Why Thales believes cybersecurity should be seen as a business enabler | #malware | #ransomware


Tell us about yourself and your role at Thales. 
I have been a part of Thales for over 30 years now, supporting across various markets including Saudi Arabia, Australia, Canada, India and now I oversee operations across the Middle East. When I was in Australia, I led the Air Management Systems division, including the Air Traffic Control and Radars Systems, and in Canada, I was part of the Avionics team. In France, I was looking at defence systems, and in India, it involved overlooking the company’s capabilities as a whole. This is identical to my role in the Middle East. 

How has the tech landscape evolved in the Middle East post-pandemic? 
The pandemic has been a catalyst for the adoption of digital technologies across all sectors. It has played a significant role in boosting industrialisation, industrial upgrades and agile manufacturing systems. In the Middle East, the governments are now committed more than ever to building a globally competitive economy powered by disruptive technologies. The focus on implementing new technologies that have emerged in the fourth industrial revolution in the country’s visions and strategies is a testament to this.

Which are the top cybersecurity threats organisations need to be concerned about now? 
Our annual Data Threat Report 2022 found that malware, ransomware and phishing continue to plague global organisations and that one in five executives have experienced a ransomware attack in the last year. Furthermore, 43 per cent of these have experienced a significant impact on operations. This report further reveals that almost half of IT leaders admitted failing a compliance audit. The biggest takeaway is that urgent action is needed by businesses to develop more robust cybersecurity strategies, especially with the adoption of remote working. Cybersecurity should be seen as a business enabler, wherein businesses embrace digital transformation while being protected, no matter how big or small.

How has your ESG strategy and digital ethics charter translated to the region? 
Our purpose of ‘building a future we can all trust’ means helping to build a safer, more environmentally responsible world and societies that are more inclusive. We are drawing on our technology expertise to fight global warming and be a driving force behind the ecological transition in the Middle East. Indeed, we aim to achieve a 35 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2023, a 50 per cent reduction by 2030, and “net-zero” by 2040. The Group is, for example, developing flight path optimisation solutions that would reduce aircraft CO2 emissions by up to 10 per cent in the near-term future. Moreover, the countries that we operate in have made their commitment to the cause clear, and governments have firmed up policies that allow companies to make systematic progress towards the objectives of the Paris Agreement and UNSDGs.

What are your key priorities for the year ahead? 
Our top priority is to continue to work closely with partners to realise ambitious visions and strategies. While we’re a global company, we embed ourselves in the local ecosystems of each country we operate in to deliver bespoke strategies, solutions, and services in both defence and civil domains and across sectors, such as cybersecurity, digital technologies and air traffic management, which are critical to building future-proof and sovereign economies. We have also been working hand-in-hand with our clients to increase their industrial footprints, boost innovation and upskill local talent.



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