A measured approach to data management

By Arun Shankar   3 January, 2018
A measured approach to data management

Johan Scheepers, Technical Services Director for the Middle East, South Africa and Turkey, Commvault.

Launched recently by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai Cyber Security Strategy is set to strengthen Dubai’s position as leading innovator in data security and cyber security risk management across local businesses and government establishments.

Centered on the implementation of five key domains ranging from cybersecurity controls and resilience measures to international collaboration, the new Dubai strategy invites a comprehensive holistic approach to tackling threats to cyber security across the region. A key aim of the strategy will be to increase awareness and knowledge of existing cybersecurity measures across Dubai’s public and private sectors, creating a Cyber Smart Society.

The Dubai Cyber Security Strategy is set to build upon the UAE’s highly ranked status for cyber security readiness. Having previously been ranked 17th in the world in the United Nations International Telecommunications Union’s most recent Global Cybersecurity Index released in January 2016, the UAE has pursued a continuous trajectory in demonstrating innovation and thought leadership across the field.

New institutions such as the National Electronic Security Authority the Computer Emergency Response Team have recently been introduced at the federal level, as well as Dubai Electronic Security Centre and Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre at the local level. The UAE also hosts regular cybersecurity conferences such as the Cyber Security which is critical for knowledge transfer.

Room for improvement has however been identified through a survey by IDC in 2016, which found that 80% of local firms in the UAE lack the ability to analyse cyber threats, while 52% are unable to adapt and integrate risk management solutions.

“A survey by IDC in 2016, found that 80% of local firms in the UAE lack the ability to analyse cyber threats, while 52% are unable to adapt and integrate risk management solutions”

These results follow a broader trend of global cyber security vulnerability visible in the damaging ramifications of the WannaCry ransomware attack made across 150 countries last month. Rapidly becoming the worst digital disaster to strike the Internet in years through the crippling of transportation and hospitals across the world, the WannaCry ransomware attack has demonstrated the global need to prioritise the implementation of effective data security solutions.

In order for the objectives of the strategy to be achieved, organisations in Dubai must take a measured approach to data management. Data is at risk everywhere it may be stored. Whether it is on-premises or in the cloud, data needs to be protected and managed with the same tactical approach to assure that it will not be compromised by a cybersecurity intrusion.

A multi-layer security strategy is recommended, including anti-malware protection, hard disk and file encryption, and a standards-based data protection and recovery solution.

For organisations across the region, each of the above elements are critical to mitigate cybersecurity risks and protect vital information. A complete recovery solution that covers applications, servers and end user machines is the only way to minimise business disruption when a ransomware attack occurs in an organisation.

Johan Scheepers at Commvault points out businesses must adopt a multi-layered security strategy, including anti-malware, encryption, data protection and recovery.

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