The average Middle East organization faces high risks of ransomware attacks, which could cost nearly $1 million, a study by Dell EMC, a member of Dell technologies, revealed.
Hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide have been infected by the WannaCry ransomware, a malware that encrypts data and demands ransomware payment via Bitcoin currency as well as by the Petya ransomware, which encrypts the hard drive.
Worldwide, 30 per cent of companies have had ransomware infections, causing massive costs in sales and productivity, according to a recent survey by cyber security software provider Imperva. Data loss costs an average business $914,000.
Cybersecurity experts label malware as “arms race”, as hackers develop increasingly complex malware and security vendors counter with stronger technology defenses.
“WannaCry and Petya malware attacks are not isolated incidents. Every Middle East CIO needs to be prepared for malware attacks increasing in quantity and complexity or risk massive losses,” said Savitha Bhaskar, COO at UAE-based IT infrastructure and information management consultancy and solutions provider Condo Protego.
Sectors at risk
Among verticals, the service sector is at the highest risk of ransomware attacks, bearing the burden of 38 per cent of total attacks, according to a recent report by American software company Symantec.
The report showed that manufacturing, public administration, finance and real estate also presented high risks.
“The good news for Middle East CIOs is that most of them already have the technology solutions to fortify their cyber defenses,” added Bhaskar.