Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Analytics

United Arab Emirates: Open For Hacking?

Three-quarters of companies in UAE have no written security plan in place, study says

As many as 75 percent of enterprises in the United Arab Emirates have no policy in place for protecting sensitive data from hackers, a U.K. university study has concluded.

According to a news report, researchers at the U.K's Coventry University found that most companies in the UAE have a low awareness of computer security threats in comparison with other countries and regions.

Internet security firms have previously warned that the Emirates is becoming a popular target for cybercriminals, though the alerts have apparently fallen on mostly inattentive ears, the report says.

"The issue is not taken very seriously by the majority of companies," said Messaoud Saidani, a member of the Coventry University engineering and computing faculty and one of the report's authors. "People get on with their daily business not fully aware of the real threats around them. For a place such as the UAE, which is a business center for the region, the level of vulnerability is disturbing."

There have been 1,600 known Stuxnet infections in the UAE since the virus appeared in July, said Costin Raiu, a director at the Moscow-based computer-security firm Kaspersky Lab.

"Obviously, Stuxnet being a very serious threat, one could assume that it should be handled with high priority, although the data clearly doesn't indicate" that is being taken seriously in the UAE," Raiu said.

Kaspersky claims that 56 percent of cyberattacks within the region are directed at the UAE. Moreover, there is a high level of ignorance about the techniques used by cybercriminals, said Fadi Aloul, assistant professor of computer engineering at the American University of Sharjah.

Aloul recently devised an experiment to test student awareness of phishing techniques, according to the news report. Almost everyone who took part was duped by the ruse.

"There's a general lack of awareness here," Aloul said. "You need to educate people on the tactics used by hackers, and it's a continual process as their techniques change."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 7/1/2020
Ripple20 Threatens Increasingly Connected Medical Devices
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/30/2020
DDoS Attacks Jump 542% from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020
Dark Reading Staff 6/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The Threat from the Internet--and What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15478
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-01
The Journal theme before 3.1.0 for OpenCart allows exposure of sensitive data via SQL errors.
CVE-2020-6261
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-01
SAP Solution Manager (Trace Analysis), version 7.20, allows an attacker to perform a log injection into the trace file, due to Incomplete XML Validation. The readability of the trace file is impaired.
CVE-2020-15471
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-01
In nDPI through 3.2, the packet parsing code is vulnerable to a heap-based buffer over-read in ndpi_parse_packet_line_info in lib/ndpi_main.c.
CVE-2020-15472
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-01
In nDPI through 3.2, the H.323 dissector is vulnerable to a heap-based buffer over-read in ndpi_search_h323 in lib/protocols/h323.c, as demonstrated by a payload packet length that is too short.
CVE-2020-15473
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-01
In nDPI through 3.2, the OpenVPN dissector is vulnerable to a heap-based buffer over-read in ndpi_search_openvpn in lib/protocols/openvpn.c.