A Poolside Too Far

Beyond the ornate windows at the end of the conference hall is the Bahrain Sheraton’s swimming pool. From where I sit, dressed in my best suit in front of two hundred people, it’s a case of ‘So near but so far’.

Yesterday, it was Kuwait. Today it’s Bahrain and this evening, I’ll take the flight to Doha in Qatar for the last leg of this Microsoft security conference tour.

Security excites much more interest than it did when I first visited to talk about the issues two years ago. There’s been a quite dramatic surge in progress in the IT market in a short period of time and last week, even Formula One motor racing arrived here in Bahrain. One might Say that the Gulf States are now more aware of the problems that accompany the rushed embrace of new technology and now they want to know what they need to do to solve these problems before an accident happens.

The reality, people here tell me, is that so many large company systems are hybrids; legacy solutions cobbled together and with poor security processes in place. This makes the adoption of best practice even harder than it should be and leaves the Arab world more vulnerable to exploit and compromise than perhaps it should be.

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