Regional Senior Information Security & Risk Manager, Leading International Financial Institution
Ahmed is an industry expert in information security and digital transformation with more than 20 years of experience in the field. He is the winner of multiple industry awards and was recently selected as a member of the EC-Council CCISO advisory board. Before his current role, he was the Global Security Architect Manager at one of the top oil and gas companies in the world and the CISO and CIO for a top engineering company in Egypt and the Middle East. He is the co-author of the recent book Microsoft 365 Security for IT Pros.
What long-lasting effects will the pandemic have on information security teams?
Government restrictions due to the pandemic encouraged more and more employees to work from home. I think this will change the whole mindset after the pandemic to favor a hybrid style of working or even to maintain a full working from home model. Consequently, technology has become even more important in our working and our personal lives and this creates new challenges for the security posture of many businesses. During the pandemic, the priority was to maintain business continuity. As a result, there are some existing risks that many have been unable to address. Now it is up to us to ensure that these are fixed so we can continue this mode of remote working.
What should information security executives focus on in 2021 to generate business value?
2020 itself has been tough on every business. Organizations used to stretch their budget to fit the security and operation needs, but the pandemic created an immediate need to invest in security. So, as I mentioned, there are indications that many businesses will continue to ask the people to work remotely at least for this year. And this means that organizations must emphasize the protection of the employees, create a framework for managing their many devices, and protect and verify the identities of the users. Essentially, businesses must figure out how to protect their people, processes and technology.