Campaign against cybercrime stepped up
Dubai, October 22, 2013
A leading online security and privacy company has vowed to step up its campaign to combat cybercrime in the Middle East.
“The Middle East needs to toughen up when it comes to protecting its smart devices, and there has to be a much greater awareness of the consequences, whether it is identity theft or a full-on cyber-attack across an entire company’s network,” said James Ryan, chief privacy officer, AnchorFree, the makers of Hotspot Shield, a VPN app.
The call to action comes as Gitex Technology Week 2013 take place with over 130,000 industry movers and shakers coming together to showcase and discuss the future of ICT in the region.
The average cost per cybercrime has risen by 50 per cent over the last twelve months, said the recently released Norton’s 2013 cybercrime report.
The wide-ranging study also found that despite 63 per cent of those surveyed owning smartphones and 30 per cent owning tablets, 48 per cent, did not take basic precautions such as using passwords, having security software or backing up files on their mobile device.
About 49 per cent claimed they used their personal devices for work, potentially putting entire organisations at risk of attack, it said.
More than half of all employers will require employees to bring their own devices to work by 2017, according to IT research company Gartner.
“Hotspot Shield will help identify malware sites and provide a secure, encrypted connection to the Internet for desktop or mobile devices, protecting your browsing from hackers and snoops. This is particularly important when using unknown networks or public Wi-Fi,” said Ryan.
It is especially relevant in the UAE where, according to the Norton report, 73 per cent use public or unsecured wifi, with 70 per cent also using these connections to access social networks. This type and magnitude of unsecure usage has contributed to 50 per cent of smartphone users in the UAE experiencing mobile cybercrime in the past 12 months, he said.
Reflecting the growth in mobile devices for work and personal use, there has been a 200 per cent growth in installations of Hotspot Shield on mobile devices in the region since August 2012, he added.
Hotspot Shield customers have benefitted not only from the mobile app’s security and privacy, but also from its ability to reduce bandwidth by up to 50 per cent, helping smartphone users save money on their mobile data plans. - TradeArabia News Service