possesses enough depth to police cybercrime effectively. “The solution lies in all stakeholders working together, including bringing end-users on board. Numerous attacks today bypass information systems entirely and target end users directly. Telecoms cannot react to such threats as they lack visibility, requiring joint action by service providers, cybersecurity experts, and the end users.”

Under the theme of “Build more secure and resilient telecom networks to support the future digital economy efficiently,” participants in the media roundtable discussed various topics, including collaborations among network operators and their partners, suppliers, and customers in defending against telecom cybersecurity, how regulators could promote local telecom industry’s cybersecurity development, and the role that cybersecurity plays in safeguarding critical information infrastructure and the digital economy, among other topics.

Dr. Mohammad Khaled reiterated the need to diversify solutions and technology providers as part of an effective cyber defense strategy. “If we try to build one solution to defend against all threats, whatever application we put in place can be easily understood, manipulated, and finally breached. Since we face numerous cybersecurity threats, we must by necessity deploy as many cyber defense tools that address specific challenges.”

Similarly, Dr. Elvin Balajanov, Azerbaijan Cybersecurity Organization Association, stated that since the telecom infrastructure is built upon multiple technologies, then a multi-stakeholder cybersecurity approach is required to implement a holistic cybersecurity strategy. “A holistic approach promotes information sharing, which is very important, especially considering that different stakeholders depend on each other. Further, the cybersecurity landscape is too diverse and rapidly evolving; therefore, all stakeholders must remain informed and up-to-date.”

Dr. Aloysius Cheang highlighted the importance of regional cybersecurity initiatives such as OIC-CERT and the ITU Arab Regional Cyber Security Center in the overall war against cybercrime. “Through multinational efforts such as these, we can find synergies such as initiating joint projects, which can then be customized and localized. That said, such projects should follow a public-private partnership (PPP) model. In such a scenario, the industry should drive the process while governments provide the framework to ensure success.”

The telecom industry has become an integral part of modern society and is recognized as a critical infrastructure industry (CII). It plays a vital role in connecting people, businesses, and governments, facilitating communication, information sharing, and commerce on a global scale. However, as telecom networks become more complex and interconnected, they become more vulnerable to cyber threats.

Global standards, internationally agreed processes, and industry best practices are critical in addressing cyber threats effectively. NESAS/SCAS is an ideal example of global collaborative efforts in this domain. It offers a standardized cybersecurity assessment mechanism jointly defined by GSMA and 3GPP, the telecom industry’s leading standards-setting organizations, and GSMA 5G Cybersecurity Knowledge Base to provide useful guidance on 5G security risks and mitigation measures.

Toward the end of the session, Dr. Haitham Hilal Al Hajri reiterated that the Cybersecurity of telecoms is a critical component of national security, and therefore, it is essential to bring together telecom stakeholders to achieve a more robust telecom cybersecurity posture. This includes working closely with telecom service providers, equipment manufacturers, government entities, and other ICT industry players to identify and mitigate cybersecurity risks, develop and implement best practices, deliver cutting-edge digital services unimpeded by cyber threats, and further continuously raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity in telecom.


Global Cybersecurity Forum to be Held on November 8th in Riyadh



Global thought leaders, decision-makers, and cybersecurity experts will convene again in Riyadh for the Global Cybersecurity Forum (GCF) on 8th – 9th November of this year. This year’s event will be held under the theme of ‘Charting Shared Priorities in Cyberspace’ and will build directly from the outcomes and insights of the successful 2022 GCF event, aiming to advance the global cyber community towards aligning on strategic priorities, expanding future opportunities, and deepening multi-stakeholder engagement.

In the midst of ever-greater global challenges – from widespread economic turmoil to geostrategic competition, cyberspace remains a critical domain of importance for businesses and countries alike, transcending physical and conceptual borders. Given the pervasiveness of the domain, cybersecurity represents both a central imperative and a tremendous opportunity for a wide range of stakeholders. GCF 2023 seeks to expand dialogue on these diverse challenges and opportunities, advance knowledge generation, and steer collaborative efforts.

The forum will be divided into five thought-provoking sub-themes:

Cyberspace Amidst Polycrisis: Advancing collective action for cyber stability will look at how multilateral cybersecurity can be progressed in a global environment of overlapping crises and institutional challenges.

Cyber Growth Unlocked: Harnessing markets, incentives, and global public cyber goods delves into how cyber economics can be steered, driving the growth of the cybersecurity sector to meet current and future challenges and needs.

Across Cyber Divides: Building a human-centered and inclusive cyberspace asks how we can bridge social and development divides across stakeholders and within organizations and institutions.

Inside Cyber Minds: Exploring behavioral levers and motivations in cyberspace maps the behavioral and psychological aspects of cybersecurity and cybercrime, illuminating the impacts of behavior and decision-making in cyberspace. The final subtheme, Emerging Cyber Horizons: Maximizing the benefits of paradigm-shifting technologies, considers the future of emerging technologies and their cybersecurity dimensions, and how we can harness their accelerative properties.

