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Cybersecurity: A game of cat and mouse

Cybersecurity: A game of cat and mouse

For many years, cybersecurity has been a key priority for organisations. However, even with increased investments and advancements in technology, cybersecurity looks to remain a cat and mouse game. Security was originally built with a reactive mindset. Enterprise security teams would often be targeted by an attack and respond by identifying the threat, mapping out

For many years, cybersecurity has been a key priority for organisations. However, even with increased investments and advancements in technology, cybersecurity looks to remain a cat and mouse game.

Security was originally built with a reactive mindset. Enterprise security teams would often be targeted by an attack and respond by identifying the threat, mapping out the pattern it follows and then blocking it. But once exposed, attackers will simply tweak some code and relaunch the attack. This meant that organisations would then need to react again by starting the whole process all over again, leaving them always one step behind.

This has motivated cybercriminals to become bolder, leveraging more sophisticated tools and methods to infiltrate systems and exploit organisations. According to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime will cost the global economy a whopping $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. This highlights the alarming rate at which cyber threats are growing.

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Adding fuel to the fire were the events from the past year, which saw a massive and sudden shift to online environments. With increased dependence on digital technologies came new opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit organisations. In the Middle East, organisations faced a record number of cyber-attacks in 2020, which have not only increased in frequency but also in volume.

The UAE has seen an “at least 250 percent increase” in cyber-attacks, according to Mohamed al-Kuwaiti, head of UAE Government Cyber Security. Subsequently, a recent industry study has revealed that over 10 million Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks were recorded globally in 2020, including a 183 percent increase in the UAE alone.

With this data in mind, it is clear that now more than ever, organisations need to up their cybersecurity game. Security leaders and teams need to have a more proactive approach to cope with the growing threat landscape. They need to adopt a robust cyber-attack response plan that’s backed with threat intelligence to keep threat actors at bay.

Business leaders should also cultivate a cyber-aware culture within their workforce by reinforcing good cybersecurity practices across all functions of their organisation. Members of the C-suite also need to get on-board and understand that cybersecurity is no longer just an IT challenge but a business issue.

Encouragingly, recent figures from research and analyst firm Gartner shows that worldwide spending on information security and risk management technology and services is forecast to grow 12.4 percent to reach $150.4 billion in 2021. This indicates that enterprises are heeding the message by focusing their investments on enhancing their security postures.

While no one can really predict what the future holds, one thing is certain: cyber threats are not going away. This means that organisations need to develop short-term plans to mitigate the security risks and minimise their impact. Subsequently, they also need to build robust long-term strategies that will enable them to stay resilient against relentless threats and finally be ahead of cybercriminals.

When it comes to cyber-attacks, no industry or organisation is off-limits. Therefore, to stay ahead of cyber threats, organisations need to keep in mind that cybersecurity is no longer an option but a necessity.

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