GBM security report: 1 in 2 Gulf organizations report an increase in cybersecurity incidents during the pandemic

GBM Security Report 2020 reveals reprioritization of cyber risks with 84% of organizations planning to invest in data security over the next year

Hani Nofal

Hani Nofal

Dubai: Gulf Business Machines (GBM) has revealed the findings of the ninth edition of its annual cybersecurity report. This year’s report highlighted how risk priorities have changed for organizations in the Gulf due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and what cybersecurity strategies businesses are employing as they accelerate their digital transformation.

The latest GBM security report, polled security executives and professionals from a range of industries in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait. The report focused on the increased cyber security risks due to the expansion of the distributed workforce during the pandemic, with one in two Gulf organizations reporting an increase in the number of attacks on their digital infrastructure. The surveyed organizations also highlighted that securing data has become essential to building trust with customers, with 84% of those surveyed planning to invest in data security over the next year.

This year has seen an increased focus on budget rationalization and cash preservation, according to IDC, a reported 58% of organizations in the Gulf (excluding Saudi Arabia) are accelerating their digital initiatives and about 47% are continuing with the initiatives as planned at the beginning of the year. The rapid shifts in technology adoption are leading to a significant reprioritization of risks in 2020, which in turn requires CISOs and CIOs to invest in security technologies and processes differently to ensure holistic security.

In order to ensure business continuity during the pandemic, securing the digital infrastructure in a distributed working environment is a key focus area for 71% of Gulf organizations. With the imminent availability of 5G, cloud adoption acceleration, and application explosion, data growth will also further accelerate. Data discovery and classification have been identified as the initial steps organizations need to take on the data security journey, however this is a major challenge and weakness for almost 1 out of every 2 organizations surveyed.

Hani Nofal, Vice President of Digital Infrastructure Solutions at GBM said, “This year, the sudden unexpected shift to a distributed workforce led organizations to accelerate their digital transformation efforts to meet customers and operational agility needs. As a young and tech-savvy region, we have an opportunity to leverage technology to soften the impact of the economic downturn and expedite the recovery.

“But with this comes a new threat landscape which requires organizations to invest in new technologies and processes that ensure a holistic approach to security. The key learning for organizations this year is that their rapidly expanding digital footprint, coupled with the continuously growing threat landscape has highlighted the need for security to be a key discussion in the boardroom.”

Meanwhile, as organizations saw increased cloud adoption as part of their digital transformation efforts this year, the report also addressed companies’ concerns regarding data and cloud security in their move towards cloud. 34% of the surveyed organizations were concerned that their cloud security measures were ineffective and 66% found that managing the identities and access of their users in diverse cloud environments was challenging. Over the next year, securing cloud is expected to be a significant focus area for 66% of the surveyed organizations.

For more information on the findings in the GBM Security Report 2020, visit 


About Gulf Business Machines (GBM) 

With more than 30 years of experience, 7 offices and over 1500 employees across the region, Gulf Business Machines (GBM) is a leading end-to-end digital solutions provider, offering the region’s broadest portfolio, including industry-leading digital infrastructure, digital business solutions, security and services. We have nurtured partnerships since 1990 with the world’s leading technology companies and invested in a talented, skilled workforce to implement solutions that cater to customer’s specific, complex and diverse business needs.

Some of our strategic partners in the Gulf include IBM as their sole distributor throughout the GCC (excluding Saudi Arabia and selected IBM product and services), Cisco as a Gold Partner (the highest level of certification at Cisco), and VMware as a Premier Partner (the highest partner status within VMware).

For more information, please visit 

For further information, please contact:
Corporate Communications
Gulf Business Machines

Weber Shandwick
Tel: +971 4 445 2245

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