UAE jobs: Cybersecurity experts in demand

Uptick in demand this year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic

  
Image used for illustrative purpose.

Image used for illustrative purpose.

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There is a greater need for cybersecurity professionals across all sectors amid the UAE’s bid to expand its digitalisation operations.

The cybersecurity landscape has become further complicated owing to the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, as several malwares are seeking to gain access to sensitive information in the healthcare sector.

Haider Pasha, chief security officer (CSO) at Palo Alto Networks, Middle East and Africa (MEA), told Khaleej Times that there is an overall shortage of skilled cybersecurity talent around the world and the UAE is no exception to this discernible trend.

“Organisations understand the need to hire cybersecurity talent for various use-cases, including to secure their confidential data,” he said.

“With the launch of local public cloud hyperscalers in the UAE, we predict a faster rate of cloud adoption for organisations to leverage local public cloud instances, some even rushing to the cloud with security playing catch-up. Without a proper cybersecurity strategy, any cloud migration will open up a greater risk to their businesses. This explains hiring the right talent is crucial,” he added.

Even before the pandemic began, there was a growing focus to digitise businesses across every sector: from manufacturing to healthcare to even connecting legacy networks in the energy industry, he said.

“Covid-19 has accelerated the digitisation for many businesses, but as we quickly learned, there can be no such process without cybersecurity. Thanks in part to the guidelines and regulations set by the UAE government, coupled with the need to do more than just provide a secure connection to employees working from home, businesses have become more aware and committed to cybersecurity than ever before,” he said.

He added that Palo Alto Networks is committed to helping the UAE and the region grow this in-demand skill set. “We’ve invested in helping local schools and universities build a cybersecurity academy across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).”

Cybersecurity experts at Kaspersky have warned that using medical and healthcare topics as bait will continue and remain relevant at least until the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. The main reason for attackers’ growing interest in medical research was the development of a vaccine against Covid-19.

The efforts to steal Covid-19 research data will continue this year. As long as the global healthcare community continues to fight the disease, any company that claims significant success in the development of a vaccine will become a potential victim of targeted attacks.

However, the focus on digital security in hospitals offers hope that there will be more collaboration between cybersecurity experts, organisations, and healthcare systems this year.

Kaspersky noted that experience has shown that big crises, like the pandemic, push organisations to pay more attention to protecting their infrastructure.

Besides healthcare, experts have noted that one of the most in-demand cybersecurity roles revolve around cloud security.

Forbes recently noted that cybersecurity professionals with cloud security skills can gain upwards of $15,000 (Dh55,095) salary premium by capitalising on strong market demand for their skill sets.

Similarly, DevOps and Application Development Security professionals can expect to earn upwards of $12,000 (Dh 44,076) salary premium based on their unique, in-demand skills.

Burning Glass Technologies has predicted that the fastest-growing skills over the next five years include Azure Security, Cloud Security Infrastructure, Google Cloud Security, Public Cloud Security, and Cloud Security Architecture.

rohma@khaleejtimes.com

Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.

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