Digital Landscape or Digital Riskcape? Malware attacks rise in the UAE

andreas rex mid resAs 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 Lab points to a rise in malware attacks throughout the Middle East. In the UAE alone, the research states that attacks shot up by 12 per cent in Q1 of this year compared to the first three months of last year.

The statistics are mindboggling. More than Q1 this year, some 23.4mn malware threats were reported in the UAE and 1.1mn phish attacks – that’s an average of more than 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 per cent y-o-y.

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 per cent 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 wake-up call to companies that security within, will lessen the threat from the outside.

Cybersecurity experts are now unanimous in advising companies to design 360° 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.

Ways of ring-fencing against the threat are to come under the spotlight at the Intersec Future Security Summit, which will run alongside the 22nd edition of Intersec at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 19-21 January 2020. This is when industry experts will analyse critical security threats, examine security loopholes in business ecosystems and discuss how cutting-edge technologies can be tailored to meet evolving security requirements.

In addition to the Future Security Summit, the Intersec Arena will also have a cybersecurity track, while Intersec’s Information Security section has around 100 exhibitors showcasing the full gamut of cybersecurity, from AI, Big Data, cloud, machine learning, back-up and recovery systems, software protection, and biometric identification systems.

Without pre-empting the summit, the likelihood is that the experts will be uncompromising in their messaging that the threats are not going away and the solution is to swiftly utilise the latest security technology to guard against them. The risks are too great and their impact too severe, not to sit up and listen.

More information is available at www.intersecexpo.com

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