BUSINESS

SOC as a Service to enable more secured digital transformation journey in Saudi Arabia

February 24, 2021
Sherif Shaltout
Sherif Shaltout

RIYADH — Sherif Shaltout, Vice President of Operations for Cysiv Middle East and Africa, sheds light on the current cyber security landscape and how can organizations better protect their digital estates in the kingdom

• How critical is cyber security in these times, and how will SOC as a service address the challenges for organizations?

Cyber security is no longer simply an IT discussion. It is a board level discussion and a national security one too. The Middle East has been particularly one of the main frontiers of cyber warfare in recent years. Stuxnet, Shamoon and Triton are among the most sophisticated cyberattacks ever carried out, and they all took place in the Middle East. Two of them were direct attacks against two of Saudi Arabia’s biggest organizations. This has brought cyber security to the attention of the highest levels of governments in the region. We can clearly see this in the ever-growing cyber security spending in the region and the quickly evolving regulatory environment. Countries like KSA, UAE and Egypt have all introduced either national or industry focused cyber security laws and regulations aimed at protecting the critical infrastructure that is rapidly becoming digitized.

Cyber security is quickly imposing numerous challenges for organizations. Highly skilled adversaries armed with powerful weapons and sophisticated tools, too much data/telemetry to analyze, technology frustration (first gen SIEM and lack of integrated SOC tools), shortage of experts, cost of building staffing and operating a 24/7 SOC.

SOCaaS answers just that. It provides organizations with all the benefits of having their own world-class, 24/7 security operations center, but without the cost, complexity or time required to build, staff and operate one. SaaS models generally has reshaped industries and the Saudi Arabia market understands the demand for it and how it accelerates the rapid digital adoption taking place in the region. You can see that clearly in the Google Cloud and Saudi Aramco alliance to deliver cloud infrastructure to Saudi Arabia.

• Explain the SOC as a service offering from CYSIV and what this means for Saudi organizations?

Cysiv’s 24/7 security operations center-as-a-service (SOCaaS) helps reduce cyber risk by accelerating and improving the process of detecting, investigating, and responding to actionable threats across the complete IT environment (campus, work-from-home, SaaS products, datacenter and cloud). Cysiv combines its cloud-native, data science- and automation-driven next-gen SIEM platform with vendor-agnostic data support, comprehensive cyber intel and remote experts — including analysts, data scientists, incident response and threat hunters — who operate as a seamless extension to IT/security teams. All of this is delivered as a subscription-based service that can be operational in days.

It means Saudi organizations now have rapid and cost-effective access to a team of experts and technologies that will further protect them from damaging attacks and disruptions. Cysiv has made it fast and affordable for any Saudi organization to further elevate their security with a service that operates as a seamless extension to their existing team.

Our acquisition of SecureMisr earlier in 2020, a leading regional cyber security company has given us access to an elite team of cyber security experts who have a thorough understanding of the regional landscape, understand and speak Arabic and are within close proximity to all our clients in the region, including Saudi Arabia. This allows us, not only to be close to our customers, but significantly enhances our capability to track threat actors using Arabic to communicate.

• Your plans to expand in the region include Saudi Arabia, how important is this market?

Saudi Arabia is the region’s biggest ICT region (107 billion in 2019) and is undergoing an unprecedented transformation. We are excited by the Vision 2030 of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman that aims to transform the Saudi economy to a more diversified economy with technology at its heart. Projects like NEOM are unmatched in terms of their scale and ambition and we are very keen to play our part in helping secure these investments.

• What is the state of digital transformation in Saudi Arabia, and how will the offerings from Cysiv help support this journey?

A quick glance at the National Digital Transformation Unit annual reports that show the scale of achievements in Saudi Arabia. The number of participating organizations and partners reflect how all key sectors are coming on board this national initiative. The country is ranked 3rd globally in 5G deployments, 13th in global Internet speed average and has adapted its legal frameworks to digital business models (11th globally as per the world economic forum). This technical and legal infrastructure has paved the way for many initiatives in healthcare, digital banking, Hajj facilitation, to name a few that have had a profound impact on the daily lives of Saudi citizens and visitors as well.

This reliance on technology, places further emphasis on cybersecurity. As people depend on this digital service, its continuous availability becomes essential. The increased adoption of digital services means that they become home to millions of sensitive records for millions of citizens.

Cysiv’s unique SOC-as-a-Service offering acts as force multiplier that that could help Saudi organizations more quickly and confidently complete their digital transformation initiatives by leveraging world-class technology and expertise to protect these prized assets around the clock. In addition, our Red Team and penetration testing services will help organizations to continuously put this infrastructure to the test providing continuous assurance regarding its resilience to cyber-attacks. — SG


February 24, 2021
470 views
HIGHLIGHTS
BUSINESS
day ago

Toyota Land Cruiser customers in Japan face four-year wait

BUSINESS
2 days ago

191 Saudi entities become joint stock companies in 2021

BUSINESS
2 days ago

Oil prices hover around 2014 highs, supported by supply concerns

X