RIYADH: US multinational IBM Security on Wednesday announced the official opening of its first security operations center in Saudi Arabia
The Riyadh center will offer IBM’s private and government sector clients in the Kingdom the option of managing their security operations around the clock via the company’s staff and local infrastructure.
The new facility will focus on supporting clients responding to cybersecurity incidents as well as helping manage emerging threats through real-time analysis and early warning notification of security events.
IBM Security analysts and experts will assist clients with expedited incident investigations and remediation plans.
According to a recent IBM study, data breaches on companies in Saudi Arabia cost firms $6.53 million on average per breach — higher than the global average of $3.86 million per breach.
IBM Managed Security Services manages more than 150 billion security events daily on average.
“The launch of IBM’s security operations center in Saudi Arabia is a critical investment not only in helping our clients respond to ever-increasing cybersecurity incidents but also in providing them with local data residency to support their preferences and industry requirements,” Hossam Seif El-Din, IBM Middle East and Pakistan general manager, said in a statement.
“We are seeing a lot of new threat actors looking to take advantage of the confusion and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. Therefore, we are also looking to use the new center to drive education and awareness to help clients defend themselves from potential threats,” he added.
The rapid shift to remote workforces amid the pandemic health crisis and a corresponding increase in attacks by cyber criminals have combined to create unparalleled cybersecurity challenges for organizations across the globe.
According to IBM Security X-Force, there was 40 percent increase in security incidents in the first three months of 2020 globally compared with the same period in 2019.
The opening of the new IBM Riyadh facility comes after a survey commissioned earlier this year by cybersecurity firm Tenable found that 95 percent of businesses in the Kingdom last year experienced a cyberattack.
In addition, 85 percent of Saudi respondents to the study said that they had witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of attacks in the past two years.
Companies said they had suffered loss of customer or employee data, ransomware payment demands and financial loss or theft.