The cybersecurity market in the Middle East & Africa was valued at USD 1903.59 million in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 2893.40 million by 2026 and register a CAGR of 7.92% during the forecast period of 2021-2026. The rapid digitalization in the countries, like the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, has triggered the number of connected devices by opening new gateways for cyberattacks.
- Triggered by the recent low crude oil prices, the governments in the region are increasing investments in information and communication technologies. As a result, most of the social infrastructure, the financial sector, government services, schools, and hospitals in the region are increasingly deploying interconnectivity solutions with minimal attention to the security needs of these developments.
- The major factors driving the threat of cyberattacks in the Middle East & African region are the growing vulnerabilities in digital communications networks and supply chains, growth in the user base of online consumers, and most of all, the deficient cybersecurity infrastructure.
- Traditionally, the Middle East has never been a significant target for cyberattacks. Regions like North America and Europe have always been the most affected by cyber threats. But in recent times, rapid digitalization in countries like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia has triggered the number of connected devices, opening new gateways for cyberattacks.
- Smartworld stands to be the first Cyber Security Centre in the United Arab Emirates, providing continuous monitoring of online threats and cyber threat management to companies across the region's government and private sectors. Inspired by such initiative, companies like Tata Communications, a tech giant based in India, has unveiled an advanced cybersecurity response center in Dubai. Over the forecast period, such initiatives are expected to proliferate.
- Apart from this, the demand for cybersecurity in the region has gained traction in the water systems and pumping stations. With the automation coming in force across various end-user verticals, the threat of cyberattacks has increased in the region.
Key Market Trends
BFSI to Hold Major Share
- Banks in the region are responding to the consumers' preferences of the digital era by increasing their investments in digital innovations, as well as focusing on enhancing the security of mobile banking and the user-experience.
- For instance, Emirates NBD (ENBD), one of the leading banks in the region invested AED 1 billion for digital transformation. Further, the banks, such as Mashreq and Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD), have been the early adopters of digital transformation.
- The demand for cybersecurity is expected to increase in the African region, owing to the growth in non-cash volume, fueled by the growing population aged 15-24. This factor is expected to drive the new mobile money and digital payment schemes, with Kenya emerging as the regional leader in the implementation and uptake of mobile payment solutions, such as M-Pesa. Augmenting this trend, ABK Egypt, with 39 branches and 85 ATMs across the country, has employed Cisco's cybersecurity solution to stay at par with the country's digital transformation.
- Many local and international banks in the UAE are sharing information to reduce cyberattacks. Gulf banks have invested millions of dollars in boosting cybersecurity systems to combat attacks, which banks can experience. In 2017, the UAE Banks Federation partnered with US-based Anomali (IT Security Company) to create the Information Sharing and Analysis Center, the first such initiative in the Middle East.
- Other banks that participated in the scheme included HSBC, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Barclays, Commercial Bank International, Citibank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Standard Chartered, Noor Bank, National Bank of Fujairah, and Mashreq Bank.
Network Security to Hold the Largest Market Share
- The Middle Eastern society is one of the important adopters of technology, online entertainment, digital media, and social media. Jordan, in particular, has developed itself as a regional tech start-up hub, owing to the factors to an ICT-focused education system, low start-up costs, and the business-friendly government. Its growing reputation is attracting international capital to tap into the region's underserved growing online market.
- At present, many countries recognize the potential of applying ICT to improve both social and economical conditions. Kuwait, for instance, has taken steps to develop a digital economy, with the development of national-level policies for e-health and e-government. Saudi Arabia received recognition from the World Bank, for the country's efforts in executing business reforms, such as electronic filing and new payment systems.
- By recognizing the potential of ICT in improving both economic and social conditions, Iran is taking steps to develop the digital economy. However, with the increase in attack frequency and size, there is a high demand for secure networks in order to cope with these kinds of attacks, as well as to avoid facing constant network disruptions and downtime. Thus, various organizations in the region have adopted network security measures, in order to overcome the disturbances to their infrastructure.
- In July 2020, The UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) mentioned that the National Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT) repelled more than 100,000 cyberattacks against the Federal Government entities in June.
- TRA stated in its monthly report on cybersecurity developments in the UAE's Federal Government for June 2020 that 73% of the cyberattacks were malware, 15% vulnerabilities, and 12% phishing attacks. The cybersecurity teams have also handled more than 407 cyber incidents. Over 80% of organizations in the UAE reported at least one cyber-attack in 2019, a survey of 150 senior IT executives in the country found in May 2020.
The cybersecurity market in the Middle East and Africa is highly competitive and consists of several major players. In terms of market share, few of the major players currently dominate the market. These major players with a prominent share in the market are focusing on expanding their customer bases across foreign countries. These companies are leveraging on strategic collaborative initiatives to increase their market shares and increase their profitability.
- Oct 2020 - Palo Alto Networks announced Prisma Cloud 2.0 which includes four new cloud security modules, enhancing its standing as the industry's only comprehensive Cloud Native Security Platform (CNSP). A CNSP is designed to secure multi- and hybrid-cloud environments and cloud native applications integrating security across the full DevOps lifecycle.
- Oct 2020 - Dell Technologies partnered with NVIDIA further building on to their relationship to bring smarter GPU acceleration platforms, as a part of Dell EMC PowerEdge server family. The broad selection of NVIDIA GPUs in the Dell EMC PowerEdge server portfolio is expected to provide acceleration to data-driven applications in GPUs.
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