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Security expert warns firms of rising threats

Attacks such as cyber-extortion are a real threat to Middle East businesses, one of the region’s most senior security experts warned this week.

Attacks such as cyber-extortion are a real threat to Middle East businesses, one of the region’s most senior security experts warned this week.

Abdulrahman Al-Shenaifi, senior advisor on information technology and security at Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior, told delegates at a security conference in Abu Dhabi that organisations need to be more aware of global trends to prevent themselves falling victim to such attacks.

In particular, the growing emphasis on providing goods and services online needs to be counterbalanced with a stronger security strategy, he warned.

“The more you commit yourself to a network, the more you are under stress,” Al-Shenaifi said.

For instance, Al-Shenaifi said that banks here in the region were increasingly coming under attack from cyber-criminals. “They used to rob banks with machine guns, now they use code,” he said.

To counter such threats, firms here in the Middle East have to increase their investment in security, he claimed.

Al-Shenaifi was speaking at the IT Weekly Complete Enterprise Solution Roadshow, held in Abu Dhabi and Qatar this week. The roadshow will also stop in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt.

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