Cyber-criminals still eyeing GCC victims
The rapid pace of digitisation among GCC countries naturally brings with it growing exposure to risks and vulnerabilities of cyberattacks.
Dubai - Ransomware remains a widespread threat in UAE
Countries across the GCC continue to be a prime target for cyber-criminals, with the UAE and Kuwait being amongst the most vulnerable, a new report by Trend Micro has found.
Ransomware remains a widespread threat in the UAE with the country accounting for 2.4 million of the 1.7 billion ransomware attacks detected globally in the first quarter of 2018.
The same trend was also observed in Kuwait, where 1.9 million of the worldwide threats were detected, while Bahrain and Oman accounted for 1.2 million and 534,806 respectively of the total ransomware in the same period.
The report further noted that the rapid pace of digitisation among GCC countries naturally brings with it growing exposure to risks and vulnerabilities of cyberattacks, and Trend Micro cautions that data breaches and cybercrimes have the potential to derail the progress of several modernisation initiatives.
"As GCC economies shift to digital, securing the cyberspace becomes all the more paramount as there is an increasing risk of calculated and premeditated cyberattacks," said Cherif Djerboua, regional tech leader at Trend Micro Amea.
"What we are witnessing now in the Gulf is a long-term transformation and stakeholders ought to regard security as a key infrastructure necessary for a smart city to thrive. Device penetration, interconnectivity, massive data - all of these have started to proliferate and more so in the near future."
He added: "Governments and businesses should continue to strengthen their cybersecurity capabilities in order to truly evolve and realise the desired outcomes of these initiatives."
The report also showed a spike in the number of malwares detected in the first quarter of the year, with the UAE recording a total of 1.6 million malwares. Another worrying concern was the increasing number of malicious URL victims.
The UAE registered close to a million with 988,264 URL victims. This is followed by Kuwait with 224,916.