Cyber-Attacks on the Rise in the Middle East

Cyber-Attacks on the Rise in the Middle East

According to the Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report, Middle East businesses have been confronted by a growing number of cyber-attacks, reaching their highest-ever numbers last year.

“Organizations across the Middle East and Africa must realize that it is no longer if they will be targeted by cyber-attacks, but rather when,” said Dr. Tarig Enaya, Managing Director of Cisco Saudi Arabia. “Chief Information Security Officers face growing pressure to protect terabytes of data on an increasingly porous network, manage information safely especially on the cloud, and evaluate the risks of working with third-party vendors for specialized solutions – all in the wake of shrinking budgets and leaner IT teams.”

Total global threat alerts rose by 14 percent from 2012 to 2013, says the report. In a sample of 30 of the largest Fortune 500 companies in the world, traffic was generated to websites that host malware. The Middle East’s energy, oil and gas sector especially saw a significant rise in malware attacks.

The Cisco Report also pointed out a growing number of problems in other areas as well. One troubling trend is Android mobile devices being the targets of 99 percent of all mobile malware, Java being the most used programming language. Multipurpose Trojans were the most common Web-delivered malware.

In addition there is a worldwide shortage of over 1 million computer security professionals around the world. The report states that most organizations simply do not have the resources, be it people or systems, to constantly monitor extended networks or detect infiltrations and apply protections quickly.