On the 29th of November Ground Labs attended the PCI Middle East conference held at the Armed Forces Officers Club in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi is a city undergoing major development and modernisation

Prior to attending this conference we had heard from various sources that PCI Compliance is becoming a hot topic throughout the Middle East region with the local financial institutions now placing increased pressure on local organisations to achieve compliance. As a result it was unanimously agreed within Ground Labs to attend this conference and meet many of the major compliance stakeholders within various Middle East organisations. The conference also offered an opportunity to establish a better understanding on how Ground Labs cardholder data discovery capabilities could help QSAs and solution vendors service the local market. As a sideline activity, our team also took the unique opportunity to explore a city that is undergoing massive transformation and modernisation.

Our team travelled for 14.5hrs on a direct flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi on Etihad Airways. Etihad should be complimented on the customer experience offered. Their planes are modern, well equipped and offer personal on-demand entertainment systems with the largest touch screen (10.4″) of any airline we have seen to date.

Co-incidently we met the PCI Compliance team within Etihad Airways whilst at the PCI Middle East conference along with numerous other airlines, banks, insurers and other large conglomerates operating in the region.

The armed forces officers club where PCI Middle East was held

The conference was co-run with the eCrime Congress Middle East event resulting in a large gathering of delegates from various security backgrounds including military and government agencies from across the world.

Topics covered within the PCI realm of the conference included Compliance ROI, Sustainable Compliance, E2E Encryption and common misconceptions with PCI compliance.

Ground Labs offered a presentation on cardholder data storage security issues that can be identified and resolved by performing cardholder data discovery. The presentation went on to explain common user habits that create security issues for cardholder data within most organisations. The topic was well received and many interesting discussions were had with delegates afterwards regarding their own experiences with staff mishaps and cardholder data.

Outside at the back of Ferrari World – the structure was the size of many football fields

Whilst in Abu Dhabi our team also took the opportunity to visit Abu Dhabi’s latest attraction being Ferrari World. This theme park is almost entirely indoors with the exception of the Rollercoaster which extends to outside the main structure.

The theme park is incredibly large and could be seen from 5km’s away when driving towards it. From the sky it would also be visible as there is a large Ferrari Logo painted on the main structure’s roof.

Ferrari World Roller Coaster – Formula Rossa

Ferrari World boasts the fastest Roller Coaster in the world with a top speed of 240km/h. It was certainly impressive to watch it around the track. Unfortunately due to a tight schedule with the PCI conference our team had limited time to visit Ferrari World and had to settle with taking photos on this occasion.

Ground Labs will be visiting the Middle East again in May 2011 as part of it’s planned sponsorship of PCI Middle East in Dubai to be held at Al Murooj Rotana Hotel.

Want to keep up with all our blog posts? Subscribe to our newsletter!