IBM Managed Security Services (IBM Security) has announced the official opening of its first Saudi security operations center in Riyadh. The center will offer the option of managing security operations around the clock to IBM’s private and government clients in the Kingdom, focusing on responding to cybersecurity threats to its clients and managing emerging threats using real-time analysis and early warning notifications of security incidents. The rapid global shift to remote working resulting from the pandemic has led to greater opportunities for cyber criminals to steal customer or employee data, demand ransomware payments, and cause financial and productivity loss at an unprecedented level.
Early this year, cybersecurity firm Tenable published a survey finding that 95 percent of businesses in the Kingdom last year experienced a cyberattack, with 85 percent of Saudi respondents saying they had witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of attacks over the last two years. IBM Security’s experience in managing more than 150 billion security events per day (on average) is an important development in Saudi Arabia, where data breaches cost Saudi companies an average $6.53 million per breach, nearly double the world average of $3.86 million per breach, according to a study by IBM. In response to this year’s jump in cyber threats, Hossam Seif El-Din, IBM Middle East and Pakistan general manager, remarked that IBM’s new Saudi security center “is a critical investment not only in helping our clients respond to ever-increasing incidents but also in providing them with local data residency” and opens possibilities to “use the new center to drive education and awareness to help clients defend themselves from potential threats.”