Hybrid workplaces are driving cloud adoption in the Middle East


Almost three-quarters of employees in the UAE prefer to continue with flexible options for remote working, which is driving companies to increase their spending on securing their cloud data in the face of increased cyber-attack threats, according to a new report from Microsoft and the International Data Corporation.

The study, which interviewed over 150 IT decision-makers in the UAE, showed that 70 percent consider the hybrid workplace – where they can work from home, in the office or anywhere with an Internet connection – as more suitable.

“Because of the pandemic, technology was the only way to keep business going in any industry. As a result, the level of automation had increased much faster than we expected the attack, “said Sayed Hashish, general manager of Microsoft UAE The national at Gitex 2021 in Dubai.

Cyber ​​attacks from ransomware to data breaches against companies, institutions and infrastructure are on the rise. Some of the recent high profile cyberattacks include those against T-Mobile, the Colonial Oil Pipeline, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even the Tokyo Olympics and the latest James Bond movie. No time to die.

There were “at least 250 percent more” cyberattacks in the United Arab Emirates last year, Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, head of cybersecurity for the United Arab Emirates government, said in December.

The report from Microsoft and IDC shows that enterprise-wide cloud adoption is increasing as executives want to maintain agility and flexibility to ensure business continuity on a daily basis.

More than 70 percent of companies have accelerated their digital transformation plans by at least a year, with the cloud being a major driver.

But ransomware and malware attacks were therefore listed as the top threats, she added.

However, the technology is only part of the process. Although systems today are actually robust, it is important that people and their consciousness [levels] are able to cope with any threat, the report said.

“We need to make sure users are properly aware because you can have all of the security tools in the right place, but if users don’t use them properly, they can be exposed to hackers,” said Hashish.

Because of the pandemic, technology was the only way out to keep business going in any industry

Sayed Hashish, General Manager of Microsoft UAE

In addition, stringent requirements by government regulators to protect their employees ‘and customers’ data have also put pressure on companies looking to adopt the cloud.

The introduction of security governance, risk and compliance services has helped protect today’s digital economy. As a result, 95 percent of those surveyed put customer data protection at the top of their security agenda. Nine out of ten companies in the United Arab Emirates said privacy is a top priority.

“Many years ago people were understandably afraid of moving their operations to the cloud, but attitudes towards migrating to the cloud have changed,” said Hashish.

“Moving to these hyper-scaled cloud services enables organizations to pinpoint any particular threat in one place, rather than trying to find the same threat in different locations.”

Updated: October 21, 2021, 5:30 am


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