Enhancing information security in organisations in Qatar

2018-06-25T15:40:24Z (GMT) by Aisha Al-Hamar
Due to the universal use of technology and its pervasive connection to the world, organisations have become more exposed to frequent and various threats. Therefore, organisations today are giving more attention to information security as it has become a vital and challenging issue. Many researchers have noted that the significance of information security, particularly information security policies and awareness, is growing due to increasing use of IT and computerization. In the last 15 years, the State of Qatar has witnessed remarkable growth and development of its civilization, having embraced information technology as a base for innovation and success. The country has undergone tremendous improvements in the health care, education and transport sectors. Information technology plays a strategic role in building the country's knowledge-based economy. Due to Qatar s increasing use of the internet and connection to the global environment, it needs to adequately address the global threats arising online. As a result, the scope of this research is to investigate information security in Qatar and in particular the National Information Assurance (NIA) policy. There are many solutions for information security some technical and some non-technical such as policies and making users aware of the dangers. This research focusses on enhancing information security through non-technical solutions. The aim of this research is to improve Qatari organisations information security processes by developing a comprehensive Information Security Management framework that is applicable for implementation of the NIA policy, taking into account Qatar's culture and environment. To achieve the aim of this research, different research methodologies, strategies and data collection methods will be used, such as a literature review, surveys, interviews and case studies.   The main findings of this research are that there is insufficient information security awareness in organisations in Qatar and a lack of a security culture, and that the current NIA policy has many barriers that need to be addressed. The barriers include a lack of information security awareness, a lack of dedicated information security staff, and a lack of a security culture. These barriers are addressed by the proposed information security management framework, which is based on four strategic goals: empowering Qataris in the field of information security, enhancing information security awareness and culture, activating the Qatar National Information Assurance policy in real life, and enabling Qatar to become a regional leader in information security. The research also provides an information security awareness programme for employees and university students. At the time of writing this thesis, there are already indications that the research will have a positive impact on information security in Qatar. A significant example is that the information security awareness programme for employees has been approved for implementation at the Ministry of Administrative Development Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA) in Qatar. In addition, the recommendations proposed have been communicated to the responsible organisations in Qatar, and the author has been informed that each organisation has decided to act upon the recommendations made.