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Increased need for security of finances, experts caution

Rohma Sadaqat /Dubai
rohma@khaleejtimes.com Filed on March 2, 2021
Overall, cybercrime is predicted to inflict damages totalling $6 trillion globally in 2021 and cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, according to Cybersecurity Ventures

Experts said that a dramatic increase in the volume and success of phishing, business e-mail compromise and other types of cyberattacks, requires organisations to re-evaluate their security controls and processes

There is an increased need for organisations to implement greater security solutions, when it comes to managing their finances, cybersecurity experts have cautioned.

According to a recent survey by ESET, a global cybersecurity firm, 81 per cent of senior managers agree that Covid-19 has increased the need for improved security of finances.

The research also revealed that 42 per cent of business leaders believe that cybercrime and a coronavirus lockdown are equal threats to the security of their business’s finances. Companies with over 1,000 employees were more likely to believe cybercrime to be a bigger threat, whereas businesses with less than 50 employees saw the impact of coronavirus lockdowns as a larger threat. The results reflect the toll that Covid-19 has had on small businesses, which have fewer resources to help them deal with the current situation.

ESET’s data also showed that 68 per cent of business leaders expect their company’s investment in financial technology (FinTech) to increase in 2021/2022. In terms of business focus post-pandemic, 32 per cent of businesses said that securing data will be their biggest financial technology priority, followed closely by improving efficiency. Business leaders were also asked about the specific technologies that could help to secure finances post-Covid-19. The most popular answers were payment/credit card fraud detection and identify theft monitoring.

“A dramatic increase in the volume and success of phishing, business e-mail compromise and other types of cyberattacks, requires organisations to re-evaluate their security controls and processes. The average enterprise organisation has 75 security solutions in its ecosystem, which is difficult to manage efficiently if not integrated,” said Jules Martin, vice president, Ecosystem & Alliances at Mimecast.

“To stay ahead of today’s advanced threats, organisations must have a comprehensive view into their security environments as well as the ability to detect, respond to, and remediate incidents faster and more efficiently,” added Lee Weiner, chief innovation officer at Rapid7.

Experts have noted that phishing and online scams are one of the most common and dangerous Internet threats facing individuals and organisations today. Phishing is a type of attack carried out to extract personal information such as usernames, passwords, credit card information, and other sensitive data from victims to hack into their accounts and steal their funds or resources, or cause disruption and reputational harm.

The global banking industry continues to face a growing number of cybercrimes in terms of both frequency and sophistication, with the average annualised cost of cybercrime for financial services companies increasing to $18.5 million in 2019. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, overall, cybercrime is predicted to inflict damages totalling $6 trillion globally in 2021 and cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. In 2020, various agencies in the UAE cautioned the community and members of the public about an increase in the online scams since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Cisco, one of the most prominent trends of 2020 was the widespread adoption of new tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) related to the deployment of ransomware on corporate networks. Rather than simply activating ransomware on the first successfully compromised system, adversaries are now leveraging systems as an initial access point into the network. They then move laterally throughout the network, gaining access to additional systems and escalating privileges. Ransomware can be activated on all of these systems simultaneously, maximizing the damage inflicted on the organization. This approach to the attack lifecycle has become known as ‘big-game hunting’ and has gained popularity, with many adversaries actively targeting backup systems, domain controllers, and other business-critical servers during the post-compromise phase of their attacks.

“The past year has presented enterprises with a number of new challenges, as they circumnavigated the complex threat landscape in an increasingly digital world. This year, CISOs and IT teams must ensure to implement next-generation firewall measures, advanced malware protection and secure network analytics to know who is connected to the network and for what purpose,” said Fady Younes, Cybersecurity director, Middle East and Africa, Cisco.

rohma@khaleejtimes.com

author

Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.





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