// FEATURE //
The growing significance of cyber-risk management in SMEs :
A FOCUS ON THE MIDDLE EAST
Security planning is a must for small- and medium-sized enterprises ( SMEs ) as they continue to face a complex and evolving cyberthreat landscape . This feature focuses on the landscape in the Middle East , where technological acceleration in the region dominates business decisions , and cybercriminals are taking advantage of vulnerabilities in SMEs ’ systems , networks and processes . Daniel Caban , Regional Leader – META , Mandiant Consulting ( now part of Google Cloud ), tells us more about cyber-risk management and why it is so important .
S BUSINESSES IN the Middle
East continue to dive deeper into Digital Transformation , cyber-risk management has become a crucial component of business strategy . With the rapid expansion of technology , vulnerabilities in cyber infrastructure are constantly exposed , making businesses susceptible to cyberattacks and data breaches .
Middle East-based SMEs increasingly face a complex and evolving cyberthreat landscape . Technological acceleration in the region dominates business decisions , and cybercriminals are taking advantage of vulnerabilities in SMEs ' systems , networks and processes . Mandiant ’ s recent Global Perspectives on Threat Intelligence report highlighted that despite the widespread belief among Middle East respondents that understanding the cyberthreat actors who could be targeting an organisation is important ( 94 %), 83 % stated that their organisations make most or all of their cybersecurity decisions without insights into the threat actors that are targeting them .
To effectively manage these risks , SMEs must better understand and proactively address cyber-risk within their organisations , leveraging intelligent technologies and strategies .
The Middle East has witnessed an increase in cyberattacks in recent years . In 2020 , the United Arab Emirates recorded a 250 % increase in cyberattacks compared to 2019 , according to its Telecommunications Regulatory Authority . This further underscores the need for businesses to adopt proactive cyber-risk management strategies .
Why is cyber-risk management as important as other business concerns ?
Cyber-risk is in some ways no different from any other business risk . It is an aggregation of the threats and vulnerabilities present across a company , any of which could lead to financial loss , reputation damage and regulatory concerns . In a rapidly evolving threat landscape , companies must defend themselves against cybercriminals motivated by financial gain and nation states intent on economic disruption , espionage and the targeting of critical infrastructure .
A majority ( 79 %) of respondents to Mandiant ’ s survey said their organisation could focus more time and energy on identifying critical trends within cybersecurity , while 98 % said they need to be faster at implementing changes to their cybersecurity strategy based on new intelligence .
Key security decision-makers understand the importance of threat intelligence and make better decisions when they have it . However , SMEs in the region often lack the resources
LEADERSHIP PLAYS THE MOST CRITICAL ROLE IN PROMOTING A CULTURE OF CYBER-RISK AWARENESS .
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