The GCF, hosted by the National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA), was launched in February 2020, during the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s G20 Presidency, as a global platform aiming to build a more resilient and better cyberspace for all. The platform emphasizes the importance of international collaboration among diverse stakeholders and nations to accomplish this goal.

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OPSWAT to Showcase IT/OT Security Solutions at GISEC 2023



OPSWAT has announced that it will be at GISEC 2023 to show the region’s private and public sector enterprises how to develop their cybersecurity maturity through the company’s end-to-end IT/OT security solutions. “OPSWAT has been a GISEC attendee for many years, and this time around, we exhibit amid a threat landscape that is bubbling with risk for OT (Operational Technology) and ICS (Industrial Control System) environments,” said Sertan Selcuk, Vice President of Sales, Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, OPSWAT. “Our mission to protect critical infrastructure through purpose-built CIP technologies has never been more urgent. Regional nations have been hard at work diversifying their economies, and heavy industries such as utilities, energy, manufacturing, and oil and gas can only innovate as long as they remain protected from cyber criminals.”

Selcuk warned that regional OT environments mostly rely on a single endpoint scanning and EDR to fight malware and file-borne attacks, which leaves the perimeter unaddressed. Organizations must improve their cybersecurity postures to secure email, cloud storage, containerization, and other modern constructs by implementing a zero-trust architecture.

“No single vendor provides anti-malware and sanitization solutions that cover file entry points across USB, Web traffic, storage, email, and everything in between… except OPSWAT,” Selcuk added. “We offer purpose-built CIP technologies rather than repurposed IT products — solutions that can be deployed in the cloud, on-prem, and in air-gapped networks, offering more flexibility than any other provider in the market.”

Operations Security
From its onsite GISEC CIP lab, OPSWAT will showcase the gamut of its IT and OT security capabilities.  From an OT perspective, experts will demonstrate how Neuralyzer, the company’s asset-visibility platform, can reach into the darkest spaces of the technology stack and give back control of the suite to OT and security professionals. MetaAccess OT is an industrial-scale, secure remote-access appliance that enforces granular access control. OTfuse is an industrial firewall designed specifically for OT/ICS assets and includes an inline intrusion detection system (IDS) and intrusion prevention system (IPS), serving as a last line of defense to ensure the validity of system commands.

Also on display at the lab will be MetaDefender Vault, a secure file-storage system for cross-domain and inter-network transactions, and MetaDefender Kiosk, which is a portable media security solution for transferring files and devices back and forth between air-gapped and connected networks. And NetWall is the company’s security gateway capable of unidirectional and bidirectional setups.

Information Security
On the IT side, OPSWAT will be showcasing MetaDefender Drive, a USB stick used to check laptops by booting and scanning with over 30 AV engines and checking vulnerabilities and country of origin. And at a time when social engineering is on the rise in the region, OPSWAT’s Email Security offers anti-phishing and anti-spamming as an extra line of defense for on-prem and cloud-native mail hosting, deploying its Deep CDR, proactive DLP, and multi-scanning technologies to ensure attachments are safe. Meanwhile, MetaAccess secures endpoint access through compliance and posture checking to protect sensitive IT resources. And MetaDefender Secure Storage guards files at rest and in transit.

“GISEC is a very important event for OPSWAT,” Selcuk explained. “It is the largest cybersecurity forum in the Gulf region; governments are there; banks are there; resellers and systems integrators are there. All these entities are deeply involved in overcoming the IT and OT security challenges that can hold back innovation. Our comprehensive solutions portfolio is an excellent fit for their use cases, and we stand ready to join them in their fight against bad actors.”

At GISEC 2023, OPSWAT will exhibit from Stand C38.

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Inogates and its Solution Partners to Participate in GISEC 2023



InoGates a consulting company born and growing in UAE specialising in cybersecurity has announced its second participation in GISEC 2023. InoGates helps companies to attain and handle their security and compliance posture by providing consultancy services, managed security services, and solution designing with its presence across EMEA Region.

The company will showcase its solution and services alongside its vendors from March 14 – 16, 2023. The company is throwing the spotlight on two of its major partners in the cybersecurity ecosystem: HarfangLab, the European EDR leader; and Webdrone, an online investigation platform.

“GISEC is the region’s most established and prominent cybersecurity and infosec exhibition and conference showcasing the Middle East cybersecurity industry. It has the largest private and government presence of any cybersecurity event in the region,” added Marc Kassis, the Founder and General Manager at InoGates FZCO.

“We are working with InoGates to deliver HarfangLab solutions to those who wish to reconcile excellent detection capacity and strategic autonomy,” explained Grégoire Germain, the CEO of HarfangLab.

“By participating in this major event alongside InoGates, Webdrone, through its brands and products protection platform, will help companies keep a closed eye on their intellectual properties to prevent them from being misused or illegally traded online. Similarly, with the topic monitoring platform, organizations can understand and predict how topics are spread online. The threats can be therefore well monitored,” added Didier Douilly, the Chief Business Officer at Webdrone.

Inogates will be exhibiting at Hall 8, Stand P18.

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