Qatar associates with Russian cyber company BI.ZONE for cyber operations
Qatar is looking for new cyber partners beyond Middle East. Recently, Investment Promotion Agency Qatar (IPA Qatar) announced signing of three Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with Russian entities on the sidelines of the 24th edition of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), held in Russia. The MoUs includes cyber support.
Given the current situation, Qatar has been associating with western companies to fill in cyber capability gap. For instance, before associating with BI.ZONE, it signed an agreement with Italy based Leonardo for strengthening their digital infrastructure to prepare for potential cyber attacks.
BI.ZONE partnership helps to increase protection against cybercriminals in the Middle East with the help of Russian technologies. As a part of the agreement, BI.ZONE plans to supply the Qatari market with several solutions. One of them is BI.ZONE Cloud Fraud Prevention for countering fraudulent transactions in digital banking channels.
As per BI.ZONE website, the company is well versed in providing services various cyber services that includes penetration testing, malware analysis, incident management which may give an edge to Qatar in building its preventive and offensive cyber capabilities.
In Last two months, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. This indicates that Russia is interested in not establishing just good relations with one power bloc. Russia is eyeing to create its technological dependencies in the region in exchange for some control over region’s oil and gas supplies as it has a vital stake in the future of the global oil and gas marketplace.
The ongoing new associations of Qatar other than Turkey and US suggest that Qatar is looking to enhance its cyber operations given the volatile situation it has been facing in the region. It is also trying to train its cyber departments with the help of these new associations in order to deal with the rising cyber security challenges.