The UAE prioritizes cybersecurity, implementing measures like establishing Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) and enacting data protection laws, including the UAE Data Protection Regulation (DPR). These efforts aim to safeguard personal data, ensuring privacy and enhancing online security. The government conducts campaigns and outreach programs to educate the public on optimal online safety practices.
For Trend Micro, the UAE presents vast opportunities. In the first half of the year, Trend Micro solutions successfully blocked and detected 39 million threats in the UAE, comprising over 12 million email threats and more than 10 million malicious malware instances. AI significantly advances cybersecurity, improving threat detection and response while mitigating evolving cyber threats. It enhances various aspects, including Threat Detection and Prevention, Malware and Phishing Detection, Behavioral Analysis, Predictive Analysis, User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA), and introduces the recent advantage of Chatbots for Cybersecurity.
In a recent eInterview, Bilal Baig, Technical Director – MMEA, Trend Micro, emphasized that AI is not a substitute for human expertise and oversight. Acknowledging the evolving tactics of cybercriminals, he expressed to Syeda Beenish, Associate Editor, channel360mea, that incorporating AI into cybersecurity is imperative at this juncture. Below are the excerpts…
What are the current cyber security challenges in the UAE? Are they the same or different from global?
The United Arab Emirates presents a landscape marked by a blend of challenges and opportunities. A visible trend within this region is the escalating frequency and sophistication of cyber threats that cut across diverse sectors. These threats span a wide spectrum, encompassing financially motivated cybercrime, ransomware attacks, and pervasive phishing campaigns. According to Trend Micro’s Mid-Year Cybersecurity Report, our solutions have blocked and detected over 475 million cyber threats in the MEA region, most of which involved email threats, malicious URLs, and malware.
In the UAE, Trend Micro solutions blocked and detected a total of 39 million threats, which included over 12 million email threats, more than 10 million malicious malware amongst others in the first half of year alone.
In parallel, the UAE is actively engaged in digital transformation endeavours, offering the promise of substantial benefits. However, this transformative journey presents a dual challenge as it concurrently expands the attack surface, necessitating vigilant cybersecurity measures.
Critical infrastructure sectors, notably energy and utilities, remain top priorities due to their susceptibility to cyber threats. These sectors grapple with persistent challenges in reinforcing their cybersecurity defenses to protect essential services effectively. Furthermore, the UAE mirrors a global trend characterized by a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals. This scarcity of experts poses substantial challenges for organizations seeking robust protection against evolving cyber threats.
What is your outlook about the security industry in the MEA region in the coming months and 2024?
The cybersecurity landscape in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is experiencing a rapid transformation, driven by geopolitical complexities and technological advancements. In the coming months and extending into 2024, we anticipate several key trends to shape the cybersecurity industry in the region.
Firstly, the increasing prevalence of cyber threats from both state and non-state actors necessitates more robust cybersecurity solutions. Governments and enterprises alike are ramping up investment in cybersecurity measures to protect critical infrastructure, data, and networks.
Secondly, there is a growing recognition of the value of data, particularly in burgeoning sectors like fintech, healthcare, and e-commerce. This uptick in data-centric businesses is likely to spur demand for cybersecurity services that focus on data integrity and privacy.
Thirdly, regulatory changes are on the horizon, with governments in the region becoming increasingly cognizant of the need for comprehensive cybersecurity legislation. We anticipate a rollout of more stringent regulations that will mandate higher levels of cybersecurity compliance from organizations.
How is Trend Micro set to make a difference to the security industry in 2024?
In 2024, Trend Micro is set to make a substantial impact in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) by providing advanced AI powered cybersecurity solutions that address the region’s evolving digital landscape. These solutions encompass threat intelligence, data protection, and privacy measures, aiding in secure digital transformation while supporting both cloud and on-premises environments. Tailored industry-specific solutions and local support will be key strengths. Trend Micro’s continuous commitment to innovation ensures MEA businesses have access to state-of-the-art cybersecurity, empowering them to confidently embrace digital transformation while strengthening security in the region.
Tell us about your participation at GITEX. Did you participate in association with the channel or exclusively?
Participating in GITEX, the year’s premier technology event, held immense strategic importance for Trend Micro. It not only provides a platform to elevate awareness of our latest insights and cutting-edge solutions but also illuminates the essential transformations that organizations within the country must adopt to thrive amidst a perpetually evolving threat landscape.
In a world where organizations must maintain unwavering vigilance to safeguard their networks and infrastructure against multifaceted threats including ransomware, advanced persistent threats, cloud security, IoT vulnerabilities, cryptocurrency-related risks, and the ever-shifting threat landscape, GITEX emerges as an invaluable platform. It equips enterprises to navigate the future of cybersecurity successfully.
We take pride in our active participation at GITEX. This involvement underscores our commitment to preparing organizations for the cybersecurity challenges of tomorrow and ensuring that they are well-equipped to thrive in an increasingly digital and interconnected world.
Any new launches, unique innovations on display? This year we showcased AI powered solutions such as Trend Vision One-Cloud Security, Trend Vision One as a SOC, Trend Vision One as ASRM, Trend Micro Workforce One, and Email Security, each tailored to address specific cybersecurity challenges faced by modern enterprises. The introduction of AI-powered solutions exemplifies Trend Micro’s forward-thinking approach, marrying advanced technology with security to combat the evolving threats in the digital landscape effectively.
How excited is your channel community about Trend Micro’s latest showcasing?
Trend Vision One supports diverse hybrid IT environments, automates, and orchestrates workflows, and delivers expert cybersecurity services, so organizations can simplify and converge their security operations and daily security tasks. This level of data in a single pane of glass which covers XDR+ and new innovations being added quarterly makes our channel community enrich to tackle complex environments. Our channel teams are constantly being updated with the new innovations and brining this technology to wider community helps Trend Micro stay one step ahead of adversaries. We have exceptional uptick in the region for channel partner requests which shows the need of partner community to work with Trend Micro.
By when will these solutions be available in the market?
Our products are already available on the market, and they have been successfully serving our customers for some time. We’ve invested a significant amount of time and effort in developing, refining, and promoting our products. As a result, our products have gained a foothold in the market, and we’ve built a loyal customer base.
We’ve received positive feedback from our customers, which has not only validated the quality and utility of our products but has also provided insights for continuous improvement. This success in the market has also allowed us to establish strong relationships with distributors and retailers, making our products more accessible to consumers.
Our team remains committed to ongoing product development and enhancement to stay competitive in the ever-evolving market. We’re also exploring new opportunities to expand our product line, explore new markets, and increase our market share. With our current standing, we are well-positioned to take on these challenges and continue to meet the needs of our customers while reaching new heights in our industry.
Are you going to plan some technical training pre sales and post sales around the same for the channel to help them generate business?
Trend Micro consistently offers comprehensive training programs to empower technical teams, enabling them to expand their skill sets. These programs encompass not only Trend Micro products but also the broader realm of cybersecurity. Our specialized initiative, known as “Trend Campus for Partners,” is designed to provide on-demand training resources to the technical community. These resources can be leveraged to enhance proficiency in the Trend Micro product portfolio, attain advanced certifications, and participate in in-classroom training sessions.