UAE SMEs face biggest online security challenge yet, says AnchorFree
- United Arab Emirates: Monday, October 22 - 2012 at 12:28
- PRESS RELEASE
AnchorFree, a global specialist in online privacy and internet freedom, has highlighted the need for the UAE's booming small and medium sized enterprise (SME) sector to safeguard against cyber-attacks.
"SMEs are vital to the UAE's future development and they need to be as nimble and flexible as possible, not only to stay ahead of the competition, but also compete with large companies with more resources," said David Gorodyansky, CEO, AnchorFree.
"To suddenly be hamstrung by malware, phishing or SPAM could spell disaster in terms of down-time and lost data. It is critical that business peopleare safeguarded at all times - irrespective of whether they are in the office or logging on to a hotel's WiFi hotspot on the road," he added.
The recently published Internet Security Threat Report notes that 18% of all targeted cyber-attacks are directed at businesses with 250 or fewer employees. More than 60% of these affected companies close within six months of the attack.
Although many companies use anti-virus software on their computers, most ignore the potential threats that emerge during unprotected internet usage. The potential playing field for would-be cyber-attackers is more extensive than ever in the region, with IT spend among SMEs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) set to rise from last year's outlay of $16.73bn to $24.48bn by 2015, according to IT market intelligence specialists IDC.Although many companies use anti-virus software on their computers, most ignore a different set of potential threats that emerge during unprotected internet usage, particularly in public Wi-Fi hotspots.
The UAE currently accommodates around 200,000 SMEs, with the UAE Ministry of Economy recently revealing that their contribution to the country's GDP in 2011 stood at 60%.
Gorodyansky continues, "SMEs are an influential catalyst for the region's economic growth and diversification, but they cannot evolve and innovate to world-class standards without being as IT-empowered as possible. From general online browsing to shared content via the cloud, SMEs should be free to do business anywhere, anytime, without having to worry about hackers or identity thieves disrupting their operations."
AnchorFree, which has ambitious expansion plans in the MENA, is gaining increasing traction from SMEs and consumers in the region for its Hotspot Shield VPN (virtual private network), which encrypts every accessed web page and provides a secure, private tunnel, preventing hackers from preying on users of public WiFi connections. The software also protects them from more than 3.5 million malware, phishing and SPAM sites.Hotspot Shield comes in two versions: a free service which is supported through advertising and a subscription service without ads. The software has been downloaded by more than 75 million people from 190 countries worldwide.
Available on Apple iOS, and Android devices, in addition to desktop PCs and Macs, Hotspot Shield also compresses data during mobile phone use to speed up the browsing experience and more than double the amount of Web content users can access under their mobile data plans.
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