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cyber attacks middle east

A survey of Bahrain’s information technology (IT) experts have revealed fears that the GCC is highly vulnerable to attacks by cyber criminals.

Conducted by IT solutions provider Gulf Business Machines (GBM), the research was aimed at uncovering online security threats in the GCC region. About 71 percent of the surveyed professionals in Bahrain believed that the GCC has become more vulnerable to cyber attacks with the growth of social media usage within companies.

It was estimated that 33 percent of cyber crimes were staff-related, while more than one-fourth of the respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the frequency of regular proactive screenings to ensure the security of IT infrastructure and critical data. However, 61 percent of the polled experts remained confident that the number of successful attacks would drop over the next year.

The growing use of social media within organizations shows the evolving nature of practices related to the IT industry. As businesses try to catch up with the developments in social media scene, they also need to make efforts to create greater awareness of safe usage by employees and enforce strict security policies. The survey also revealed pointed out that unlike the US and Europe, most cyber attacks in the region only involved hacking rather than a serious cyber crime.

Abdulla Ishaq; “Despite the fact that companies are becoming more aware of IT security issues, they are still not taking enough action against potential cyber attacks. A third of the companies polled spend up to 10pc of their IT budget on security. We are expecting to see this number increase in the future.” — Abdulla Ishaq, Bahrain Business Machines (BBM) general manager

As businesses become evermore conscious of the potency of cyber threats, they are more likely to focus on conducting regular security assessments and adopting a comprehensive risk management approach. By improving their awareness about the changing nature of security threats, organizations are expected to develop closer ties with cyber security professionals and keep up with the emerging trends in cyber crimes.

“Security is an expensive initiative and requires periodic investments from the organisation.” — Abdulla Ishaq

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