Around 69 per cent of UAE residents have faced at least one financial cyber threat in the last 12 months, according to a Kaspersky global study. Out of those, 37 per cent incurred financial loss from such threats.
The survey also found that 23 per cent of UAE residents, higher than the global average of 14 per cent, believed that bank fraud was a rare incident, while in reality, it affected millions worldwide.
“It is easier to steal money from an individual user than from a bank itself,” said Stefan Tanase, senior security researcher, EMEA, global research and analysis team.
“What cyber criminals are doing today is hacking into individual users account and their credit card details and other online banking details.”
According to Kaspersky officials, the financial cyber threat landscape has been evolving rapidly, as each successful attempt provides cyber criminals with direct access to the user’s account.
Despite such a high risk landscape, users fail to take necessary precautions.
Around 17 per cent of UAE residents said that they use unprotected wi-fi connections to access their bank accounts and shopping services.
Kaspersky experts said that banks provide a range of measures, including multi-factor authentication processes, to provide protection against fraud.
However, the banks remain incapable of protecting users from malware designed to steal financial information.
“We are seeing a sharp rise in phishing messages from Apple, which look very authentic, that ask the users to verify their credit card details.”