RIYADH: US-based cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks has partnered with Sirar, the cybersecurity subsidiary of Saudi telecom giant stc, to combat the growing internet threats, said the CEO of Palo Alto.
“The partnership is important as the Kingdom has a strong and advanced awareness status in cybersecurity, but it’s always a race between the tech front,” said Palo Alto CEO Helmut Reisinger.
“It is important for technology providers since they rely heavily on local partners,” he added.
Speaking on the current cyber trends affecting the region, he said: “the Middle East is a global trading place in all the ecosystems. It’s home to critical infrastructure and there’s paranoia, given the global geopolitical situation, about protecting this infrastructure.”
“Saudi Arabia has one of the most critical assets in this area. The Kingdom has a strong digital way of life, with businesses strongly adopting digital transformation.”
When talking about the significant cyber threat, he explains that the major threats today are mainly related to infrastructure and cloud security since 43 percent of cloud workloads are not protected.
“And then, another major threat is that the hacker community becomes increasingly industrialized,” he added.
Additionally, ransomware attacks, business email compromises and software vulnerabilities pose the greatest threat. “This is why there are increasing soft supply chain attacks, which means you take advantage of a vulnerability in a softer piece.”
Talking about measures the Kingdom should implement to increase its resilience to cyber-attacks, Reisinger believes it should raise awareness that cyberattacks can also be physical attacks.
It also should identify the critical lessons you are learning in a country. “I think an overarching good plan and governance is in place to increase this level. We see this, we hear this, and there are activities ongoing on that.”
“The other pieces I believe in the making are also role models in the region, and the Kingdom is a good place if you look here for the global cybersecurity forum is quite impressive,”
Reisinger also urged private entities and governments to adopt a zero-trust policy. “We call it zero trust with zero exceptions,” he added.
As global worker places are shifting to hybrid workspaces, Reisinger said there is a need to protect network assets and remote workers, who are increasingly working in hybrid environments.
Palo Alto Networks is a leader in cybersecurity globally, with a market cap of around $15 billion with strong market growth.