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Very informative and strong group of participants and excellent dialogue. We have seen a very good conversation on cyber security regarding not just Oman but the entire region.
Senior Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton

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Interview with Guy Meguer

Guy Meguer
General Manager, Middle East Cassidian
What are your thoughts on the current cyber security climate in the Middle East?
Each week we receive new information about attacks here, viruses there, data theft elsewhere ... so there can be no doubt the 'hacktivists' operate heavily in the Middle East. Hence it is everyone's responsibility - vendors, governments and business operators - to set-up a coordinated defence.

What are the biggest issues that the Middle East’s IT sector is currently facing, focusing specifically on cyber security?
The recent announcement of the Flame malware clearly indicates that this region is targeted and security is not at the needed level. We definitively need to be proactive and stop thinking that we cannot be subject to attacks. We have to be better prepared to deter a potential attempt to block business; especially for the critical infrastructure (energy, banks, telecom, etc).

What should the Middle East do to make its virtual borders less penetrable?
The information security officers need to review the architecture, install appliances to monitor the traffic, and implement gateways to filter suspicious traffic.But this wouldn't be efficient without clear governance: We need to define the responsibilities, write the reaction plan for each type of possible threat and train the information security operators to identify and counter the attacks.

As General Manager of the Middle East at Cassidian Cybersecurity, can you provide us with insights into what the company is doing to ensure the protection of the region?
We are bringing our best experts and know how to the region, and have developed a specific offering to protect the industrial systems used in oil and gas, and water and electricity. Furthermore, we are taking commitments to transfer technology in cryptography which will enable the nations in the region to control the key elements of their sovereignty. Last but not least, we build partnerships with academies and universities that will train the cyber experts of tomorrow - the ones that will ensure the sustainability of IT security.

Finally, what is your message to the Middle East to improve its cyber security climate?
The region needs to organise the cross-border sharing of information between IT teams in both public and private sectors. This should contribute to better identify and track the attacks and organise the defence and deterrence.