In the era of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 79% of enterprises in the Middle East consider digital transformation and cloud security as the most important topics they want to know more about.
These are followed by threat and vulnerability research (62%), and risk and compliance (49%), according to a pre-event survey of 2,064 business and IT decision-makers across the Middle East and Africa.
The survey is a precursor to Trend Micro’s CLOUDSEC 2020 conference, one of the industry’s biggest cyber–security events, which will take place from 24 to 26 November.
The results are largely unsurprising given how many companies have accelerated their digital transformation projects and migration to the cloud. It comes as the pandemic continues to wield a debilitating influence over workplace collaboration, productivity, and the bottom line across many industries. To survive is to innovate and take up new technologies.
The respondents also identify with each other when it comes to the biggest pain points. The survey shows that they most frequently grapple with the inability to detect and respond to advanced threats (32%), which have seen a sharp increase since the pandemic started in the first quarter of the year. It also reflects the perennial shortage of security skills (32%), as cybercrimes become more sophisticated and security operations become more complex.
Other common challenges include: getting cloud security automation and configuration right (31%); asking for increased budget to devote to cyber-security (28%); obtaining complete visibility of threat vectors across the entire organization (26%); and constantly having to justify cyber-security investment (25%).
When it comes to acquiring hands-on experiences, respondents are most looking forward to learning about automated security and compliance posture remediation (68%), indicating that many of them are already operating in the cloud environment and are dealing with misconfiguration-led cyber–security issues. Misconfigurations in the cloud are the primary cause for cloud-based cyber–attacks.
Respondents are also interested in tackling real-life scenarios that pertain to web application protection and serverless security (63%), a sign that many of them are further along the cloud journey.
The third most sought-after hands-on topic revolves around deploying network-based virtual patches and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) (52%), showing that system vulnerabilities continue to be a major headache for security teams across the board.
“2020 is a year of profound challenges for enterprises. But on the bright side, companies are realizing their digital potential,” said Ashraf Serag, Country Manager at Trend Micro – Egypt, “At this year’s CLOUDSEC, we want to celebrate these companies and their successful effort in digitally transforming themselves. The tech industry is one of the few that have not faltered under the weight of the pandemic. It goes to show the importance of technology on business operations.”
This is the tenth anniversary of the CLOUDSEC conference and it goes completely virtual this year. Across three full days, the event will welcome keynote speakers from industry-defining companies including Amazon Web Services (AWS), DXC Technology, Dyson, IAG, IBM, IDC, Infosys, IKEA, LINE, Lotte, Proficio, Snyk, a mysterious ethical hacker, and a prominent UAE bank.
The three-day cloud security extravaganza will also feature more than 200 breakout tracks, as well as eight hands-on labs, addressing the needs of both the business and technical professionals.