Building a Foundation In Cyber Security

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Kaspersky Lab, in cooperation with regional governments, is forging ahead to develop cyber awareness and provide reliable protection against cyber threats across the Gulf.  Maxim Frolov, Managing Director, for Middle East, Turkey, and Africa at Kaspersky Lab, discussed several regional cyber security initiatives during a recent meet up at the Capital Club in Bahrain.  Frolov characterizes the Middle East as, “one of the fastest developing regions in the world and one of the most advanced in terms of technology adoption,” as well as being “targeted by a myriad of cyber threats.”

Kaspersky Lab is well-known within the security community for sharing collected intelligence regarding global and regional cyber threats.   Kaspersky recently reported elevated malicious activity by the Gaza Cybergang which targets commercial and government sectors in the GCC and Northern Africa.  Threat information includes specific indicators of compromise and is provided openly to the general public enabling security professionals to detect and block attacks.

Saudi Arabia receives a large number of targeted cyber attacks each day.  Kaspersky Lab presented their Article Primermessage on awareness to representatives from over 50 organizations at a cybersecurity forum in Riyadh earlier this year under the auspices of the National Cyber Security Centre, Ministry of Interior of Saudi Arabia.  The summit was hailed as a strategic step towards building a culture of cybersecurity necessary to achieve the national cybersecurity mandate of Saudi Vision 2030.

In Bahrain, Kaspersky Lab and the Information eGovernment Authority hosted a Cyber Drill for the Cyber Hawks program, a team of IT professionals from the Kingdom’s public sector spanning aviation, education, energy, and healthcare.  The purpose of the exercise was to simulate online threats to illustrate the importance of securing modern computer systems.  Kaspersky contends cybersecurity consciousness and education as essential pillars in combating cybercrime, both in the public and private sectors.

Kaspersky is also promoting programs designed to inform and safeguard consumers.  Frolov explained, “Kaspersky Lab has many initiatives to educate the public – especially children, on practicing safe online behavior and we also inform the public through the media about the dangers of cyberbullying, phishing, etc; and tips on how to be protected against them.”  Frolov continued, “The good news is that the Middle East consumers are quite tech-savvy and many are already aware of the threats posed by irresponsible online behavior. However, only a few have taken strict measures to protect themselves and their devices from said threats.”

Kaspersky Lab efforts extend past security awareness through a newly available product – Kaspersky Free.  The software provides consumers safe-haven from most common cyber threats and is offered free of charge.  The software reportedly leverages the same threat detection engine used throughout the Kaspersky line of personal products.   Wielding a range of awareness programs, Kaspersky Lab is taking bold steps to develop a foundation in cyber security within the GCC from the national level down to the individual consumer.

Ryan Ernst –Affectionately known as the “Tony Stark of Bahrain” is an Enterprise Security Consultant at Sword & Shield.

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