Regulatory measures boost cybersecurity industry

According to the UAE Cybersecurity Council, in 2023, the UAE repelled over 50,000 cyberattacks daily. These findings, highlighted in a report from Frost & Sullivan (F&S), show the exponential growth of the region’s cybersecurity landscape – and serve as a sobering reminder of the rising threats that accompany it.

As the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) cybersecurity industry continues to grow—F&S estimates it will triple in value by 2030 to reach $13.4 billion—countries in the region continue to reduce their dependence on oil exports and opt for digital tools and technologies instead.

Middle East braces for escalating cyber threats

In the UAE and Saudi Arabia, specifically, technology adoption has increased across the finance, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors, further boosting the need for cybersecurity and robust regulatory frameworks.

Issues around awareness, a scarcity of skilled professionals, and a lack of clarity among businesses regarding proactively combating cyberattacks contribute to the existing challenges with increased reliance on technology.

In response to these industry-wide shortcomings, and as the region continues to navigate the global overhaul of technology, countries in the Middle East are taking measurable steps to enhance their cybersecurity posture. Setting up cyber-specific departments and innovation centers, driving awareness through educational campaigns and training programs, and promoting entrepreneurship through cybersecurity conferences are just ways the region is equipping the next generation and bridging the existing skills gap.

In fact, according to the ITU Global Cybersecurity Index 2020, Saudi Arabia ranked second and the UAE fifth among 194 participating countries, indicating that both countries have taken extensive regulatory measures. As a result, they have become destinations of choice for academics, businesses, research, and innovation. The UAE government launched the first national Cyber Pulse Innovation Centre to upskill professionals at Abu Dhabi Polytechnic.

Building a cyber resilient posture

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain have also established the National Cybersecurity Authority, the National Electronic Security Authority, and the National Cybersecurity Centre, respectively, to oversee ongoing industry efforts.

“Compliance and regulation remain the strongest multipliers for cybersecurity growth. The proliferation of technology has greatly increased organisational exposure to complex cyber risks, while the surge in e-commerce and digital banking across the Middle East has generated a heightened need for security. As a nerve centre for the oil and gas industry – as well as several large financial institutions and fintech startups – the region is fast-becoming a preferred provider of next-gen cybersecurity products and services worldwide, requiring a stringent approach to cybersecure solutions that protect both financial dealings and personal data,” said Parminder Kaur, Director and Head of Security Advisory, MEASA, Frost & Sullivan.

As the Middle East continues to develop a robust cybersecurity infrastructure and economy, it remains one of the most promising global regions for industry growth; its commitment to regulation, cybersecurity training, and supply chain security set it apart as an industry leader with an ambitious vision to integrate technologies and meet evolving client needs.

regulatory measures cybersecurity industry

Organised by DWTC and hosted by UAE Cyber Security Council, the upcoming GISEC Global 2024 exhibition is a testament to the UAE’s prioritisation of collaboration, innovation, and talent development.

“GISEC is the ultimate cybersecurity event in the region,” said Bashar Bashaireh, Managing Director of Cloudflare, which is set to participate in the exhibition for the third time. “GISEC is the ideal place to meet present and future customers and partners and engage in new conversations around cybersecurity with relevant audiences.

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