Yasser Zeineldin and Jeff Ogden Image Credit: Naushad K. Cherrayil/Gulf News


The eHosting DataFort (eHDF), a regionally-managed hosting and cloud infrastructure services provider, has invested more than $2 million (Dh7.34 million) to set up a cyber defence centre (CDC) at Dubai Internet City.

Yasser Zeineldin, CEO of eHosting DataFort, said that the CDC comes at a crucial time when organisations in the Middle East are faced with advanced and persistent security threats.

He said that the Middle East has been experiencing increased number of ransomware attacks in 2016 and variants of these threats are already growing at a rapid rate in 2017.

“Our proactive security intelligence allows us to detect and analyse new threats and build the appropriate controls for our customers,” he said.

According to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report, the UAE is the second-most targeted country for ransomware after Saudi Arabia in the Middle East and Africa.

About 30 per cent of the UAE ransomware victims are willing to pay a ransom, compared to 34 per cent globally, and simultaneously the global average ransom spiked 266 per cent with criminals demanding an average of Dh4,000 per victim up from Dh1,000 as reported for 2015.

Jeff Ogden, director of managed security services and cyber defence centre at eHDF, said that cybercrime costs the UAE Dh5.14 billion in 2016.

Zeineldin said that the centre deploys advanced security intelligence and automation tools to help identify threats more quickly and with greater accuracy and precision. The CDC services assist customers in the complete security life cycle, which starts with log collection, network access control, advanced sandboxing, remediation and incident response. Incident management offers a single dashboard of a customer’s security posture, attacks, and incidents.

Another key component of the CDC, he said, is to focus on customers having distributed workloads which could be hosted either on-premise, public cloud or a locally hosted data centre.

Jeff Ogden said that security is a key focus area for most enterprises today. In fact, many of our customers have shown interest in managed security services and this led us to launch the CDC.

CDC’s managed services portfolio covers DDoS, firewall management, web application protection services, etc.

He said that growing regional security threats, shortage of skilled personnel and heavy technology investments pave the way for stronger and holistic security solutions.