Cyber security: Is the Middle East energy sector doing enough?

Cyber safety, in the recent years, has taken prominent position in industry and the impact it has on security. With energy as the backbone for growth for regional economies, the vulnerability of technology have also been exposed and exploited. An article by The National in July last year reported of how the Gulf nations were bolstering their security to defend their energy infrastructure. The article also reported that Saudi Arabia was expected to double its spending on homeland security and create a 35000 strong protection force for the oil industry. A month after this article, the Shamoon virus; one of the biggest cyber breach in the sector left Aramco’s workstations crippled.

A year gone by, and the Gulf energy sector saw itself on high alert again with new attacks to IT systems by cyber-activist groups. With out dated systems and lack of knowledge of system vulnerability, companies remain defenseless and open to invasion. Featuring the importance of a sound security design and raising the question “How safe is IT?”, the Middle East Energy Security (MEESEC) Forum will take place between the 25 to 27 November at the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai. The conference this year will extrapolate on the effective approach of protecting critical infrastructure. The sessions will also review on a holistic approach to cyber security management and upgrading to a better and secure SCADA system. Speakers will include leading practioners Riemer Brouwer, Head of IT Security at ADCO and Ayman Al-Issa, Cyber security Advisor to ADMA-OPCO.

Encompassing on network security in its entirety will be Eng. Abdulaziz Al Sharhan of aeCERT. United Arab Emirates Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT) is the cyber security coordination centre established by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) in UAE. Al Sharhan will address on identity management and biometric standards and how to log and monitor data leak, data protection and database forensics. Technology providers in the field of cyber security like Vira Realtime, SAP and Ultra Electronics will also present their latest solutions. The forum is also sponsored by Kroll Advisory Solutions, a global leader in risk mitigation and response that delivers a wide range of solutions in cyber security. The MEESEC forum also sees support from the Belgian Maintenance association (BEMAS) and The International Professional Security Association (IPSA).

About Fleming Gulf Conferences

Fleming Gulf is a leading provider of business intelligence through industry specific conferences, webinars and skills enhancement training courses by leveraging our network of industry influencer’s with specialist knowledge to provide organisations the winning edge that makes a difference in their decision making in today’s competitive business landscape.

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Manohar Bharwani
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