Cisco Study Reveals Saudi Arabia’s Top Cybersecurity Considerations for 2021

  • Security teams who proactively refresh their technology typically to have more success with security management, highlighting the importance of cloud and software as a service (SaaS) solutions
  • Having an understanding of both security and the wider business’ interest is also seen as key drivers of growth
  • Comprehension of cyberthreats must be coupled with intelligence and action to protect vital assets
Fady Younes, cybersecurity director, Middle East and Africa, Cisco

Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Cisco has today published its 2021 Security Outcomes Study, offering actionable insights for practitioners deciding where to focus their efforts in the year ahead. 

The independently analyzed survey of 4,800 security, IT and privacy professionals across 25 countries, including 200 respondents from the Kingdom, pulling back the curtain on specific practices which foster greater security management in the region. The results offer security teams a blueprint for success regarding managed threat intelligence, while also enabling the business and operating efficiently.

The survey revealed that change is a primary factor in cybersecurity success. According to respondent data, security teams in the Kingdom have a 22% higher likelihood of success when implementing a best-of-breed technology refresh. Unfortunately, not all organizations have the budget or expertise to make this happen, also known as the “Security Bottom Line”. A digital transformation strategy to migrate to cloud and SaaS security services can help close this gap. Subscription-based solutions are affordable, easy to deploy and integrate, while automatic updates ensure the technology is continually modernized without additional cost or effort.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • A 20% higher probability of Saudi teams succeeding when someone in the organization is responsible for managing security and privacy. Close to 60% of local respondents believe they are meeting compliance regulations – meaning that they are diligently tracking and keeping up to speed with regulatory requirements, integrating best practice into their security planning. 
  • Greater chance of success when security measures are aligned with business interest (18% higher probability). Security teams that have a clear understanding of how their initiatives support the organization’s objectives, and who regularly communicate with executives are more likely to receive support and investment to aid growth. 
  • As a standalone practice, simply knowing about potential cyber risks appears to correlate far less with overall accomplishments. This may seem surprising, but points to the importance of a comprehensive threat intelligence and incident management program, with the ability to both mitigate and remediate. In fact, practices such as timely incident response and advanced threat detection correlate much more strongly with overall security success.

“Security practitioners in the Kingdom need to make fast, informed decisions – especially in today’s increasingly digital workplaces. Yet they are often armed with dozens of tools from multiple vendors, requiring short-term fixes and workarounds to get them working together. This creates complexity, cost, and unexpected overheads,” said Fady Younes, cybersecurity director, Middle East and Africa, Cisco

“Cisco’s 2021 Security Outcomes Study helps teams prioritize practices that not only secure the business, but also play a significant role in enabling its growth and success by leveraging the power of digitization and automation. Even in the face of an ever-changing threat landscape and shrinking budgets, successful security management outcomes are possible.”

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