Hailing a heightened level of cyber resilience

While the Middle East region continues to assess the positive impact of the announced US$3.1 billion acquisition of UAE-based ride-hailing company Careem by global rival Uber, it is worth pausing for a moment to consider the implications of such a deal from a cyber security perspective.

Careem’s US$3.1 billion acquisition by Uber is a fantastic endorsement of digital services entrepreneurship in the Middle East, though cyber security must remain front-and-centre of the company’s ongoing evolution

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Proactive trusted transparency

Trust is not necessarily synonymous with cyber security, and this has been reiterated through the plethora of cyber breaches and data leakages that have been publicised in recent years. The lack of trust as it relates to allegations that organisations have wantonly sold, misappropriated or misdirected customers’ data without their knowledge or consent only exacerbates an already chronic issue.

In much the same way that realisation of the awesome and horrifying power of nuclear weapons preceded the establishment and ratification of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in the late 60s, so too must the dire consequences of a lacklustre and piecemeal approach to cyber security prompt an international move towards universal and heightened cyber security transparency

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No more tears?

It has been almost two years now since the world was gripped by a string of pervasive and damaging ransomware attacks, which fuelled mass paranoia and concern over the cost of technological advancement. Such levels of panic and speculation hadn’t been seen since the turn of the millennium and the Y2K system failure predictions and panic. From Petya to WannaCry and the creatively named NotPetya ransomware attacks, individuals, organisations, and nation states were awed and rightly fearful of the pace of dissemination and destructive capabilities wrought by the attacks.

What is the key to never shedding a tear over an incident like WannaCry again?

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Healthy 5G competition builds in Lebanon

The race for 5G superiority in Lebanon was on full display in 2018, with touch announcing it had performed the first commercial 5G trial in Lebanon at an event presided over by the Prime Minister of Lebanon, in September. Earlier in the year, competitor Alfa had announced a similar trial, though touch claimed its efforts mirrored real-life operations much more closely. touch’s demonstration was conducted over a period of two days with throughput speeds over the trial 5G network reaching speeds that are 100 times faster than current 4G LTE networks.

5G technology is set to catalyse telcos becoming real enablers of sophisticated, compelling country-wide mobile broadband services

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Protecting energy facilities from cyber attack

Energy companies are often targeted by sophisticated hackers looking to create disruption across national economies. Although these facilities are a challenge to protect, there are clear procedures energy companies can follow to improve their security posture.

These are challenging times, but with the right planning, commitment to innovation and sensible practices, nations and companies can mitigate cyber security attacks

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News

Regulation hinders uptake of mobile money transfer services in India

Vodafone Idea, the India mobile operator created last year by the merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, has announced plans to close its m-Pesa mobile money transfer business alongside the Payments Bank previously operated under the Idea brand, according to media reports in India. During the company’s recent fiscal Q1 media call, Vodafone Idea […]

Vodafone to spin-off towers into standalone business by May 2020

Following in the footsteps of Middle East operators such as Zain and Etisalat, Vodafone, Europe’s largest mobile operator, is putting into motion plans to spin-off its pan-European mobile tower business, in a process that could see the standalone company established as early as May 2020. Vodafone intends to monetise a substantial proportion of the new […]

Etisalat co-develops platform to improve digitisation in trade financing

Etisalat Digital, in partnership with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) and Avanza Innovations, has established the UAE Trade Connect (UTC), a new nationwide platform that it says will use the latest disruptive technologies to digitise trade in the UAE. The initial phase will focus on addressing the risks of double financing and invoice fraud before […]

ICO targets Marriott with cyber compromise fine amounting to 0.5% of 2017 revenue

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) intends to impose a hefty fine of nearly GBP 100 million (US$ 124 million) on international hotel chain Marriott, for last year’s data breach. The penalty, which is sanctioned under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is the second significant fine handed down by the ICO in virtually […]

Zain Iraq becomes first operator in the Middle East to introduce purchase solution via Facebook

Zain Iraq, the country’s largest mobile operator, announces the introduction of a solution that enables customers to purchase offers via their Facebook app, making it the first operator in the Middle East to provide this functionality, and among the first 10 providers to do so worldwide. Zain Iraq, the country’s largest mobile operator by customer […]

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