UAE Prepares to Derail Cyber Attacks as Ransomware Activity Rises
UAE Prepares to Derail Cyber Attacks as Ransomware Activity Rises

UAE Prepares to Derail Cyber Attacks as Ransomware Activity Rises

10 june, 20222 minutes to read
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According to a recent study conducted by cyber security company NordVP, one of the dark web markets illegally sold $17.3 million worth of personal data with the research estimating that the UAE’s payment card data is the fifth most expensive.

More than 720,000 items of data sold on the website include passports, personal IDs, payment card data, bank account logins, crypto accounts and other personal data. Once an individual's data are put up for sale on the dark web, it is hard to be removed. Moreover, most people have no clue that their personal information is being sold or was sold online.

The research found that payment card data from the UAE cost about $20, which is twice as much as the world’s average sum which accounts for $10 globally. Thus, payment card data from the UAE is the fifth most expensive in the world. As NordVP comments on this issue, the UAE payment cards turn out to be this expensive as the country possesses an image of a world’s financial center. Thus, hackers believe that hacking UAE cards is a way to receive a great deal of money.

Other UAE residents’ data were sold at much lower prices: for instance, UAE mobile phones sell price accounts for $10. Besides, on the dark web hacked Netflix account can be bought for a little over $10, an Uber account for $12, and a Twitter account for $2.

Crypto wallets and investment accounts cost more than payment processing accounts and even more than some bank accounts. The most expensive crypto account data is from Binance with an average price of $394, followed by Kraken ($383). In turn, payment processing accounts (as PayPal) have an average price of $100.

The latitude and variety of personal data offered for purchase on criminal markets confirms the importance of taking security and privacy online seriously. This explains why, according to Boston-based security firm Cybereason's annual ransomware research, more than 80 per cent of UAE organisations recruit staff trained to manage cyber attacks. The study follows as it has been estimated that at least 77 per cent of UAE organisations suffered at least one ransomware attack over the past 24 months. About seven in 10 companies said attackers were after customer data.

Moreover, the research data indicate that 67 percent of UAE respondents claimed they have a budgeted plan aimed at preventing any money extortion effort, compared to 72 percent of respondents questioned globally. In this context, when asked what financial investments have been made to mitigate ransomware concerns, 72 per cent of UAE organisations invoked cyber insurance. Forty-five per cent have also invested in employee awareness training, about 40 per cent have allocated capital towards hiring new cyber security talent and 35 per cent of respondents have adopted new technology. Additionally, more than 85 per cent of UAE businesses surveyed claimed they increased their security budget in the past years in order to be able to address cyber attacks.

About 90 per cent of the UAE organisations that paid hackers were hit for a second time. Eighty-three per cent sclaim the second attack followed in less than a month and 78 per cent report that perpetrators demanded a higher sum of money. Thus, knowing the risks and equipping with the right tools to protect, the companies are able to maximize their chances of keeping their and their employees’ data secure.

10 june, 2022
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