TECHNOLOGY

Cyber security attacks must be top priority for firms in Gulf

From left: Albert Rodrigues, Managing Director, Millennium Insurance Brokers, Shabnam Karim, Senior Associate for Clyde & Co, Dubai, Fareed Lutfi, Secretary-General, Emirates Insurance Association, and Gary Hibberd, Managing Director, AGENCI, UK. (Supplied photo)

Cyber security risks should be one of the top of priorities for companies in the UAE and the Gulf, experts advised at a seminar in Dubai.

Dubai-based Millennium Insurance Brokers, one of the leading Insurance Advisory and Broking firms, organized the seminar on ‘Cyber Risks and Security’ on November 10, 2016, , in association with prominent law firm Clyde & Co.

“Many of the top organizations and companies in the UAE that attended this seminar, expressed concern about the increasing frequency and gravity of attacks. They need to be on their toes when it comes to protecting their data, as it can have massive cost implications,” said Albert Rodrigues, Managing Director, Millennium Insurance Brokers.

The seminar was presented by one of Europe’s leading Cyber experts Gary Hibberd, Managing Director, AGENCI, United Kingdom, and by a legal expert in Cyber risks,  and Shabnam Karim, Senior Associate for Clyde & Co, Dubai office.

Hibberd, presented an overview of the evolution of the cyber era, the information overload and the arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT) with the prospect of 40 billion internet-enabled devices by 2020.

Proliferation of data

With the proliferation of data as well as rise of cyber crime, with one million new forms of malware created every day, to expect the IT Department alone to tackle this threat is a futile exercise, he said.

“We need to see cyber crime as a business risk and cyber security is not an IT problem or a technology issue any more.”

Each user, and especially the younger generation, will have to be educated. “Ninety-five per cent of cyber crime is triggered by a user clicking on a malicious link,” said Hibberd.

The concluding session by Shabnam Karim, looked at the rise in cyber incidents targeting corporates globally and in the Middle East.

Sectors at risk

Mentioning specific incidents involving global companies like Sony Entertainment, Yahoo and Tesco as well as some big regional entities, such as Bank Muscat, she pointed out that these breaches can lead to business chaos and interruption, damage to corporate reputation, third party claims and significant cost of rectification and repair.

According to Karim, industries and sectors at high risk are: financial services and also healthcare, education and telecoms companies which are entities that hold a high volume of customer data, SMEs and public sector companies.

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Last Update: Monday, 14 November 2016 KSA 13:41 - GMT 10:41
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Cyber security attacks must be top priority for firms in Gulf
Ninety-five per cent of cyber crime triggered by a user clicking on a malicious link, says UK expert
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