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Expo 2020 could face major cyber security issue – expert

Expo 2020 could face major cyber security issue – expert

Tom Leighton, CEO of tech firm Akamai, says online security is a major challenge for high-profile events across the world

Dubai and the United Arab Emirates are likely to face cyber threats and attacks during the upcoming Expo 2020 event, an expert has claimed.

Tom Leighton, chief executive officer of tech firm Akamai, said that online security is a major challenge for high-profile events across the world.

“Any leading event like the expo becomes a huge opportunity for people that want to embarrass a government or an agency, or people, that want to get their message on the event’s website,” he told Gulf Business.

United States-based Akamai, which sup- ported the website of the London Olympic Games in 2012, said these events typically involve several online components – from live streaming to e-commerce – that provide numerous attack surfaces for the event’s secu- rity staff to protect.

As an official from the company explained: “The primary concern when supporting a large event is that online resources may be built in a hurry and then receive a sudden influx of users. As such, there are time and effort con- straints to securing these websites and the infrastructure that carries them. Usually as the security team for the event, you do not have a lot of historical internet traffic to define what is normal so you have to rely on attack trends from other events and threat intelligence to detect any new techniques that are specifically targeting your event.”

Leighton, who visited the UAE last month for the opening of Akamai’s office in Dubai – its first in the Middle East, said he hopes to work with companies handling the event.

The office in Dubai will cover functions for sales, professional services, technical support and provide full local services for regional customers.

“We opened the office since we have several brands working with us here and I think there is tremendous potential for future growth. We plan on expanding it over the next couple of years,” he said.

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