E-waste environmental and information security threat: GCC countries vulnerabilities

  • Jaafar AlghazoEmail author
  • Omar K. M. Ouda
  • Ammar El Hassan
Original Paper


The tremendous economic development in the GCC region over the past four decades has brought about unprecedented population and urbanization growth with a significant rise in standards of living. The effects of this growth include substantial increases in E-waste production. Compounded with the a recent spike in targeted cyber-attacks on oil and financial facilities in GCC countries, the motivation to mitigate as many of these attacks is paramount and yet, a little attention is paid to the amount of valuable data saved on stored on discarded electronic components (E-waste). This article reviews the current E-waste management practices in GCC countries including E-waste generated volume, disposal and reuse/recycle practices; forecasts E-waste production up to the year 2040, and discusses the long-term potential economic, security and environmental impact of E-waste in the GCC region. Furthermore, the article discusses the different security vulnerabilities that exist in e-waste and recommends actions relating to privacy and security of sensitive data stored on E-waste drives through closely monitored and controlled recycling procedures. The analysis shows that the total E-waste production will reach between 947 and 1090 thousand tons by 2040. The study findings highlight the need for a comprehensive review of the current E-waste management regulations in the GCC region to cope with the potential security and environmental challenges and highlight the economic potentials inherent in E-waste.


E-waste GCC countries Forecast Information security Environmental and economic impacts 



The authors would like to acknowledge and thank the editor of Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration and reviewers for their great feedback and comments throughout the peer review process.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

Supplementary material

41207_2018_50_MOESM1_ESM.docx (27 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 27 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaafar Alghazo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Omar K. M. Ouda
    • 2
  • Ammar El Hassan
    • 1
  1. 1.Center of King Salman Endowed Chair of Information Security, College of Computer Engineering and SciencePrince Mohammed Bin Fahd UniversityAlkhobarSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.College of EngineeringPrince Mohammed Bin Fahd UniversityAlkhobarSaudi Arabia

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