Attacks on web applications are the leading ways for Cybercriminals to exploit the growing online presence of businesses in the region.

With this growing trend towards digital service channels, Dimension Data’s parent company, NTT Ltd., in its  2020 Global Threat Intelligence Report, has found that web application attacks are on the rise, and now account for 66% of all cyberthreats seen in the region.


Cybersecurity challenges across the Middle East and Africa have been compounded by the impact of COVID-19, with virus-related phishing attacks recorded as early January 2020, even before the global pandemic was declared. Over 2,000 new fake websites were created per day, many of them specifically targeting the healthcare organisations that were trying to help people through this global emergency.

Matthew Gyde, president and CEO of the security division, NTT Ltd says: “The current global crisis has shown us that cyber criminals will always take advantage of any situation and organisations must be ready for anything. We are already seeing an increased number of ransomware attacks on healthcare organizations and we expect this to get worse before it gets better. Now more than ever, it’s critical to pay attention to the security that enables your business; making sure you are cyber-resilient and maximizing the effectiveness of secure by design initiatives.”

“As countries across the Middle East reopen their economies, governments and businesses are rapidly reinventing the way they operate. Whether to engage with customers, or to empower their own employees, organisations are becoming increasingly reliant on web applications such as customer portals and mobile apps as they shift their channel strategies from face-to-face to online,” said Paul Potgieter, managing director at Dimension Data Middle East. “An unfortunate consequence is that this widens the attack exposure of these businesses – a problem that is exacerbated by the incredible pace at which these changes have had to be made.”

In the broader Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, the report shows that reconnaissance activity, wherein intruders secretly gather information about systems for future attacks, was the most common threat, often accounting for more than 40% of all attacks. Vulnerability scanners, testing tools, and malware appeared in the top five most common malware and attacker tools in EMEA. The industries most targeted in the EMEA region were insurance (50%), finance (44%) and retail (3%), the report found.

“Businesses can no longer just respond to a security event, they need to be able to anticipate and prevent it in all aspects of their operations, including technology, people and controls,” says Potgieter. “This is what cyber-resilience is all about. Rather than viewing cybersecurity as solely a protective layer over a business’s operations, secure by design means including security as a key and conscious deciding factor in the design of any end-to-end business solution and having intelligence to help the business identify the threat earlier to respond, recover and return back to business as usual faster.”

The EMEA summary of the 2020 GTIR report can be found here

The full 2020 GTIR report can found here


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