Cyber Criminals TopTarget – UAE

UAE Internet Safety

Computer crime problems are increasing and they have plagued the UAE. A security survey by KPMG Global Network, which is an international advisory company that provides different services in lower UAE, reveals that in the last 12 months nearly a third of the UAE businesses reported cyber security breaches. The most shocking revelation is that half of the UAE businesses had no idea that they are victims of cyber-attacks. Surprisingly, only fifty of the survey respondents had cyber-attacks contingency plans in place for their businesses.

According to Nitin Khanapurkar (a partner at KPMG Lower Gulf), the UAE is among cyber criminals top 10 most targeted destination; as a result, cyber threats have increased significantly across different key sectors, including healthcare, construction, retail, government, technology, oil & gas and financial services. The primary goal of the cyber security survey conducted by KPMG was to evaluate the businesses’ level of preparedness when faced with cyber security threats.

The outcomes were very irrefutable, providing good insights regarding the poor cyber security defenses in the UAE. According to the survey results, most of the boards in the UAE have incomprehensive view of the cyber risks they face because of inconsistence implementation of their threat intelligence and cyber monitoring techniques. The results also revealed that the UAE businesses need to completely understand their individual threat profiles, especially who, where and why their organizations are the desired target.

According to a report by a prominent research and business development organization (Cybersecurity Ventures), by the year 2019 the cyber security market of Africa and Middle East Region is anticipated to increase to $13.43 billion. In the next 5 years, this will cover a projected compound yearly growth rate of 13.7%. On the other hand, a Dubai based IT Consultancy (Condo Protego), strongly advised businesses tocounter emerging cyber threats with newer as well as more advanced technologies.

According to Symantec findings as reported in the 2015 Internet Security Threat Report, in 2015 UAE experienced highly targeted spear-phishing attacks. This is regardless of the 14 percent decrease in malicious emails and 20 percent fewer targets. 400% increase of cyber-attacks was recorded during 2014 in the UAE alone; where the average response time increased enormously from five days to fifty nine days. These findings are decisive and a proof that businesses in the UAE face increasing cyber security threats.

A 2015 Cyber Security Report by Symantec revealed that 5 out of 6 corporate firms were victims of attacks by sophisticated hackers in the year 2014 across the globe, which corresponds to a 40% increase from the year 2013.This is a clear indication that cybercriminals will continue to circumvent detection by using advanced technologies. Businesses in the UAE are urged by Cyber security Experts to review their cyber security plans and implement better and more advanced teams of experts, tools and techniques to counter the sophisticated and ever increasing cyber threats.

As the threats have grown in sophistication, efforts to address the risks of cyberspace and organizations’ efforts should evolve as well. Every user should use at least most common cyber security tools like Firewall, antimalware and encrypted VPN connection.