90pc of passwords ‘vulnerable to hacking’
Dubai, May 23, 2013
More than 90 per cent of the user-generated passwords in the Middle East are susceptible to hacking, leaving room for billions of dollars in potential damages, said experts ahead of an IT security exhibition in Dubai.
Leading information security experts are set to assemble at the Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference (Gisec), running from June 3 to 5 to address hot-button issues in the cyber security arena. The event is organised and hosted by Dubai World Trade Centre and powered by Gitex Technology Week.
According to the 2013 Middle East TMT Predictions by global firm Deloitte, underlining the need for urgent solutions by information security experts is the fact that while it previously took cyber criminals about 5.5 hours to crack any eight-character password, they are now resorting to “crowd hacking” where criminals outsource the task to thousands of other machines and fellow hackers, enabling them to decipher the codes and undo years of IT professionals’ work in mere seconds.
Kevin Mitnick, hacker turned international cyber security guru, will deliver the keynote address at the Gisec Conference titled “The Art of Deception: Are you in danger of being ‘conned’?” The information security expert will share his perspective on the threat of “social engineering” - a highly effective type of attack that exploits the human element of corporate security.
Trixee Loh, senior vice president for Dubai World Trade Centre said: “As evidenced by the international calibre of speakers, the inaugural Gulf Information Security Expo and Conference is the GCC’s leading conduit for next-generation solutions, ideas, methodology and trends in information security.
“It is a platform where the most influential decision makers in the digital sphere will assemble from diverse countries, industries and schools of thought. Gisec is geared to be a reservoir of the most reliable expert consensus and international best practice.”
The conference’s agenda takes a multi-faceted look at the most problematic aspects of information security from a financial, technological, economic, social and national security perspective.
Miguel El Khoury, country general manager for GBM Abu Dhabi, which is a Diamond Sponsor of Gisec, pointed out: “IT security is a key challenge facing organisations regionally and globally. As Gisec is the most important platform addressing this issue, we are very excited to participate in this event as Diamond Sponsors.
“Since its foundation, GBM has been at the forefront of addressing challenges resulting from an ever-changing cyber crime ecosystem in the region, and we have developed an IT security framework to assist users in mitigating risks. The GBM Security Framework, which is the key pillar of our IT security offering, enables customers to meet and exceed IT Industry Best Practices. We look forward to discussing our insights with key influencers at the event.”
Guy Meguer, general manager, Middle East of Cassidian CyberSecurity said: “Both processes start with symptoms that are a tell-tale sign of a malfunction somewhere in the system. A diagnostic test is performed to unearth the culpable virus, and a remedy is then prescribed to achieve a speedy recovery.”
“Periodic monitoring - the equivalent of medical check-ups - will confirm whether there has been a relapse of the virus in one guise or another. These are just some of the many ideas we will be sharing with attendees at Gisec - because when all is said and done, knowledge is the best medicine.”
Parallel to the conference, an eagerly anticipated exhibition from 3-5 June 2013 will showcase the latest cyber innovations such as anti-hacking software, hardware and methodology. The exhibition will serve as a preview of upcoming trends in the industry, putting businesses at the forefront of revolutionary technologies. – TradeArabia News Service