The Middle East has a history of high-profile targeted cyberattacks against oil and gas (O&G) infrastructure. The massive cyberattack on Saudi Armaco, one of the largest oil companies in the region, and recent attacks against banks and financial institutions in the Middle East with the biggest one being against Qatar National Bank in Doha mean more organizations recognize the need for security monitoring and response.
Governments in the Middle East are also focusing more on cybersecurity, releasing cybersecurity frameworks and mandating country-specific regulatory policies, such as National Electronic Security Authority (NESA) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar Central Bank (QCB) in Qatar and Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) in Saudi Arabia. These policies emphasize the need to have efficient monitoring and detection in place.
“ The Middle East region has specific requirements and constraints when it comes to security.”
A security operations center (SOC) is both a team, often operating in shifts around the clock, and a facility dedicated to prevent, detect, assess and respond to cybersecurity threats and incidents, and to fulfill and assess regulatory compliance. Gartner predicts that by 2019, 50 percent of all security operations work in large and midsize enterprises will be conducted out of an owned or a shared security operations center, up from 15 percent in 2015.
“The Middle East region has specific requirements and constraints when it comes to security,” says Rajpreet Kaur, senior research analyst at Gartner. “While organizations here are moving to set up security operations centers, the adoption model is different from other parts of the world.”