Middle East Summit
Virtual Summit March 9 - 10, 2022
Threat intelligence practitioners confirm that enterprises from the Gulf, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, are becoming targets of sophisticated attacks aimed at stealing personal data and, in some cases, exposing state secrets. Security analysts say the data breaches in the MENA region are exceptionally costly affairs, with the average damage reaching $6.53 million, well above the global average incident cost of $3.86 million. A recent research report stated that 63% of UAE businesses paid cyber criminals between US$350,000 and US$1.4 million following ransomware attacks in the two years before June 2021. As CISOs continue to modernize their security programs and adapt the changing threat landscape in the region. The governments are escalating their preparedness strategies through entities such as the Computer Emergency Response Team for the UAE (aeCERT) and Saudi Arabia’s National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA) in the region and are working out comprehensive programs around cybersecurity and privacy to deal with such challenges. Attend our summit to gain insights from the global and regional cybersecurity thought leaders on the critical aspects of identity protection, building ransomware defenses, protecting your ‘active directory’, reducing the supply chain complexities, standardization of XDR, cloud, OT security and more.
ISMG's geo-targeted, industry-specific, and topic-driven agendas provide actionable education and exclusive networking opportunities with your peers and our subject matter expert speakers.
Geetha Nandikotkur
Managing Editor & Conference Chair, Asia & Middle East
ISMG
Suparna Goswami
Associate Editor
ISMG
P Parthasarathy
EVP & Group CISO
First Abu Dhabi Bank
Lisa J. Sotto
Partner
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Named in The National Law Journal's "100 Most Influential Lawyers," Sotto serves on Hunton & Williams' executive committee. Sotto was voted the world's leading privacy adviser by Computerworld magazine and has earned the highest honor by Chambers and Partners as...
View Agenda
Key Note: Middle East’s Cyber Pandemic: Enterprises Poised to Fight Cyberthreats with New Legislation

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the security team and the CISOs are under pressure, as research reports indicate that over 70% of the organizations in the UAE region will experience a material breach this year. The simple reason is that CISOs can’t see into the corners, which is the cause for undetected attacks. Most agree that 2021 was the ‘cyber pandemic’ year. The breaches were caused due to increased APT attacks, third-party applications, process weaknesses, and out-of-date security technology.  

  

The keynote will highlight how enterprises across the region are poised to fight external threats and internal weaknesses by taking a unified approach to security, involving the stakeholders, supported with the new security legislation proposed by the government.

  • 09:15 AM
  • 09:44 AM
Plenary Session: Middle East Data Protection and Privacy Regulations Update: Understanding Security Risks
Some say that data protection and privacy have taken a back seat during the pandemic, as organizations moved to a remote work environment with little control over the endpoints and access controls. Contrary to the statement, the businesses in the Middle East region seem to have come under the regulatory and operational pressures that other countries have encountered. Privacy experts say over six new data privacy laws have been introduced in the last year, a significant step towards a globalized and harmonized approach to data protection.
The session will update the proposed regulations and what it means to security practitioners in establishing data protection and privacy across the organization.
  • 09:45 AM
  • 10:14 AM
  • 10:15 AM
  • 10:44 AM
Track A
Tech Spotlight: XDR: A 'Cross-Layered' Cybersecurity Game Changer

The UAE region is witnessing the trend away from endpoint detection and response to extended detection and response. Can organizations get maximum cybersecurity protection from this shift?  

Experts in the region say that XDR charged onto the cyber battlefield, and it's a new formula to shift away from the traditional layered cybersecurity approach and toward a paradigm that substitutes several point products with a single, integrated solution.  

The session will discuss:  

How XDR helps security teams unify detection and response tools
How not to “reinvent the SIEM’
The right away to approach XDR

  • 10:15 AM
  • 10:44 AM
Track B
Tech Spotlight: Understanding Your Risk Appetite with IAM Framework

With the IAM framework growing to fame, most practitioners are toying with the idea of using IAM to understand the organization's risk appetite and address the critical business risk to drive more value by protecting the user access, identity, and devices along with the endpoints. Some say implementing an IAM framework is complex, and integrating with security is a big task and expensive too.

