Doha, Qatar – 13October 2014 – As security professionals increasingly feel the pressure to safeguard critical business information and respond quickly to sophisticated cyber threats that can put their organizations at risk, MEEZA,the leading IT services and solutions provider in Qatar,has announced the launch of an Information Security Awareness Program that aims to improve digital security awareness and resilience within the organization.The program has been launched to coincide and align with the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), which is observed every year during the month of October in different parts of the globe such as the United States, Canada, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Cyber security is becoming a growing concern for businesses and governments across the region. A survey conducted recently by Price water house Coopers concluded that cybercrime is now the second most reported economic crime in the Middle East, with 37% of victims reporting incidents of cybercrime, compared to the global average of 24%. The study further forecasts that cybercrime will continue to be a growing trend of criminality in the years to come.
“The Middle East’s digital landscape has profoundly evolved over the last few years, attributed mainly to the unprecedented increase in levels of connectivity, the proliferation of social media and smartphones and the growing trend towards enterprise mobility. This led to a dramatic increase in the risk exposure of organizations to cyber-attacks,” said Ghada Philip El Rassi, CEO of MEEZA. “Raising awareness levels on information security risks and enhancing incident response capability through ongoing training and education programs,is crucial to effectively mitigate cyber-attacks, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated and sustained.”
Running throughout the month of October, the MEEZA Information Security Awareness Program seeks to educate employees on cyber threats and convey key information security messages through weekly presentations, information videos, educational posters and other mediums. It is also aimed at making resources (tips and best practices) needed to stay safer and secure online easily and readily available to users.The topics to be presented range from Online Safety Awareness to Cyber Crime and Law Enforcement.
El Rassi added, “The MISAM (MEEZA Information Security Awareness Month) is part of our continuing efforts to adopt global best practices, as we endeavour to increase the resiliency of our organization by ensuring employees are equipped and able to efficiently and effectively react to security threats and breaches.”
The annual total cost of cyber crime is estimated at USD 444 billion, according to a report released last year by financial advisory and consulting firm Deloitte. The report adds that 1.6 million new cyber threats are being identified everyday globally, and further observes - citing a Microsoft survey – that the malware infection rate of countries in the Middle East is above the worldwide average, making the protection of information assets one of the most urgent challenges facing organizations in the region.
To coincide with MISAM, MEEZA is likewise looking forward to hosting the second GCC Digital Security Forum -which will take place in Doha in October 2015, to bring together high-level experts representing governments and corporates from around the Gulf region –building on the success of the event’s inaugural edition held earlier this year.