DIGITAL LANDSCAPE OR DIGITAL RISKSCAPE?

Security Advisor Middle East|January 2020

DIGITAL LANDSCAPE OR DIGITAL RISKSCAPE?
ANDREAS REX, SHOW DIRECTOR, INTERSEC, DISCUSSES THE RISING MALWARE ATTACKS IN THE UAE AND EXPLAINS WHY THIS YEAR’S INTERSEC IS A MUST-ATTEND FOR INFORMATION SECURITY LEADERS.

As businesses rush to embrace digital transformation in the Industry 4.0 era, recent research by international cybersecurity experts shows that while cyberspace can deliver superior efficiency and productivity benefits, it can also put businesses at severe risk.

Research from Kaspersky points to a rise in malware attacks throughout the Middle East. In the UAE alone, the research states that attacks shot up by 12 percent in Q1 of this year compared to the first three months of last year.

The statistics are mindboggling. Over Q1 this year, some 23.4 million malware threats were reported in the UAE and 1.1 million phish attacks – that’s an average of over 12,000 threats every day!

And, in an era of the modern workplace when mobility is essential, comes an equally disturbing factor – mobile users are apparently proving even more vulnerable. Some 52,607 mobile malware attacks in the UAE spiked by 20 percent year-on-year.

Experts put the rising trend down to a culmination of factors, among them inappropriate use of employer’s IT property and unsecured sharing of company data via personal mobile devices. Analysts warn that malicious or criminal attacks are behind 61 percent of data-breaches in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

What the research points out is that threats don’t just come from outside an organisation, they can be instigated by those inside and it delivers a stark wakeup call to companies that security within, will lessen the threat from the outside.

Cybersecurity experts are now unanimous in advising companies to design 360 degree inside-out, outside-in cybersecurity plans as part of their sales and growth strategies – because both can be stopped in their tracks by one successful cyber-attack.

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January 2020