The session will discuss:

How can the IAM framework outweigh business risks?
Providing access to users outside the perimeter without compromising security protocols
Integration with HR and legacy systems to enable multifactor authentication, SaaS, and Identity-as-a-Service for secure user access

  • 10:45 AM
  • 11:14 AM
Track A
Third-Party Applications Risk: Securing Your Workloads

Thanks to the SolarWinds incident, 2021 brought the focus back on third-party risks. Most enterprises run hundreds of mission-critical apps, many of which are customized third-party solutions. The majority of the breaches originated from a third-party application. The benefit of third-party software is evident. However, each new partnership creates an opportunity for bad actors to access your systems and data. Even if your vendors claim to be secure, their code might not necessarily live up to your business's security standards and compliance requirements. Moreover, rigorous testing is often overlooked for third-party code. This session will further discuss:

Recommendations to achieve supply chain visibility
Techniques to detect compromises within the supply chain
The implications of Log4j on your overall risk exposure

  • 10:45 AM
  • 11:14 AM
Track B
Demystifying Cloud-first Security: A CISO's Journey

Cloud adoption has been the norm for a few years now, and the past two years have proved to be the watershed moment for cloud adoption. Many organizations adopted it rapidly because there was a need for it. But in the process, they did not realize the security implication. Many IT managers say they found it difficult to rationalize the need for additional security mechanisms within the cloud. What have security leaders learned - or not- about cloud security in a year? Enterprises often tend to lose a lot of visibility on the cloud. What are some security risks and compliance issues as they lose this visibility? This session will also discuss:

What must enterprises do differently for cloud adoption?
Bridging the security gaps which is often overlooked in the cloud
Ways to adopt a cloud-first strategy in securing your hybrid cloud

  • 11:30 AM
  • 11:59 AM
Track A
Fireside chat: You've Been Breached: Putting Together Your Best Response Team

When it comes to cyber incident response, it truly is a matter of It's not just what you know; it's who knows. Proper response requires an appropriate team, and renowned attorney Lisa Sotto often receives a 2 am emergency incident response call. In this exclusive ISMG summit session, she shares insight on:

When incident response begins (hint: long before your attackers gain entry)
Common gaps even in updated and tested plans
Step by step – what happens after the call is made

  • 11:30 AM
  • 11:59 AM
Track B
Fireside Chat: Two-Way Street: A Cybersecurity Debate between CFO vs. CISO-Where is the Disagreement?
Almost all CISOs across regions have a single most significant challenge of getting the necessary funding to support their cybersecurity programs. The most demanding aspect is to understand how CFOs measure the success of a program and how best to measure and communicate the cyber threats an organization faces to a CFO.
Are you in sync with how a CFO thinks and believes the best for the organization, and are CISOs able to break the ice and agree on some key aspects, particularly in judging the risk profiles of the organization?
The session discusses how to get a CFO and the CISO on a common goal to facilitate the continued success of their organization. Where is the disagreement?
  • 12:00 PM
  • 12:29 PM
Track A
OT & IT Convergence: Measuring the Security Risks

Most OT systems are designed with very little consideration for security. With increased cyber risk in this new digital transformation era, any approach to bridge the IT and OT divide is mission-critical for enterprise security.  

As a CISO, can you reduce risk, security, and risk management functions silos to bridge the security gaps?  Can you deploy the suitable asset inventory methods and map the IT/OT risks?  

This session will discuss:  

Building complete visibility and monitoring of your IT and OT assets with the right access control  
Integrating OT threat monitoring into SoC for threat detection
Essential steps to establish OT security

  • 12:00 PM
  • 12:29 PM
Track B
Rise in BEC Scams? Applying the Principle of Least Privilege Access

As technology continues to take hold of business transactions, it is of little surprise that the businesses are subject to a host of cyber-attacks, including business email compromise or BEC scams. One way to reduce the BEC scam's damage is to apply the principle of least privilege and create a detailed enterprise risk management plans that spell out procedures to secure accounts. Giving all employees access to payment information outside of their normal job functions can multiply the problem. While the advantages of access controls are known to all, the practical application remains a challenge.

