With Dubai Expo 2020 and the shift towards digitalisation, businesses in the Middle East must upskill and train all staff to ensure cyber resilience
With the rise of digitalisation in the Middle East, many new revenue opportunities have emerged, benefiting all communities and industries in the region. However, just like every coin, cybersecurity has two faces, the thriving economies are not the only consequence of the growing digitalisation.
This boost in the Middle East’s economic conditions coupled with the steep increase in the number of internet users has attracted the attention of cybercriminals. This has further led to a spike in the rate of cybercrimes in the region.
In the wake of the Dubai 2020 Expo, the Middle East is determined to set a precedent to the rest of the world to demonstrate how smart cities and advancing technology can and will be used in the future. With new technology comes training and upskilling however, companies in the Middle East need to ensure maximised knowledge in this area.
Many organisations and government entities in the region have realised the need to upskill their workforce to create a cyber-aware culture and invariably a ‘human firewall’ to complement their investment in technology and process. The ongoing Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which coincides with the opening of the Dubai Expo has received high publicity with a plethora of cyber awareness campaigns than previous years, which indicates an improvement in this area and should be sustained into the following months. The impact of a cyber-aware culture towards safer cyberspace is not farfetched. For example, the State of Kuwait’s 2017 to 2020 National Cyber Security Strategy, which has the first of its three objectives focused on promoting a cyber-aware culture, contributed to the reduction in cyberattacks in the country in 2021 by 49%, as reported by the Check Point Research (CPR).
As per a study conducted by the Ponemon Institute, $6.53 million is the average loss per organisation in the Middle East due to a data breach incident, as compared to a much lower global average incident loss of $3.86 million. According to a report from Middle East Business, more than 2.57 million phishing attacks were detected across the Middle East in a year. The UAE is the world’s second-most targeted country for cybercrime, costing it an estimated $1.4 billion per year.
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