Check Point Research reports 29% increase in cyber attacks in the UAE


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Check Point Research (CPR), the Threat Intelligence arm of Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP), provider of cyber security solutions globally, today reports that as we enter Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October, globally, there are 40% more attacks weekly on organisations in 2021 compared to 2020.

In the region, UAE has seen a 29% increase in weekly cyber attacks on organisations this year, whereas Saudi Arabia has shown a 1% decrease in these attacks compared to 2020 and Kuwait with a major decrease of 49% in cyber attacks on organisations for the period.

Globally, after a slight decrease in the weeks before March 2020, from March 2020, there was a significant increase in the average weekly number of attacks on each organisation over the months including 2021. In September 2021, the average weekly number of attacks on each organisation globally reached its peak with over 870 attacks. This is more than double the number of attacks in March 2020.

As per the data, UAE has experienced an average of 311 weekly attacks per organisation in 2021, while Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have seen an average of 392 and 409 weekly attacks in 2021 respectively.

The sectors which are experiencing the highest volumes of cyber attacks worldwide are Education/Research with an average of 1,468 attacks per organisation each week (increase of 60% from 2020), followed by Government/Military with 1,082 (40% increase) and Healthcare with 752 (55% increase).

Ransomware continues to plague organisations across the world

CPR observed that globally in 2021, on average, one out of every 61 organisations is impacted by ransomware each week – a 9% increase compared to 2020. The ISP/MSP sector is the industry most attacked by ransomware this year. The average weekly number of impacted organisations in this sector in 2021 is one out of 36 (32% increase from 2020).

Healthcare is in second place with one out of 44 organisations having been impacted (39% increase) followed by software vendors in third place with one out of 52 organisations (21% increase). In addition, Saudi Arabia has seen a 43% increase in the volume of attacks by ransomware in 2021 followed by UAE with an increase of 38% in ransomware attacks compared to 2020. However, Kuwait has shown a 90% decrease in ransomware attacks in 2021 as compared to 2020.

“October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and a time for everyone to be reminded about the role they play in ensuring cybersecurity, both locally and across the world,” said Ram Narayanan, Country Manager at Check Point Software Technologies, Middle East. “The pandemic contributed to the surge in cyber attacks as cyber criminals exploited gaps and vulnerabilities to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them. As cyber attacks are increasing, Check Point Software recommends organisations to adopt a prevention-first approach to cybersecurity to eliminate threats before they can inflict damage”.

The malware type which has impacted organisations the most is the botnet with an average of over 8% organisations being impacted weekly (a 9% decrease from 2020). This is followed by banking malware at 4.6% (a 26% increase) and cryptominers at 4.2% (a 22% decrease).

The data used in this report was detected by Check Point Software’s Threat Prevention technologies, stored and analysed in Check Point ThreatCloud. ThreatCloud provides real-time threat intelligence derived from hundreds of millions of sensors worldwide, over networks, endpoints and mobiles. The intelligence is enriched with AI-based engines and exclusive research data from Check Point Research – The intelligence & research arm of Check Point Software Technologies.

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