The session will discuss:
Shortcomings in efforts to detect BEC scams;
Defining and managing access controls in a non-static environment;
The best processes for investigating these scams

  • 12:45 PM
  • 01:14 PM
Track A
How to Establish an Effective Risk-Based Discussion with the Board

Building relationships with business unit leaders and driving a practical risk-based discussion with the board is critical in making informed risk decisions. Experts say there is an order of magnitude difference between the number of top- and bottom-performing CISOs who meet with these higher-impact stakeholders frequently.

The daunting task for CISOs is the uncertainty around the reporting of significant risks, including just what represents a 'significant' risk, which challenges many organizations today. Can you question the management and boards regarding how strategy affects risk and vice versa and their best approach to risk and discuss risk management in a meaningful and productive way?

The session will discuss:

Criteria for integrating risk information into decision making
Educating and evaluating of board members to measure strategic decisions on a risk parameter
Use case scenario to understand risk appetite and value at risk

  • 12:45 PM
  • 01:14 PM
Track B
Lessons from Log4j's Zero-Day Vulnerability: Effective Mitigation Techniques

For many security teams, it's been all hands-on deck since the Apache Log4j zero-day vulnerability recently came to light. The vulnerability, CVE-2021-44228, is part of the open-source Log4j 2 software library. Its component, used for logging events, is part of tens of thousands of deployed applications and cloud-based services affecting organizations across geographies.

Experts say that the security threat posed by the bug is "about as serious as it gets," and organizations are now racing to try and identify their risks and exposure levels.

The session will discuss:

The modus operandi of such vulnerabilities
Lessons for CISOs from this incident
Cybersecurity response and risk mitigation techniques

  • 01:15 PM
  • 01:29 PM
Track A
Rising Ransomware: Building an Effective Incident Response Plan

The year 2021 stands as testimony to the large ransomware attacks witnessed globally. The industry watched JBS Foods, Brenntag(chemical distribution) and UAE is not an exception. Reports say that the UAE is the second most targeted country for ‘ransomware’ attacks in the Middle East. Experts say organized gangs and nation stages increasingly target financial institutions and critical sectors.  

What needs to change as CISOs experience increasing hacking burnout in preventing such malware intrusions? Can they operationalize technology in their prevention and incidence response mechanism to address ransomware issues? 

The panel will discuss:  

Building an effective incidence response and investigation mechanism  
How do deal with the recovery response process in the event of an attack
Taking a tactical and strategic approach to battling ransomware and protecting backups

  • 01:15 PM
  • 01:29 PM
Track B
Zero Trust Adoption in the Middle East: CISOs' Stake

CISOs in the Middle East are starting to adopt 'zero trust' security. However, they still need to overcome several challenges to reap the full potential of the security model. While some organizations are in the early stages of learning and exploring 'zero trust' security, others have implemented some capabilities in an ad-hoc manner. With 'zero trust' no longer being a marketing buzz, CISOs are keen to emphasize the many elements of zero trust beyond the network. It now represents the practical approach to validating the credentials of employees, partners, and trusted third parties. In this session, CISOs will discuss:

How 'zero trust' is being approached from an architecture and policy perspective
How to take the different approaches to a 'zero trust' architecture
The 'zero trust' roadmap for 2022

Panel Discussion: Lessons from Saudi Aramco’s Ransomware Attack: Rewriting Policies

The third-party risk is not a new phenomenon worldwide. The ransomware attack made on Saudi Arabia’s oil giant Saudi Aramco involving a $50 million ransom which likely came from one of its third-party contractors, stands testimony to this.  

The attackers stole 1TB of data, including company information, customer invoices, and extensive employee profiles complete with PII data.

What are the lessons learned from such attacks despite practitioners taking due diligence that helps reduce the potential for third-party risks? The panel will deliberate on the modus operandi of such attacks and risk mitigation techniques.

