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Alert ; ‘UAE and the Middle East’ are facing increased instances of “data leakage”!!!

UAE; Organizations and consumers across the UAE and the Middle East are encountering raised specimens of carding, data exposure, and hacktivism, a recent report by Help AG, the cybersecurity component of Etisalat Digital, has revealed. According to Help AG’s ‘Digital Risk Protection report’, these instances have escalated to become the highest-rated digital risk varieties in 2020, significantly during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Help AG’s security analysts noticed a 500 percent jump in threat alerts for carding from January to June 2020 compared to the same time in 2019. Carding refers to the trafficking of credit cards, bank accounts, and other personal data online. The top affected sectors include aviation, logistics, and retail. During the initial months of Covid-19, Help AG’s security reviewers also noticed a 183 percent jump in danger alerts correlated to data exposure. Data leakage refers to the intentional or unintentional exposure of confidential documents, corporate e-mails, and documents with sensitive metadata on official channels of an organization and the dark web for subsequent unauthorized use and exploitation for malicious purposes. The top impacted sectors include healthcare, government, aviation, logistics, retail, and energy and utilities.

There was a nearly 50 percent growth in hacktivism risk alerts following estimation of observed hacker groups’ advertisements on social networks, media, petition and signature platforms, data sharing platforms, and manifestos. Hacktivism is an open challenge among cybercriminals to carry down a normal business by causing turmoil. The top influenced sectors include healthcare, government, aviation, logistics, retail, and energy and utilities.

“The impact of the pandemic is very clear as we compare risk alerts with the corresponding number of alerts in 2019 in our first-ever Digital Risk Protection report, These high rated threats are an unfortunate reality of the Covid-19 era, hence knowing and guarding against your enemy is now more important than ever before. The risk management cycle is never-ending but remains critical for business continuity,” Stephan Berner, chief executive officer at Help AG, said.

The biggest consequences of these significant digital risks vary from service troubles to divulgence of private information planned for secretive use for future business goals, loss of reputation and trust specified with customers and partners, inability to assure compliance against regulatory requirements, and eventually a dent in the success of digital transformation endeavors. It is necessary to note that the risks impact a wide audience of stakeholders from board and executive management grades to legal, marketing, risk, compliance, governance, and operations.

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While having a valid digital risk protection plan in position will help with handling threats related to an organization’s cyber divulgence, experts have also suggested residents take the time to comprehend the growing number and nature of hazards to better defend themselves.“Consumers need to be extra vigilant to protect against cybercriminals as they will amp up their nefarious ways,” said Harish Chib, vice president, Middle East & Africa, Sophos.

He also proposed several tips on how to stay safe online. The first has to do with understanding how to clean up your browser’s autofill storage. “Modern browsers try to assist you by automatically recognizing and storing details such as passwords, credit card numbers, and even addresses. In many browsers, these autofill features are turned on by default, which may not be what you want. Learn how to review how much personal data your browser has kept up its sleeve in case you need it again. Also, turn on two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever you can. This can be aggravating at times, and it means that you can’t log in to your laptop if you don’t also have your phone handy, because most services rely either on a one-time text message to your phone, or a special mobile app, for supplying the needed codes. But, that small extra hassle for you makes it very much harder for the crooks to mess with your accounts, even if they calculate out your password.”

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