Cybersecurity experts warn of heightened cyber risks, urging investment in multi-layered security strategies to help organisations work protected.
Mimecast has highlighted key cyber risks for Middle Eastern organisations ahead of Black Hat Middle East & Africa, taking place at the Riyadh Front Exhibition Centre from 15 to 17 November.
The rapid increase in usage of digital communication channels and the adoption of hybrid work models has expanded the attack surface for organisations, creating new security risks for people and data.
According to Werno Gevers, cybersecurity expert at Mimecast, organisations in Saudi Arabia should ensure they have tools and processes in place to protect against email-related phishing and ransomware attacks in particular. “Phishing attacks are likely to continuously evolve as the low cost and high return on investment creates an attractive proposition for threat actors. An emerging threat in this respect is new starter phishing, where new starts announce their new jobs on LinkedIn and then receive fake welcome emails from supposed senior executives, or get directed to a false company onboarding portal. Threat actors then use this for credential harvesting or account takeover.”
Mimecast’s State of Email Security 2022 report found that 90% of companies in Saudi Arabia have been the target of an email-related phishing attempt. In addition, 60% of companies were hit by a ransomware attack, although Saudi Arabia is setting an example with only five days of downtime on average compared to a global average of over seven days.
“Our latest State of Ransomware Readiness report found that 36% of global organisations have experienced a loss in revenue due to a ransomware attack in the last twelve months,” says Gevers. “Companies must implement proactive measures such as the use of artificial intelligence and integrating security tools to reduce their vulnerability and limit the frequency of successful ransomware attacks.”
To safeguard data and ensure employees can work protected, organisations in the region are advised to implement tools and policies to secure their workplace environment, wherever work may happen.
In August, Mimecast unveiled the X1 Platform, the foundation of the Mimecast Product Suite that is built to drive industry-leading detection capabilities, deliver reliability, resilience and scale, and transform data into insights that turn email and collaboration security into the eyes and ears of organisations worldwide.
“In light of the sheer breadth and scale of the cyber threats facing organisations, integrated cyber resilience solutions can protect organisations at speed and scale,” says Gevers. “In today’s fast-paced business environment, organisations need the ability to reduce risk, accelerate performance and drive collaboration. This is only possible if organisations can mitigate threats across their email, web and cloud environments, gain real-time zero-trust data protection capabilities, access improved threat intelligence and gain full control and visibility over the threats they face.”