More than 65 per cent of IT experts in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) believe the region is a prime target for cyber criminals, according to research conducted by Gulf Business Machines (GBM).
The results reveal that 35 per cent of incidents are staff related, which can be avoided by increasing employee awareness. Cyber security risks are also potentially increasing, with social media becoming more available within companies, announced Gulf Business Machines, the region's leading IT solutions provider.
The security landscape in the GCC has continually evolved in recent years, largely due to the increase of cybercrime.
The results of the research also highlights that 25 per cent of respondents said their organizations have not been conducting regular proactive screenings to ensure that their IT infrastructure and critical data are protected, the GBM research said.
Respondents are expressing a false sense of security, as the survey shows that 60 per cent of respondents believe that the number of successful attacks will decrease in the next 12 months.
"Companies are more aware of IT security issues than ever before. Although organizations are showing more interest in pre-emptive measures against possible cyber threats, they are not always taking the appropriate measures," said Hani Nofal, director of Intelligent Network Solutions (INS) at GBM.
"Nearly half of the organizations polled spend up to 10 per cent of their IT budget on security. However, we expect this number to increase in the future," continued Nofal.
Similar Gulf Business Machines research conducted last year showed that just over one-third of those polled claimed that their organizations’ IT policies completely prohibited access to social networking websites.
Today, this number has been cut in half, indicating that more businesses are adopting and embracing social media.
"Companies in the region have been exploring social media as a new way of communicating with the public. Enterprises are, therefore, opening their internal networks and allowing access to social media. This is increasing the potential of cyber risks for organizations and making them more vulnerable to cyber security attacks," said Nofal.
Since GBM's founding in 1990, the company has been at the forefront of addressing challenges resulting from an ever-changing cyber crime eco-system in the region. This research coincides with the launch of GBM's Security Framework, which assists users with mitigating risks.
At the core of its IT security offering, the Security Framework enables customers to meet and exceed IT industry best practices in order to secure their infrastructure.
Times of Oman