Compliance deadline set for cybersecurity regulations in Bahrain

MANAMA: Companies offering financial services have until March of next year to fully comply with the new Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) regulations on cyber risk management, experts have warned.

According to Grant Thornton Bahrain, director of IT consulting, Nishith Saxena, banks and other businesses urgently need to perform the required gap analysis with the impending deadline and non-compliance drawing the immediate attention of the CBB.

The expert said the ever-present danger of cyberthreats has grown as businesses accelerate digitization, shift their business to a hybrid model, and act faster than before to improve efficiency and stay relevant.

“In the coming months, I think many companies are going to have to redeploy and review their technology spending on cybersecurity solutions,” said Saxena.

“We have also noticed a new urgency to respond to recent developments and threats faced by businesses. To meet this need, competence is key and our teams, both locally and globally, have been engaged in helping our clients respond to the growing landscape of cyber threats. “

He was referring to the recent Log4Shell vulnerability in the popular Log4j Java logging framework, the identification of which has generated widespread concern even among major global organizations.

Log4Shell is a zero-day vulnerability – so named because affected organizations have no day to patch their systems – that allows attackers to remotely execute code on vulnerable servers running Log4j, which developers use to keep track of. of what’s going on in an app as it runs.

Saxena says banks, asset managers and insurers who invest in fully digitizing their internal operations and leveraging technological innovation will be the ones who can lead without losing sight of the cyber risks to come.

Additionally, Jatin Karia, senior partner of the Bahrain-based auditing and consulting firm, said: “Businesses, both locally and globally, face increasing risks of serious attacks with each passing day. They need to be prepared for the cyber threats that have allowed attackers seeking to gain a foothold in networks to sell that access to ransomware operators almost overnight.

However, according to Karia, the actions taken in the kingdom signal a positive approach to implementing vital requirements for organizations to keep pace with growing concern about cyber risk.

Jassim Abdulaal, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton Bahrain, also commented: “It’s never easy to embrace change, but Bahrain is moving fast to establish the right frameworks. This is a visionary move, as the cost of a cyber attack has reached $ 4.24 million worldwide across the industry over the past few years, fueling increased demand for cyber coverage. -insurance and driving the need for a growing number of businesses resilient to a changing cyber risk landscape.

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