Middle East organisations take too long to deal with cyberattacks; report

FireEye's M-Trends report highlights a marked increase in financial crimes in the Middle East and Europe

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Middle East organisations take too long to deal with cyberattacks; report Stuart McKenzie: "By looking at the dropping levels of dwell time we can see that organisations are improving, but there is still much to do."
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  March 15, 2017

FireEye has revealed that attackers found in EMEA organisations' networks take a median of 3.5 months before being detected.

The M-Trends report discovered that the median dwell time is 106 days, however FireEye reveals that this is too long as experts can obtain access to domain administrator credentials within three days of gaining access to an environment.

The findings also revealed that financial motivated threat actors have reached new levels of sophistication, as in 2016 one of the most unexpected trends were attackers calling targets on the phone to help them enable macros in a phishing document or to obtain the personal email address.

According to the report the EMEA energy sector faces a high risk, with threat actors causing disruption by trying to gain proprietary information to advance the capabilities of domestic companies.

Stuart McKenzie, vice president of Mandiant at FireEye, said: "In 2016 we saw cyberattacks spread widely and publicly into areas such as elections and attackers became more sophisticated. By looking at the dropping levels of dwell time we can see that organisations are improving, but there is still much to do as attackers only need a few days to complete their objectives.

"The improvement is down to increased awareness, technical advances and investments in effective resources. Government enforced schemes like GDPR are also encouraging organisations to get their house in order. However, when compared to the rest of the world, EMEA still lags behind significantly in some areas which boardrooms across the region will have to fix quickly."

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