Cyber security and technology innovation: Interview with Mario Foster, Al Naboodah Group Enterprises

Cyber security and technology innovation: Interview with Mario Foster, Al Naboodah Group Enterprises

IT and cybersecurity are constantly evolving, and the threat landscape is ever changing. As the world of security advances, so do threats. It’s now more important than ever to use technology to our advantage, as Mario Foster, Group CIO at Al Naboodah Group Enterprises in UAE explains…

Where do you see the biggest change coming when it comes to IT technology integration with cyber security?

Enterprises are still in the early stages of technology integration with Cyber Security, but cybersecurity technology integration is starting to have a profound impact across the whole technology industry. For example, we are seeing more and more technology companies acquiring cyber security companies to benefit from their experience and use their security solutions within their technology solutions. On the other hand, smaller cyber security companies are now building their solutions with APIs, broad scripting support for peer-to-peer integration, etc. I should also mention the growing of the cyber security integration hub technology such as Integrated Cybersecurity Orchestration Platforms (ICOPs).

What is the biggest challenge when it comes to adoption of new processes and technology with existing IT infrastructure?

  • Keep up with demand for more availability, while maintaining the required level of security.
  • Increased systems complexity, by introducing intelligent systems such as chatbots, different AI technologies, where most companies are having engineers that are unfamiliar with the automated systems, and sometimes there might be a lack of existing infrastructure to accommodate automated systems.
  • Lack of vendors hardware technologies integration in most infrastructure areas, where each hardware vendor has their own software and own interface used to manage their devices. Without integrating such devices as per each enterprise’s needs, customers end up having to compromise on features. Redundancy, security, etc. Sometimes even features overlap exist, where same feature covered by multiple devices may cause some problems in the infrastructure.
  • Legacy devices and legacy technology when not able to modernize for whatever reason.
  • Sometimes the challenge is as simple as budget constraints, where some non-IT senior business leaders who are paying for the technology spends, might simply be having an ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ mentality, which will automatically produce a major challenge in adopting new technology.

As a C level executive what do you think cyber security leaders, CISOs and CIOs focus will be for 2022 – 2023?

  • With AI and machine learning now being part of all market segments, this combination has introduced a tremendous change in cybersecurity. Although AI and machine learning is used to enhance and automate security systems, it is also being used to develop smart malware and attacks to bypass the latest security protocols in controlling data.
  • Cloud security is also a hot area to be looked after, especially when integrated with on-premise solutions and infrastructure.
  • Targeted Ransomware, especially in the developed nations where there is a heavy dependency on technology to run countries’ daily activities.
  • Securing Mobiles: We all are depending more and more on mobile phones nowadays, and we handle financial transactions through our mobiles, access confidential company data, etc. As per latest researches by different firms, Mobile phones attacks have increased dramatically close to 50% over the last two years.
  • With the huge size of data almost multiplying day after day, automation and integration is a natural thing that comes with it, but all of this come at the cost of security due to our modern hectic work demand, which puts a pressure on IT professionals to deliver solutions so quickly, making automation more valuable than ever. To address this, all security measurements must be incorporated during the agile process to build more secure software in every aspect, hence, I expect this domain to be a key domain to watch.

Mario Foster will be sharing his thoughts with fellow C-level executives on the digital transformation landscape and cyber security in UAE in the upcoming CYBERX MENA Summit & Awards 2022 on 21st Sep at Habtoor Grand Resort, Dubai, UAE.

If you want to join the sessions, Register here:

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