A survey conducted by Gulf Business Machines (GBM), a subsidiary of global IT firm IBM , showed that 71% of IT experts in Kuwait believe the country is a prime target for cyber attacks. This conclusion is true for the wider Middle East and North Africa, which has seen an uptick in cyber security breaches in the last three years. With this trend likely to continue on the back of divergent geopolitical interests and increasing internet connectivity, BMI sees significant growth opportunities for IT security solution providers in the region.
|Security Concerns Will Drive Growth|
|IT Sales Forecast (US$mn)|
The survey also revealed that a third of organisations have not been conducting regular proactive screenings to ensure the protection of their IT infrastructure and critical data, mainly due to a lack of awareness and, in some cases, disregard of the threat posed by cyber attacks. This is a worrying trend considering the growing use of social media, which increases vulnerability, and increasing internet connectivity.
GBM is at the forefront of raising awareness of risks posed by cybercrime in the country and the wider region, while the Kuwait government has formed an anti-cybercrime team to raise awareness of the threat. The outcome of these initiatives will boost the local market for IT security products and solutions. In May 2012, IT consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton established a local presence in Kuwait in order to secure government and commercial IT security contracts. The firm is targeting key sectors such as energy, financial services, healthcare and telecoms.
BMI has a positive outlook for Kuwait's IT market over the five years to 2017. Although spending on hardware will continue to dominate the market, we expect greater focus on IT security in the country to ramp up spending in the software and services segments. Meanwhile, cloud-based services are taking off in the country with local firm Zajil leading the way, a development that should drive the take up of cloud-delivered, web security solutions to business and government agencies.