The panel will discuss:
They will walk us through the attack scenarios?
What are the lessons learned from such ransomware attacks
How to rewrite the security policies in aligning with third-party suppliers

  • 01:30 PM
  • 01:59 PM

Threat intelligence practitioners confirm that enterprises from the Gulf, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, are becoming targets of sophisticated attacks aimed at stealing personal data and, in some cases, exposing state secrets. Security analysts say the data breaches in the MENA region are exceptionally costly affairs, with the average damage reaching $6.53 million, well above the global average incident cost of $3.86 million. A recent research report stated that 63% of UAE businesses paid cyber criminals between US$350,000 and US$1.4 million following ransomware attacks in the two years before June 2021. As CISOs continue to modernize their security programs and adapt the changing threat landscape in the region. The governments are escalating their preparedness strategies through entities such as the Computer Emergency Response Team for the UAE (aeCERT) and Saudi Arabia’s National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA) in the region and are working out comprehensive programs around cybersecurity and privacy to deal with such challenges. Attend our summit to gain insights from the global and regional cybersecurity thought leaders on the critical aspects of identity protection, building ransomware defenses, protecting your ‘active directory’, reducing the supply chain complexities, standardization of XDR, cloud, OT security and more.
ISMG's geo-targeted, industry-specific, and topic-driven agendas provide actionable education and exclusive networking opportunities with your peers and our subject matter expert speakers.

Geetha Nandikotkur
Managing Editor & Conference Chair, Asia & Middle East
ISMG
Suparna Goswami
Associate Editor
ISMG
P Parthasarathy
EVP & Group CISO
First Abu Dhabi Bank
Lisa J. Sotto
Partner
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Named in The National Law Journal's "100 Most Influential Lawyers," Sotto serves on Hunton & Williams' executive committee. Sotto was voted the world's leading privacy adviser by Computerworld magazine and has earned the highest honor by Chambers and Partners as...

View Agenda
Key Note: Middle East’s Cyber Pandemic: Enterprises Poised to Fight Cyberthreats with New Legislation

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the security team and the CISOs are under pressure, as research reports indicate that over 70% of the organizations in the UAE region will experience a material breach this year. The simple reason is that CISOs can’t see into the corners, which is the cause for undetected attacks. Most agree that 2021 was the ‘cyber pandemic’ year. The breaches were caused due to increased APT attacks, third-party applications, process weaknesses, and out-of-date security technology.  

  

The keynote will highlight how enterprises across the region are poised to fight external threats and internal weaknesses by taking a unified approach to security, involving the stakeholders, supported with the new security legislation proposed by the government.

  • 09:15 AM
  • 09:44 AM
Plenary Session: Middle East Data Protection and Privacy Regulations Update: Understanding Security Risks
Some say that data protection and privacy have taken a back seat during the pandemic, as organizations moved to a remote work environment with little control over the endpoints and access controls. Contrary to the statement, the businesses in the Middle East region seem to have come under the regulatory and operational pressures that other countries have encountered. Privacy experts say over six new data privacy laws have been introduced in the last year, a significant step towards a globalized and harmonized approach to data protection.
The session will update the proposed regulations and what it means to security practitioners in establishing data protection and privacy across the organization.
  • 09:45 AM
  • 10:14 AM
  • 10:15 AM
  • 10:44 AM
Track A
Tech Spotlight: XDR: A 'Cross-Layered' Cybersecurity Game Changer

The UAE region is witnessing the trend away from endpoint detection and response to extended detection and response. Can organizations get maximum cybersecurity protection from this shift?  

Experts in the region say that XDR charged onto the cyber battlefield, and it's a new formula to shift away from the traditional layered cybersecurity approach and toward a paradigm that substitutes several point products with a single, integrated solution.  

The session will discuss:  

How XDR helps security teams unify detection and response tools
How not to “reinvent the SIEM’
The right away to approach XDR

  • 10:15 AM
  • 10:44 AM
Track B
Tech Spotlight: Understanding Your Risk Appetite with IAM Framework

With the IAM framework growing to fame, most practitioners are toying with the idea of using IAM to understand the organization's risk appetite and address the critical business risk to drive more value by protecting the user access, identity, and devices along with the endpoints. Some say implementing an IAM framework is complex, and integrating with security is a big task and expensive too.

