As more organizations and governments worldwide experience cyber security breaches, a strong security posture is becoming a critical part of strategic planning.
The cyber threat in MENA, as in the rest of the world, is becoming more sophisticated.
With the eGovernment movement, more information about the MENA citizenry is going digital and being stored. It’s crucial that their information be as well-protected as possible.
Raytheon, one of the biggest partners of the MENA region, has worked with several countries in order to develop a secure digital environment.
In that context, SDArabia had a special interview with Mr. Ward Heinke, Director of Cyber Strategy and Defense Solutions at Raytheon, who highlighted the importance and the complexity of the cyber domain.
“Today’s networks are incredibly complex environments where each component could be vulnerable”, said Mr. Ward Heinke.
He added: “The challenge in this environment is three-fold: The First part is to mitigate as many of those vulnerabilities as possible in a timely and consistent way, the second part is to know when any remaining vulnerability is actually exploited, and the third part is to take effective action. Meeting these challenges well is the mark of a cyber-resilient organization. It’s our job to ensure our customers in the MENA region become cyber resilient.”
When asked about how an “organization” can be cyber resilient, Ward Heinke considered that true resilience comes from balancing the core elements of success: people, processes and technology, shedding the light on the MENA region.
“We see an ever growing appreciation of this among both senior government and corporate leadership, in the MENA, as they realize their citizens and shareholders expect to be protected in cyber space”, Heinke noted.
Raytheon has been in the MENA region for nearly fifty years working with partners in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and developing solutions to the hardest security challenges. Ward Heinke added that the company has a rich history in cyber-hardening systems and products delivered to its customers throughout the world: “We take our responsibility especially seriously in the MENA region to deliver optimum cyber security solutions to best meet their needs”.
According to Heinke, Raytheon is the only company in the Aerospace and Defense market that has stood up a cybersecurity software business unit with a mature breadth of products to offer to international customers addressing Insider Threats, Advanced Persistent Threat Detection, Big Data Visualization and Mobile Security.
It is notable that government and business leaders across the MENA region are making cybersecurity a top priority, as the threat landscape is evolving quite quickly:
According to Raytheon research, MENA in particular is ahead of other regions with 56% of leaders recognizing the strategic priority that cybersecurity has become for all organizations—much higher than percentages of leaders in Europe or the U.S.
Mr. Ward Heinke told SDArabia that one of the fastest growing areas is cyber crime.
“Various criminal groups are now quite sophisticated and rival nation-state actors; they aggressively recruit technical talent and share tactics, techniques and procedures among themselves. Governments recognize that they are a source of threat that really needs to be understood and countered” he explained.
Corporate leaders also recognize that in an increasingly digital society there is a need to protect the personal information of the public.
In that context Heinke explained that if a company exposes its customers’ personal information to risk, it is vulnerable to reputational damage in the marketplace.
“As we’ve seen in a number of instances around the world, that reputational impact can be quick and severe. Here in the MENA region those lessons are being applied as advisors like Raytheon study and take action against the threats” he added
Raytheon focuses on developing cutting-edge technology and blending it with the best capabilities from others to build scalable, end-to-end solutions suitable for everything from national-scale operations to the needs of smaller public and private organizations.