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Wed 2 May 2018 02:13 PM

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Over 40% of Gulf firms admit to cyber breach

New survey reveals breach reported at 41% of companies in past year compared to 28% in previous year

Over 40% of Gulf firms admit to cyber breach

Up to 41 percent of Gulf-based enterprises admitted to being breached by cyber attacks at least once in the last 12 months, according to a new study.

This compared to just 28 percent in 2016 while only 31 percent of regional organisations said they were concerned about detection and response to attacks, according to findings of the 7th edition of its annual cybersecurity study by Gulf Business Machines (GBM).

This year’s survey focused on cybersecurity in the business environment, and revealed how regional companies are implementing their cybersecurity strategy, state news agency WAM reported.

It also showed that 62 percent of respondents stated that they were likely to utilise artificial intelligence (AI) for securing their organisations.

Hani Nofal, vice president of Intelligent Network Solutions, Security and Mobility at GBM, said: "We have seen a large number of high-profile cyber-attacks this past year and this is a trend that isn’t looking to slow down.

"Despite the constant stream of security updates and patches, attacks are growing increasingly common. In today’s context, it is crucial for organisations to understand that preparation against a security breach should not be purely focused on preventative tactics, but rather it is important to invest in resources that aid in detection and response. This will test the resilience of an organization’s security against breaches," he added.

The survey also revealed that up to 79 percent of respondents believed their company currently has an effective security strategy program in place. The majority of respondents also reported their company had not experienced a security incident in the last 12 months.

However, it indicated that 32 percent of Gulf organisations do not have a security operations centre and that there could be an intrusion within their system that they are unaware of.

A significant issue highlighted was the risk around the operating technology, with 31 percent of Gulf organisations experiencing attacks to their OT environments.

"Security is a shared responsibility, not just within companies but across the region and worldwide. There is a pressing need for organisations to share their experiences, good and bad, in order to help others prepare better in this constant race. Together, the battle against adversaries would be considerably easier," said Nofal.

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