Home / / ACN survey: 36% of GCC orgs see cyber losses

ACN survey: 36% of GCC orgs see cyber losses

Arabian Computer News IT Security Survey publishes results, reveals grim picture

Cyber incidents caused system downtime or loss of productivity for 21% of respondents, while 15% experienced loss of data.
Cyber incidents caused system downtime or loss of productivity for 21% of respondents, while 15% experienced loss of data.

More than a third of GCC-based companies have experienced loss or damage as the result of cyber attacks, according to the findings of Arabian Computer News' IT Security Survey 2014.

The survey, conducted online between March and April this year, revealed that 36% of Gulf organisations had encountered some kind of loss or damage over the previous year, with 10% reporting multiple losses.

Cyber incidents caused system downtime or loss of productivity for 21% of respondents, while 15% experienced loss of data.

To a lesser extent, financial loss (5%); loss of reputation (3%); loss of customers (2%); and loss of physical assets (2%) were also cited.

Paul Wright is manager of the professional services and investigation team, Middle East, India and Africa at AccessData and a former UK law enforcement professional. Wright spent the last 10 years of his detective career specialising in Internet, network and computer investigations.

"According to the PwC Annual Economic Crime Report 2014, the future trend is alarming, as more than 38% of respondents in the Middle East indicated that they expect their organisations to suffer from economic crime over the next 24 months," he warned.

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Megha Kumar, research manager, Software, International Data Corporation (IDC) was surprised that the financial impact of cyber incidents in the region had not been higher.

"It is interesting that companies have encountered spam, spyware and phishing in the last 12 months and [yet] the majority claims not to have been impacted in either a [financial] loss or productivity," she said.

Nicolai Solling, director of technology services at Help AG agreed and said: "[When it comes to loss and damage] I would argue that the numbers are much higher than actually reported."

Ravi Patil, technical director, Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa, Trend Micro, suggested that the key to mitigation was user education.

"Although most companies do implement latest protection technologies to combat malware and spam emails, the survey shows a small percentage of organisations have suffered some kind of damage due to malware infection," he said.

"Security can never be 100% but, by using a co-ordinated approach of using the latest security technologies and with continuous user education the damage can be kept to a minimum."

The survey asked about much more than financial loss. You can read the full details in the May 2014 edition of Arabian Computer News, available now.