Managing compliance risk
ME PoV Summer 2015 issue
Where are you now?
It is often said that the only constant is change; and when reflecting on the current Middle East regulatory landscape, this certainly holds true. With the tide of regulatory change expected to remain in the medium-term, can compliance officers in the region be confident that they are keeping up with the wave of change?
As a region known for its financial services and energy interests (both of which require a high degree of confidentiality of information) the Middle East represents an attractive target for cyber criminals. Industry research reveals increased cyber security threats in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, which we have seen manifest in the widespread banking malware in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and recent phishing attacks in Saudi Arabia.
With the increasing focus on cyber security by prominent experts, authorities and media houses, the apparent lack of policy on the issue is counter-intuitive but is reflective of a historical deficiency in both, the setting of clear and active local regulation, as well as in in-house efforts to combat the ever-increasing threat cyber security poses. Change is soon to set in however, as both local and international governments push the issue of cyber security to the top of their political and legislative agenda. We expect this will become an increasingly prominent concern for companies in the Middle East region, particularly given the level of reliance on technology being used to fight financial crime.