Gulf states ‘at risk of cyber attacks’

Gulf states ‘at risk of cyber attacks’

As technology advances, not all battles are fought on the field any more. Cyber security experts opine that many such wars are quietly being waged in the cyber realm in different parts of the world, including the Gulf region.

Gulf countries must tighten coordination to fight an increasing number of cyber attacks, experts in Jeddah said on Monday, as one official blamed hackers in Iran.

The comments came at an international conference in the Saudi Arabian capital after the Shamoon 2 virus reportedly disrupted labour ministry computers in January.

“Cyber security is very important, and information is the weapon”, said Sanjeev Walia, CEO of Spire Solutions, a Dubai-based company that offers information security solutions and services. “Friendly states, enemy states, friendly organisations, everybody wants to have the upper hand.”

The ‘war’ was “not only among adversaries. Friendly states try to get information about other countries,” Walia told Gulf News in an interview on the eve of the cyber security conference.

The conference, which is the second of its kind to be held in Riyadh, was attended by several international experts from governments, security bodies and companies specializing in information security protection.