Cyber Warfare Creates New Opportunities in Middle East

The United States and the United Kingdom have had much-publicized increases in cybersecurity. Other nations are also following suit, particularly in the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are increasing the amount of funds available to strengthen their cybersecurity.

“It is a dynamic place to watch,” said David Fitzpatrick, a managing director in AlixPartners Aerospace and Defense Practice. “There are a lot of traditional participants involved, but there are new entrants from the non-defense sectors of the industry that are capable in terms of digital activity.”

Saudi Arabia, the largest defense spender in the region, increased its funding by 181 percent over the past year, according to a report by AlixPartners.

“Do not miss the boat for this spectrum of investment. It’s going to be a huge area,” he said.

The UAE is the second largest defense spender in the Middle East. The Bureau of Industry and Security estimates the UAE spends 8.5 per cent of its gross domestic product on defense procurement.

“Depending on geo-political position, if oil prices continue to deliver the budget surpluses, defense spending is always a high-priority here,” said Eric Bernardini, a managing director at the advisory firm and co-leader of the firm’s global Aerospace and Defence Practice.

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