Counterfeit IT Products Put Middle East Organizations at Risk

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Cisco Joins Forces with Dubai Police Department to Clamp Down on Companies Selling Counterfeit Cisco products

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates– 12 July 2015: Cisco is actively working with local law enforcement and government agencies throughout the Middle East region to clamp down on traffickers of counterfeit Cisco products.

Counterfeiting is a challenging issue facing the IT industry, with some estimating as much as 10 percent of all high-tech products sold globally being counterfeit, according to the Alliance for Gray Market and Counterfeit Abatement, costing the industry USD 100 billion annually.

Using counterfeit Cisco branded products and pirated software can put Middle East customers’ networks at risk leaving them exposed to performance, reliability, safety and security problems that could disrupt their business.  Counterfeit products and pirated software infringe Cisco’s intellectual property rights, don’t have valid software licenses or manufacture warranties, and are ineligible for support services.

In the Middle East, Cisco works closely with its authorised channel partners – who handle more than 90 percent of Cisco sales in the region – to provide authentic Cisco products that are properly licensed and warranted. 

In addition, Cisco’s global Brand Protection team drives the company’s ongoing, proactive, and company-wide effort to protect customers against counterfeit products and software.  Cisco supports local law enforcement to hold accountable individuals and criminal enterprises that trade in illegal counterfeit products [insert any links to PR on prosecution or raids in the region].

The team has field investigators based in the Middle East and cooperates with local law enforcement and government agencies to stop counterfeit products entering the market place. In the Middle East, Cisco has conducted customs authority training in many locations including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Bahrain and Egypt.

Executive Quotes:

Lieutenant Colonel Omar Hammad Al Nuaimy, Deputy Director of Economic Crimes Department - Dubai Police
“The illegal sale of counterfeit IT goods is not just a problem faced by Cisco but a widespread problem in the Middle East IT industry. We commend Cisco for taking this issue seriously and working with us to eradicate the problem. When products are not purchased through authorized distribution and resale channels, the source and quality of those products cannot be guaranteed. Counterfeit IT products often contain inferior components and illegal software which could potentially cripple an organisation and cause untold financial loss. Whilst we understand that it is tempting to buy technology at very low prices, the potential costs that go with the risk of receiving substandard products are simply not worth it.”

Captain Khalid Khalfan, Economic Crimes Department – Dubai Police
“Counterfeiting poses a significant threat to all companies in all industries that form the basis of our global economy. Organizations that knowingly or unknowingly deploy counterfeit IT products are putting the integrity of their networks – and ultimately their entire organisation at risk. Cisco is pro-actively cooperating with governments across the Middle East who now recognise the dangers that counterfeiting brings to the IT industry and have been amongst the most active globally in stamping out these practices. Our message is clear, customers should buy only through authorized channels and customers that need a less expensive alternative to sourcing new product should consider Cisco Certified Refurbished Equipment, which is available through authorized dealers.”

Rabih Dabboussi, General Manager, Cisco UAE
“As the UAE enhances its role as a global economic and technological hub, we are seeing counterfeiters deploying increasingly sophisticated methods to get their counterfeit IT goods into the UAE. Due to inferior components and illegal software frequently found in counterfeit IT products, we are alerting organizations of all sizes and verticals in the UAE that purchasing counterfeit IT goods could cause an increased risk of cybersecurity threats. These threats could bring business to a halt, potentially endanger the wider industry, and even cripple citywide or national infrastructure. We are dedicated to working with government authorities, including the police, to help in eradicating counterfeit IT products in the UAE and in securing the country’s network infrastructure.


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