Many Middle East Businesses Not Cyber-Protected

Middle East-based companies are not adequately protected from cyber-attacks

A new report released by the anti-virus software company Symantec and the research firm Deloitte shows that many small to mid-size companies in the Middle East do not have adequate protection against internet attacks. The report affirms that only about 30 percent of Middle East-based companies have the necessary protection which would protect them from cyber-threats.

Despite the fact that most hackers go after large corporations and banks, there have been a number of studies which show that even smaller businesses are vulnerable to attack. One such report released by Kaspersky pointed out that up to $1 billion has been stolen from as many as 100 financial services companies globally in the past two years.

The study also found that about 70 percent of information technicians do not have complete faith in their own company’s cyber-security policies. This data shows that businesses are underestimating their risk level for attacks from cyber-criminals.

Even the simplest precautions are not deemed necessary by at least 41 percent of firms, including the basic step of installing security software into their computer networks.

“Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network has identified a 91 per cent increase in targeted attacks and a 62 per cent increase in data breaches in 2013 over the previous year. Cyber criminals have stepped up their game in the past year, and businesses have not kept pace.

“This latest survey demonstrates there is still a huge gap in security intelligence and understanding by IT managers on how to combat malware and cyber-attacks. senior management needs to be more engaged and develop a strategic security approach to prevent the organization from being exposed with a potential for significant loss,” said Bulent Teksoz, Technical Alliance Manager, Symantec.