Security and Regulation:
Key Concerns for Banks in the Middle East

Key security concerns for Banks in the Middle EastHatstand recently exhibited at MEFTECH - the largest event in the Middle East and North Africa region, which was supported by the Abu Dhabi Government. Throughout the two-day event, talks with delegates focused heavily on concerns with security and regulators in the region looking at intensifying regulation to adopt international standards.

Despite this, budget constraints continue to impact banks and financial institutions and understanding regulations like Basel III's requirements and implications is beyond many, particularly the smaller banks. There is also no real notion of data management strategies and efficiency savings across the industry.

Brad O'Brien, CEO at Hatstand comments: "We understand the challenges the financial industry in the Middle East is facing and MEFTECH provided us with a great opportunity to share insights into how banks can best manage risk and regulation. The truth of the matter is, that with security directly affecting data, networks, hardware, software, and operations it is crucial that all organisations, regardless of size and budget, have sound governance practices in place in order to protect them from theft, business disruption and destruction. Security and regulation compliance must be treated as an iterative and organic process and viewed as part of the overall enterprise risk management of a business.

However, there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution; a tailored approach will enable each firm to fit a framework to both their risk appetite and budget on a strategic and tactical basis."

On its stand, Hatstand encouraged banks and financial institutions to keep on top of the latest finance innovations and cost-effective solutions available to protect them, and shared news of its recently launched Cybersecurity Risk Assessment that helps businesses take a proactive approach in addressing their cyber risk management to incorporate industry and government best practice.  The risk assessment provides a snapshot of a firms’ risk profile as well as maturity level.  From this starting point firms can then identify where they need to spend time and effort in order to increase their controls and plan for the unexpected. 

Following an in depth review, Hatstand will provide a detailed report of its security findings, highlighting key controls and gaps, aligned with a business’ internal key performance indicators. This, along with its detailed analysis and working papers, can then be used to assist communication with regulators, and complement current cybersecurity practices.

At MEFTECH, Brad O'Brien and Hatstand's EMEA Head of Regulation and Risk, Nasir Kazalbash, spoke in detail with IBS Intelligence about the threat facing financial institutions and data loss through a lack of proper preventative security. Read the interview to find out more about the significant challenges that banks are facing.