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Etisalat staged a Security Conference in Dubai to address the challenges facing Small and Medium Business (SMBs) in securing their business assets with the increasing cyber threats, lack of resources and expertise.

Under the theme "Small businesses, big targets… Security is the priority, no matter the size of your business", the event brought together 200 business decision-makers at the Ritz-Carlton, Jumeirah Beach Residence to exchange ideas and best practices, highlight information security challenges and discuss ways to mitigate them. Although awareness of security is increasing among SMBs, a large number of businesses do not even realize they have become victims of cyber-attacks and are unaware how to effectively secure their business.

Esam Mahmoud, Senior Vice President, SMB, Etisalat, said: "Small and Medium Businesses are not immune to cyber-attacks. Etisalat's mantra 'Your business grows with us' reflects our commitment to the country's SMB sector. In addition to helping SMBs better manage their business, increase their business productivity and importantly, profitability, we offer digital trust and empower them to manage modern risks. To help SMBs protect their business, Etisalat is building an intelligence-driven digital security strategy that will provide enterprise-grade security solutions for SMBs."

As for Nidal Taha, President, Z Services MENA, he stated: "Backed by the unique partnership with Etisalat, we at Z Services have tailored our leading cyber security services including Web and Email Security to fit the SMB Market needs and requirements by offering a cloud-based, cost-effective cybersecurity services through Etisalat to secure and control both web and email communications with a complete monthly recurring OPEX model and Zero Management."

SMBs are equally vulnerable to cyberattacks as large organizations. To illustrate why SMBs should be worried about cyber security, Firas Khaled Ghanem, General Manager, Sales, Z Services ME, cited some statistics: 49% of cyberattacks target SMBs, 78% of small businesses will be 'fully adopted' cloud users by 2020; and 55% of respondents say their companies have experienced a cyberattack in the past 12 months.

SMBs are referred to as the backbone of the nation's economy, accounting for 94% of all companies in the UAE and 86% of the workforce. Kamran Ahsan, Senior Director, Digital Security Solutions, Etisalat Digital, highlighted the four quadrant approach, namely Device Security, Communications Security, Cloud and Apps Security and Security Management, to address the security challenges in today's world.

Murat Eldem, Senior Director, Digital Payments & eCommerce at Etisalat, discussed the Mobile Cashier service which transforms merchants' smart devices like phones or tablets into business-grade point of sale terminals, enabling them to accept debit, credit and pre-paid cards in a secure and simple-to-use environment and the latest offering includes bundled point-of-sale terminals, attractive mobile voice and data plans, a free smartphone every year, and for the very first time in UAE zero bank commission.

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