This year’s PCI Abu Dhabi conference, held on November the 23rd 2011 at the Beach Rotana Hotel, once again welcomed Ground Labs to present on our knowledge of experiences in Cardholder Data Discovery thanks to the team at AKJ Associates. Acting as a strategic sponsor, we were able to experience the most comprehensive event in the Middle East on PCI DSS compliance.

The exclusive community brought together an audience of over 100 representatives from banks, merchants and card schemes, including PCI project managers, security, risk, fraud, and audit professionals, offering the opportunity to hear from the markets leading service suppliers about solutions that can be deployed to achieve compliance, as well as merchant perspectives on the issues they have encountered when working with vendors and QSAs.

The event was very well attended by senior security professionals from across the Middle East including Bharat Raigangar, Country Head, Security and Risk, Royal Bank of Scotland, who gave a fantastic keynote presentation on effective enterprise fraud management. Plenary sessions and education seminars focused largely on compliance management and security, including technical guidance, case studies, and examples of the best practice that can be deployed to protect sensitive data, improve business processes and meet compliance requirements.

In attendance at the event was Ground Labs’ Middle Eastern partner, Paladion Networks, who already provide QSA and IT security management services to many of the financial institutions in attendance. Their PCI DSS Service Specialist and Senior Consultant presented on understanding how to prioritize and plan remediation activities and the effective utilization of compensating controls. Other vendors in attendance included Foregenix, Fortinet, SafeNet, Sourcefire, Nettitude, Safelight and ISACA.

Ground Labs was also involved in these plenary sessions, with Mohamed Zouine presenting on eliminating the ‘unknown unknowns’ on the path to securing cardholder data. This concentrated on the threat of data breaching, avoiding the common mistakes made by organisations after finally achieving compliance, as well as having the right attitude towards PCI DSS compliance.

There were a number of great questions from the audience throughout the presentation, leading to some discussion highlighting the fact that cardholder data can be found just about anywhere and only through cardholder data discovery can such instances of PCI non-compliance be accurately identified and resolved in a timely manner. We have also been asked by a number of attendees for the script of the presentation given at this event which is available through contacting

Compared with previous PCI events that Ground Labs has attended, it is interesting to see this year, how the market is both progressively and positively growing towards PCI DSS compliance. Each year, more and more companies are attending these types of events, and Ground Labs thrives in the endless opportunities to present and educate such companies on why PCI compliance is so important in the ever changing environment of Cardholder Data.

All in all, a fantastic day of glorious sunshine, riveting company, and not forgetting, invaluable experience and advice from some of the world’s leading PCI project professionals. Our thanks once again to AKJ Associates for organizing this unforgettable event which we were privileged to attend.


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