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Cybersecurity firm reports detecting a total of 5.5 million malware attacks in GCC in 2019

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global cybersecurity solutions firm, today released its 2019 security roundup report.

Overall, Trend Micro discovered a 10% increase in ransomware detections, despite a 57% decrease in the number of new ransomware families In the GCC, malware attacks were one of the biggest cyber threats “Despite the prevalent ideals of digital transformation, lack of basic security hygiene, legacy systems with outdated operating systems and unpatched vulnerabilities are still a reality,” - Dr Moataz Bin Ali, Vice President, Trend Micro, MENA

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global cybersecurity solutions firm, today released its 2019 security roundup report.
Ransomware continued to be a mainstay cyber threat last year. Overall, Trend Micro discovered a 10% increase in ransomware detections, despite a 57% decrease in the number of new ransomware families. The healthcare sector remained the most targeted industry, with more than 700 providers affected in 2019.

In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), malware attacks were one of the biggest cyber threats. Trend Micro detected a total of 5,544,299 malware attacks in GCC, making the region the fifth most-hit by malware in Asia, and 14th in the world. Top GCC countries that endured the most attacks were Saudi Arabia (2,352,570) and the UAE (1,980,718).

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GCC was also home to 9,047 banking malware attacks in 2019, coming in eighth in Asia and ninth in the world for such attacks.

“Despite the prevalent ideals of digital transformation, lack of basic security hygiene, legacy systems with outdated operating systems and unpatched vulnerabilities are still a reality,” said Dr Moataz Bin Ali, Vice President, Trend Micro, Middle East and North Africa. “As long as the ransom scheme continues to be profitable, criminals will continue to leverage it.”

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In 2019, Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) disclosed 171% more high severity vulnerabilities than in 2018. The criticality score reflects the likelihood of these flaws being leveraged by attackers, so high severity bugs are more likely to be weaponized and the patches should be prioritized.

To protect against today’s threat landscape, Trend Micro recommends a connected threat defense across gateways, networks, servers, and endpoints.

For more on the cyber threat landscape of 2019, access the full report here.

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