Overall, it is not clear what the local share of the global cybersecurity market – estimated by Gardner at $81 billion in 2016 – is or might be. Estimates and anecdotal evidence suggest, however, that the local market is still small. Salah Rustum, president of local firm Commercial & Industrial Enterprises of Lebanon (CIEL) and a veteran in the data protection business here as partner with electronic signatures authentication services company GlobalSign, estimates the market at currently “around $10 million” when queried by Executive. Other decision makers in Lebanese cybersecurity consultancies and network operating companies say they prefer not to make any estimate about the current size of the cybersecurity market, citing the known dearth of reliable statistics in the country. Beirut-based cybersecurity stakeholders also have only vague estimates on the number of qualified competitors that they face in the Lebanese market or on the number of highly skilled analysts with the required expertise to staff a Security Operations Center (SOC) – not currently existing in the country – as top-level forensic experts. General agreement, however, among stakeholders is that this specialist subsector of the information technology (IT) industry is set for substantive growth – at least double-digit year-on-year – over the coming years and that the biggest challenge is not to find new customers but to obtain qualified engineers that either already have or can obtain cybersecurity skills.