Rapid digitisation in the Middle East causes rise in demand for cybersecurity

The cybersecurity market in the Middle East and Africa which was worth $1903m in 2020 is expected to reach $2893m by 2026 per new research by ResearchAndMarkets.com.

The sector is forecasted to register a CAGR of 7.92% during the period between 2021-2026, the report said.

As digitisation is becoming increasingly ubiquitous in the Middle East, connected devices are becoming new entryways for cybercriminals. To add on, the escalation in vulnerabilities in digital communications networks and supply chains alongside a spike in online consumers post-pandemic has triggered more cyber threats in the region. With automation coming in force across various end-user verticals, the threat of cyberattacks has increased in the region.

One of the key reasons for the surge in cyberattacks is the lack of a robust cybersecurity infrastructure.

As the demand for cybersecurity is gaining traction, banks are increasing their investments in digital innovations and focusing on enhancing the security of mobile banking for consumers.

Emirates NBD invested AED 1bn to boost its digital strategies. Banks such as Mashreq and Commercial Bank of Dubai too initiated various procedures to make online banking more secure.

In 2017, the UAE Banks Federation partnered with US-based Anomali to create the Information Sharing and Analysis Center, the first such initiative in the Middle East.

Banks in the likes of HSBC, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Barclays, Citibank, Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Standard Chartered and National Bank of Fujairah among others participated in the scheme.

The report outlined that the increasing demand for online payments in the African region is driving more startups to launch. Kenya has emerged as the regional leader in the fintech sector with companies such as M-Pesa scaling up massively.

To capitalise on this trend, ABK Egypt which operates 39 branches across the country, has employed Cisco’s cybersecurity solution to stay ahead in digital transformation.

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