95% of Saudi businesses hit by cyber attack in the past year

A new industry report highlights the cyber security threats posed to businesses in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia, GCC, Cyber security

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Ninety five per cent of businesses in Saudi Arabia have experienced at least one business impacting cyber attack in the past 12 months, according to a new industry report.

The report, published by Tenable, draws on data from ‘The Rise of the Business-Aligned Security Executive,’ a commissioned study of more than 800 global business and cybersecurity leaders, including 49 respondents in Saudi Arabia, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Tenable.

The study showed that 85 per cent of respondents in Saudi Arabia had witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of business-impacting cyberattacks over the past two years.

These attacks have had a profound effect, with companies reporting loss of customer and/or employee data (41 per cent), ransomware payments (37 per cent) and financial loss or theft (35 per cent) as the main aims of the attacks.

In order to mitigate the potential risk posed by cyber criminals, enterprises must ensure that security is embedded in the DNA of their work flows, according to the report.

“In the future, there will be two kinds of CISO -- those who align themselves directly with the business and everyone else. The only way to thrive in this era of digital acceleration is to bring cyber into every business question, decision and investment,” said Renaud Deraison, chief technology officer and co-founder, Tenable.

“We believe this study shows that forward-leaning organizations view cybersecurity strategy as essential to innovation and that when security and the business work hand-in-glove, the results can be transformational.”

The research showed that a lack of clarity and insight into the cyber security of companies in Saudi Arabia could be a factor in the high number of successful attacks in the country.  

“Business leaders want a clear picture of how at risk they are and how that risk is changing as they plan and execute business strategies. But only four out of 10 of local security leaders say they can answer the fundamental question, “How secure, or at risk, are we?” with a high level of confidence, despite the prevalence of business-impacting cyberattacks,” the report read.  

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