Changing cyber security landscape in the ME points to maturity

The cyber security industry in the Middle East is showing signs of maturing, should the recent in-region developments be an indicator of the evolution and transformation of the way business is being conducted and by whom in this part of the world. In the latest indication of a changing landscape, media reports in the UAE point to Faisal Al Bannai, Founder and Managing Director of UAE-based cyber security firm DarkMatter Group, planning on divesting his entire stake in the company by the end of the year.

In September, Etisalat announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire full ownership of Help AG’s businesses in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The telco said the acquisition is part of its plans to diversify operations

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Democratisation…of technology…under threat

The decision by the US to add Huawei and some of its affiliates to a trade blacklist back in May, which had additional Huawei-linked companies added to the list this week, is a concerning development in the rise of powerful forces grappling to deal with the effects of the democratisation of technology through digitisation.

The rise of geopolitics as a method of framing the course of technological advancement and influence is a worrying trend, and has the power to diminish the digital dazzle created by the Web over the last three decades

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5G windfalls are going to take hard graft for service providers to achieve

Disclosure by Samsung recently of weak sales momentum for its premium Galaxy S10 device and stagnant demand for other high-end mobiles in its product line in the quarter to end-June, compounds similar pronouncements from Apple that sales of its iconic, and not inexpensive, iPhone continue to decline. The waning appetite for devices priced above US$500 points to a shift in market sentiment that seems to suggest that features included in high-end devices no longer justify the premium charged over medium-range ones. Or at least points to – and service providers and device manufacturers will be keenly hoping as much – consumers holding off spending top dollar on current generation devices in anticipation of the mass introduction of 5G handsets in the quarters to follow.

Samsung recently disclosed weak sales momentum for its premium Galaxy S10 device and stagnant demand for other high-end mobiles, as have rival device manufacturers

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5G stakes rise as falling operator revenues seek a remedy

The current financial results reporting season is an opportunity to assess the strategies being implemented by operators in a bid to hit the 5G jackpot, and whether these are likely to succeed or prove to be a challenging investment to garner positive results from.

Flat or declining revenues is a trend facing many service providers around the world, and in the UAE both Etisalat and du have been among 5G’s most fervent early proponents

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BA’s massive cyber fine sends out a clear signal, but does it drive home a point?

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) intends to levy a record fine of GBP 183 million (US$ 230 million) on British Airways (BA) for a data breach that occurred last year, which compromised the data up to 500,000 customers. The sanction is a bold expression of the sweeping new powers assumed by cyber watchdogs across Europe as a result of the enactment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) last May.

The “big stick” approach to regulation has its place, though it should also be on lawmakers’ minds that not every breach will be a direct result of negligence or “poor security arrangements”

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News

Saudi Arabia to double the number of MVNOs with the offer of two new licenses

Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has tendered two new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licenses, which “will likely boost investment opportunities in the telecom industry, support entrepreneurship and enhance the content industry as well as service diversification,” CITC Governor, Mohammed Altamimi is quoted as saying.

Orange inaugurates regional head office in Casablanca

Orange has officially inaugurated its new Middle East and Africa (MEA) operational head office in Casablanca, Morocco from where it will direct activities across its 18 countries of presence in the region. The operator counted a total of 125 million customers in the MEA as of October 30, 2019.

DIFC receives cyber threat intelligence platform

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has announced plans to launch a cyber threat intelligence platform to help firms in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) implement appropriate safeguards to mitigate cyber risks. The platform is the result of cooperation and collaboration with the Dubai Electronic Security Centre (DESC), the National Computer Emergency Response Team […]

STC refreshes brand across Saudi, Kuwait and Bahrain

Saudi Arabia telco STC has launched a new unified brand identity across Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain to enhance its performance and role as a leading digital enabler in the region. The telco was established in 1998, and its refreshed brand identity marks a transformational new journey in digital services as the telco moves into […]

MTN to resurrect mobile money in January

MTN Group’s mobile money service is set to go live in January 2020 in South Africa, allowing customers to send, receive, save money and pay for goods using their mobile phones.

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