The session will discuss:

How can the IAM framework outweigh business risks?
Providing access to users outside the perimeter without compromising security protocols
Integration with HR and legacy systems to enable multifactor authentication, SaaS, and Identity-as-a-Service for secure user access

  • 10:45 AM
  • 11:14 AM
Track A
Third-Party Applications Risk: Securing Your Workloads

Thanks to the SolarWinds incident, 2021 brought the focus back on third-party risks. Most enterprises run hundreds of mission-critical apps, many of which are customized third-party solutions. The majority of the breaches originated from a third-party application. The benefit of third-party software is evident. However, each new partnership creates an opportunity for bad actors to access your systems and data. Even if your vendors claim to be secure, their code might not necessarily live up to your business's security standards and compliance requirements. Moreover, rigorous testing is often overlooked for third-party code. This session will further discuss:

Recommendations to achieve supply chain visibility
Techniques to detect compromises within the supply chain
The implications of Log4j on your overall risk exposure

  • 10:45 AM
  • 11:14 AM
Track B
Demystifying Cloud-first Security: A CISO's Journey

Cloud adoption has been the norm for a few years now, and the past two years have proved to be the watershed moment for cloud adoption. Many organizations adopted it rapidly because there was a need for it. But in the process, they did not realize the security implication. Many IT managers say they found it difficult to rationalize the need for additional security mechanisms within the cloud. What have security leaders learned - or not- about cloud security in a year? Enterprises often tend to lose a lot of visibility on the cloud. What are some security risks and compliance issues as they lose this visibility? This session will also discuss:

What must enterprises do differently for cloud adoption?
Bridging the security gaps which is often overlooked in the cloud
Ways to adopt a cloud-first strategy in securing your hybrid cloud

  • 11:30 AM
  • 11:59 AM
Track A
Fireside chat: You've Been Breached: Putting Together Your Best Response Team

When it comes to cyber incident response, it truly is a matter of It's not just what you know; it's who knows. Proper response requires an appropriate team, and renowned attorney Lisa Sotto often receives a 2 am emergency incident response call. In this exclusive ISMG summit session, she shares insight on:

When incident response begins (hint: long before your attackers gain entry)
Common gaps even in updated and tested plans
Step by step – what happens after the call is made

  • 11:30 AM
  • 11:59 AM
Track B
Fireside Chat: Two-Way Street: A Cybersecurity Debate between CFO vs. CISO-Where is the Disagreement?
Almost all CISOs across regions have a single most significant challenge of getting the necessary funding to support their cybersecurity programs. The most demanding aspect is to understand how CFOs measure the success of a program and how best to measure and communicate the cyber threats an organization faces to a CFO.
Are you in sync with how a CFO thinks and believes the best for the organization, and are CISOs able to break the ice and agree on some key aspects, particularly in judging the risk profiles of the organization?
The session discusses how to get a CFO and the CISO on a common goal to facilitate the continued success of their organization. Where is the disagreement?
  • 12:00 PM
  • 12:29 PM
Track A
OT & IT Convergence: Measuring the Security Risks

Most OT systems are designed with very little consideration for security. With increased cyber risk in this new digital transformation era, any approach to bridge the IT and OT divide is mission-critical for enterprise security.  

As a CISO, can you reduce risk, security, and risk management functions silos to bridge the security gaps?  Can you deploy the suitable asset inventory methods and map the IT/OT risks?  

This session will discuss:  

Building complete visibility and monitoring of your IT and OT assets with the right access control  
Integrating OT threat monitoring into SoC for threat detection
Essential steps to establish OT security

  • 12:00 PM
  • 12:29 PM
Track B
Rise in BEC Scams? Applying the Principle of Least Privilege Access

As technology continues to take hold of business transactions, it is of little surprise that the businesses are subject to a host of cyber-attacks, including business email compromise or BEC scams. One way to reduce the BEC scam's damage is to apply the principle of least privilege and create a detailed enterprise risk management plans that spell out procedures to secure accounts. Giving all employees access to payment information outside of their normal job functions can multiply the problem. While the advantages of access controls are known to all, the practical application remains a challenge.

