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Thu 18 Apr 2019 02:14 PM

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UAE expert says cybercrime is $8trn threat to global economy

Dr Karim Sabbagh, CEO of DarkMatter Group, outlines vulnerabilities of UAE websites as cyber attacks increase

UAE expert says cybercrime is $8trn threat to global economy
Cybercrime is projected to cost $8 trillion to businesses globally in the next five years.

Cybercrime is projected to cost $8 trillion to businesses globally in the next five years, according to UAE-based cyber security firm DarkMatter which is responsible for protecting the IT infrastructure and technologies of Dubai Expo 2020.

Dr Karim Sabbagh, CEO of DarkMatter Group, told a regional internal audit conference in Abu Dhabi on Thursday that irreparable reputational damages are on the rise with the escalating regulations increasingly penalising failures to tackle cybercrime.

Quoting a report by his company, he said the threat landscape is becoming increasingly complex and hyper connected as more and more data and services becomes reachable through the internet.

Referring to a survey of 136,000 UAE websites, he said it identified 276,055 vulnerabilities with 93 percent using outdated software, the most common of the vulnerabilities.
Over 83 percent had unsupported software while 77 percent had weak credentials. Information leak represented 40 percent of vulnerabilities and exposures to outdated software, he told the audience.

Abdulqader Obaid Ali, chairman, UAE Internal Auditors Association, said cyber security has become paramount for both the government and private sector organisations given the fact that information has now become an important asset for everyone and needs to be protected.

“The pace and variety of technology has remained in an upward mode. This calls for greater focus of our attention to ensure the organisations remain safe from the cyber attacks which is said to be two billion a day,” he said.

Sabbagh said data theft and frauds were found to be among the biggest worries for organisations across the world, with cyber attacks ranked third on the list in 2018 and 2019.

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