Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 43 - Page 16

LATEST INTELLIGENCE OVER 80% OF UAE FIRMS FACED A CYBERATTACK IN 2019: IS YOUR CYBERDEFENCE ROBUST? PRESENTED BY Download whitepaper here There is no doubt that organisations globally are facing a fast-evolving threat landscape, and the UAE is no exception. In fact, 82% of organisations in the UAE reported at least one cyberattack in 2019, a recent survey of 150 senior IT executives in the country has found. The survey, by cybersecurity company Proofpoint, also found that 51% of the organisations reported multiple incidents, with credential theft and phishing topping the list of common attack vectors. “Whether via malicious links, account compromise, or social engineering, threat actors are turning their attention to what, for many organisations, is the last line of defence,” said Adenike Cosgrove, EMEA Cybersecurity Strategist at Proofpoint. “A last line that is often ill-prepared – its people.” Despite end-users being on the frontline of cyberthreats, security knowledge and awareness is found to be lacking among the UAE’s workforce. The Proofpoint survey revealed the common employee mistakes that increase an organisation’s risk of attack including poor password hygiene (29%), mishandling of sensitive information (25%), falling victim to phishing attacks (24%) and clicking on malicious links (20%). Cyber criminals are also constantly adapting their focus. For instance, while the global workforce has shifted largely to remote working, organisations worldwide have seen their attack surfaces widen and threat actors are all too aware of this. Remote working often means you aren’t protected by the same safeguards your office has in place, often adding additional hurdles and requiring extra vigilance when it comes to checking in with colleagues or partners to verify the authenticity of requests, and these conditions have breathed new life into the cyberthreat landscape. With growing number of attacks and a distributed workforce, how can organisations ensure that their data remains secure? “The best protection for this rise in remote working is a combination of technology and people,” advised Cosgrove. “It’s vital that businesses invest in modern email security solutions to detect and block as much of these threats as possible, removing the guess work from users.” Proofpoint recommends that organisations prioritise a people-centric approach to security that protects all parties (their employees, customers, and business partners) against these threats, including layered defences at the network edge, email gateway, in the cloud and at the endpoint, along with strong user education. “A new approach is required. One that puts people at the heart of cyberdefence – ensuring employees are not just able to spot and deter attacks but are acutely aware of their role in keeping our organisations safe.” • 16 INTELLIGENTCIO