Middle East and North Africa Govts to spend $316 million in 2014 for cyber defense

Governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) will be spending $316 million in 2014 to boost their national cyber defense capabilities, said ABI Research.

These governments will be focusing on intelligence gathering, logistics management, information system and network security improvements. In Israel, particularly, this is a significant opportunity in 2014 for foreign investment in the local cyber security market.

The cyber security market will emerge because the region embraces ICTs for economic and social development, long-standing conflicts have rapidly moved online. The MENA cyberspace is home to numerous highly-volatile attack groups: from patriotic hackers and hacktivist collectives to state-supported cyberattack groups and military cyber defense units.

Cyber Security

ABI Research noted that the region has been the target of the most sophisticated cyber attacks and espionage campaigns to date with Stuxnet and its associated variants, but it is also home to developing countries with the least cyber security structures in place.

“The main drivers for the cyber security industry in the region are the protection of the energy and financial services sectors, which are still considerably vulnerable despite the intensifying hostile cyber environment,” says Michela Menting, ABI Research’s senior analyst in cyber security.

The market will offer opportunities for vendors targeting critical infrastructure sectors. Government budgets are supporting military efforts in cyber unit development, and military contractors are a growing presence in the region.

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