Cyberattacks on UAE small businesses up 183% in 2020 – report
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Cyberattacks on UAE small businesses up 183% in 2020 – report

Cyberattacks on UAE small businesses up 183% in 2020 – report

Help AG says that these attacks, known as Distributed Denial of Service, have affected businesses across sectors including oil, healthcare and telecom

Data Security cyberattacks

A new report has found that in 2020, UAE- and Middle East-based small businesses faced an increase in cyberattacks, in terms of both frequency and volume.

Help AG’s State of the Market Report 2021 found a 183 percent rise in attacks in the UAE alone, and a global increase from 8.5 million in 2019 to 10 million in 2020.

These attacks, known as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), have only increased in scale according to Hope AG, with the UAE measuring at 254.3 Gbps. All sectors have faced repeated attacks, including the government, oil, healthcare and telecom.

DDoS attacks are malicious attempts to break the flow of traffic in the targeted server and overwhelm it. These attacks occur through corrupted links or files, and its goal is to freeze the network and exhaust all resources essentially.

Help AG found a rapid increase due to the common tactic to disguise DDoS attacks as Covid-19 information links due to the increased traffic to information surrounding the pandemic.

Help AG also noted that these attacks were also becoming increasingly widespread. DDoS attacks work fast and easy to corrupt a business’s network and make it unworkable. It is also due to the many vulnerabilities in a network that are easy to exploit. The National Vulnerability Database identified over 18,253 vulnerabilities in 2020 alone.

“Sadly, despite a lot of high-profile incidents and increasing awareness around the topic, many companies still consider cybersecurity to be an afterthought,” says Stephan Berner, chief executive officer at Help AG.

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