Cybersecurity in the Gulf

"Think Big, Start Small" Says eGov Leader from Bahrain
Cybersecurity threats are maturing, but information and risk management have yet to come of age for many Gulf countries. But this maturity must come soon, says Abbas Kudrati, head of information security at the eGovernment Authority of the Kingdom of Bahrain.Part of the challenge is cultural.

"In the Gulf culture, we tend to believe 'trust everyone,'" says Kudrati, who is also a board member of the Bahrain chapter of ISACA. "But according to security principles, we should trust no one."

Asked to boil down his advice to organizations in the Gulf countries, Kudrati says "Think big, but start small."

In part, that means ensuring that security is a fundamental consideration with every new initiative, he says. But it also requires a bit of a mindshift. "When it comes to risk management, you have to see the negative - you cannot see the positive," Kudrati says. "Always look at things and say 'What could go wrong if this is not implemented properly?'"

In an exclusive interview on risk management and information security within organizations in the Gulf countries, Kudrati discusses:

  • The state and role of Risk management and IT security in the gulf countries;
  • Recent and pending cyber initiatives;
  • Suggestions for organizations to improve their risk management and security postures.

Abbas S Kudrati is Head of Information Security at the eGovernment Authority of the Kingdom of Bahrain and board member of the Bahrain Chapter of ISACA.

He has experience in IT & IS audit, application control review, information security program development and management, information security management, IT & IS governance, information systems audit, architecting enterprise, security control assessment, BCP/DR and project management.

He has 12+ years of hands-on experience and has carried out security reviews, IS and quality audit, e-services risk management reviews, including Internet security controls review, security penetration testing, and web applications reviews.

Abbas is a frequent speaker on various IT audit, risk and IT & IS governance and compliance topics in national and International conferences.

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