4 February

CS4CA MENA 2019 Write Up

CS4CA MENA 2019: Post-Event Write Up
This January, the QG team left a grey and cold London to land in a yellow and sunny Dubai. It was time for the 3rd CS4CA MENA Summit, where 100+ IT & OT security professionals from across the Middle East and Northern Africa gathered to discuss cyber security.
Through solutions-oriented dialogue and discussions, MENA’s representatives of the public and private sectors acknowledged that yes, the region has a lot of security work to do. But also demonstrated that MENA’s leaders are proactively seeking collaboration and determined to identify and protect their core assets.
Stage presentations and networking dialogues repeatedly emphasised the importance of developing as a region. A great number of delegates provided a refreshing, first-hand perspective on the OT side of things and shone light on the benefits of tight collaboration between IT and OT, when it comes to cyber security.
Sponsors from around the world demonstrated that they are paying close attention to MENA. The select cyber security solutions providers at the summit were acutely aware of the region’s needs, strengths and weaknesses, and demonstrated a great level of understanding about its industries and assets. As a consequence, one of the prevailing feedbacks provided by delegates emphasised the value of meeting the vendors and networking.
“It was an excellent summit, with various speakers from different sectors and great presentations. I also really enjoyed the networking breaks and meeting the vendors. It was the perfect platform to exchange insights with subject matter experts.” – Delegate, Senior SCADA Engineer from the Utilities Sector.
Now, with the QG team back in cold London and reminiscing about the summit, one lesson in particular has stuck: There is a sharp awareness about the vulnerabilities and weaknesses that MENA must address to embrace digital transformation safely. But digital transformation itself is a process that never ends, because it requires constant learning. And CS4CA MENA was a great place to learn. As writer Ameera Al Hakawati put it, “Knowledge can be a curse. The moment you gain it, you thirst for more.” And indeed, we can’t wait for CS4CA MENA 2020
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