The session will discuss:
Shortcomings in efforts to detect BEC scams;
Defining and managing access controls in a non-static environment;
The best processes for investigating these scams

  • 12:45 PM
  • 01:14 PM
Track A
How to Establish an Effective Risk-Based Discussion with the Board

Building relationships with business unit leaders and driving a practical risk-based discussion with the board is critical in making informed risk decisions. Experts say there is an order of magnitude difference between the number of top- and bottom-performing CISOs who meet with these higher-impact stakeholders frequently.

The daunting task for CISOs is the uncertainty around the reporting of significant risks, including just what represents a 'significant' risk, which challenges many organizations today. Can you question the management and boards regarding how strategy affects risk and vice versa and their best approach to risk and discuss risk management in a meaningful and productive way?

The session will discuss:

Criteria for integrating risk information into decision making
Educating and evaluating of board members to measure strategic decisions on a risk parameter
Use case scenario to understand risk appetite and value at risk

  • 12:45 PM
  • 01:14 PM
Track B
Lessons from Log4j's Zero-Day Vulnerability: Effective Mitigation Techniques

For many security teams, it's been all hands-on deck since the Apache Log4j zero-day vulnerability recently came to light. The vulnerability, CVE-2021-44228, is part of the open-source Log4j 2 software library. Its component, used for logging events, is part of tens of thousands of deployed applications and cloud-based services affecting organizations across geographies.

Experts say that the security threat posed by the bug is "about as serious as it gets," and organizations are now racing to try and identify their risks and exposure levels.

The session will discuss:

The modus operandi of such vulnerabilities
Lessons for CISOs from this incident
Cybersecurity response and risk mitigation techniques

  • 01:15 PM
  • 01:29 PM
Track A
Rising Ransomware: Building an Effective Incident Response Plan

The year 2021 stands as testimony to the large ransomware attacks witnessed globally. The industry watched JBS Foods, Brenntag(chemical distribution) and UAE is not an exception. Reports say that the UAE is the second most targeted country for ‘ransomware’ attacks in the Middle East. Experts say organized gangs and nation stages increasingly target financial institutions and critical sectors.  

What needs to change as CISOs experience increasing hacking burnout in preventing such malware intrusions? Can they operationalize technology in their prevention and incidence response mechanism to address ransomware issues? 

The panel will discuss:  

Building an effective incidence response and investigation mechanism  
How do deal with the recovery response process in the event of an attack
Taking a tactical and strategic approach to battling ransomware and protecting backups

  • 01:15 PM
  • 01:29 PM
Track B
Zero Trust Adoption in the Middle East: CISOs' Stake

CISOs in the Middle East are starting to adopt 'zero trust' security. However, they still need to overcome several challenges to reap the full potential of the security model. While some organizations are in the early stages of learning and exploring 'zero trust' security, others have implemented some capabilities in an ad-hoc manner. With 'zero trust' no longer being a marketing buzz, CISOs are keen to emphasize the many elements of zero trust beyond the network. It now represents the practical approach to validating the credentials of employees, partners, and trusted third parties. In this session, CISOs will discuss:

How 'zero trust' is being approached from an architecture and policy perspective
How to take the different approaches to a 'zero trust' architecture
The 'zero trust' roadmap for 2022

Panel Discussion: Lessons from Saudi Aramco’s Ransomware Attack: Rewriting Policies

The third-party risk is not a new phenomenon worldwide. The ransomware attack made on Saudi Arabia’s oil giant Saudi Aramco involving a $50 million ransom which likely came from one of its third-party contractors, stands testimony to this.  

The attackers stole 1TB of data, including company information, customer invoices, and extensive employee profiles complete with PII data.

What are the lessons learned from such attacks despite practitioners taking due diligence that helps reduce the potential for third-party risks? The panel will deliberate on the modus operandi of such attacks and risk mitigation techniques.

The panel will discuss:
They will walk us through the attack scenarios?
What are the lessons learned from such ransomware attacks
How to rewrite the security policies in aligning with third-party suppliers

  • 01:30 PM
  • 01:59 PM

Speaker Interviews

March 9 - 10, 2022

Middle East Summit