Cybersecurity experts in demand in UAE
As organisations across the UAE continue to accelerate their digitalisation plans, experts have pointed to a greater need for cybersecurity professionals across all sectors.
The cybersecurity landscape has become further complicated in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, with several malicious actors seeking to gain access to sensitive information in the medical fields.
Haider Pasha, chief security officer at Palo Alto Networks, Middle East and Africa (MEA), told Khaleej Times that there is a general shortage of skilled cybersecurity talent around the world and that the UAE is no exception.
“Organisations understand the need to hire this talent for various use-cases, including to secure their confidential data,” he explained. “With the launch of local public cloud hyperscalers in the UAE, we predict a faster rate of cloud adoption for organisations to leverage local public cloud instances, some even rushing to the cloud with security playing catch-up. Without a proper cybersecurity strategy, any cloud migration will open up a greater risk to their businesses which is why the right talent is crucial.”
Even before the pandemic began, there was a growing focus to digitise businesses across every sector; from manufacturing to healthcare, to even connecting legacy networks in the energy industry, he said.
“Covid-19 certainly accelerated the digitisation for many businesses, but as we quickly learned, there can be no digitisation without cybersecurity. Thanks in part to the guidelines and regulations set by the UAE government, coupled with the need to do more than just provide a secure connection to employees working from home, businesses have certainly grown more aware and committed to cybersecurity than ever before,” he said.
He added that Palo Alto Networks is committed to helping the UAE and the region grow this skill set. “We have invested in helping local schools and universities build a cybersecurity academy across the GCC.”
Cybersecurity experts at Kaspersky have warned that using medical and healthcare topics as bait will continue and remain relevant at least until the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. The main reason for attackers’ growing interest in medical research was the development of a vaccine against Covid-19. In 2021, the efforts to steal coronavirus research data will continue. As long as the global healthcare community continues to fight the disease, any company that claims significant success in the development of a vaccine will become a potential victim of targeted attacks.
However, the focus on digital security in hospitals offers hope that in 2021 there will be more collaboration between cybersecurity experts, organisations, and healthcare systems. Kaspersky noted that experience has shown that big crises, like the pandemic, push organisations to pay more attention to protecting their infrastructure.
In addition to healthcare, experts have noted that one of the most in-demand cybersecurity roles revolve around cloud security. Forbes recently noted that cybersecurity professionals with cloud security skills can gain upwards of $15,000 salary premium by capitalising on strong market demand for their skills in 2021. DevOps and Application Development Security professionals can expect to earn upwards of $12,000 salary premium based on their unique, in-demand skills.
Burning Glass Technologies has predicted that the fastest-growing skills over the next five years include Azure Security, Cloud Security Infrastructure, Google Cloud Security, Public Cloud Security, and Cloud Security Architecture.