Cyber attacks threaten 69% of Saudi firms

Updated 10 January 2013
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Cyber attacks threaten 69% of Saudi firms

JEDDAH: Computer security software corporation Symantec has revealed to Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper that 69 percent of Saudi companies cannot cope with cyber attacks due to their “lack of data backup operations on daily basis”.
Samer Sidani, regional director of Symantec Saudi Arabia, told the paper that “Corporate data and information is a direct communication link with users; therefore, it has great importance and priority.”
Sidani indicated that companies in Saudi Arabia show sufficient awareness in the importance of keeping backup copies of important information, such as company data, customer records, and legal documents. However, this process remains hanging on the list of actions that will be undertaken by these companies in the future, when it will be too late.
At the same time, he pointed out that only 31 percent of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Saudi Arabia undertake a data backup process, through which they can retrieve data loss caused by cyber attacks, on a daily basis.
Sidani highlighted on the increasing number of cyber attacks directed at companies in the Middle East – hence the importance of having security solutions in place – and on the need for strong data backup and a restore strategy in the workplace. This would protect the information from all types of emergencies ranging from power cutoffs to physical damage of the infrastructure and cyber attacks that can put the company information and data at risk, or lead to systems crashes and damage computers in the company.
From this standpoint, Symantec gives advice to enterprises during its assessment of backup policy and its data recovery plan after facing emergencies. These tips evolve around the importance of having a plan, Sidani said, indicating the common excuses for the lack of plan in the company, such as “We have paper records”, “The backup process is expensive compared to the few data we have”, and “The backup process is complex and wasting time”. Meanwhile, it is difficult to quantify the massive costs of the collapse of work systems in the company as well as the loss of data and important documents, although he considered the lack of a master plan to act accordingly in emergencies within the company in itself a disaster.
Sidani pointed to the importance of a testing data recovery strategy to ensure the strategy operates optimally.
He also stressed on the importance of backups that are stored outside the company, although that requires an additional step or two.
The regional director clarified that the consolidation of backups in all work environments using a single solution to get physical and virtual backups will reduce operating costs and the size of your storage. It will also speed up the process of retrieving data, he said.
Sidani explained that the merger between the backup process and data recovery tools is one of the most important steps in information security. It would reduce costs and at the same time simplify the day-to-day operations.
Implementing the above-mentioned proposals would ensure that there is a stable and consistent database can be relied upon to start the application process of appropriate solution to overcome the emergencies situations, and successful recovery of data in your company.
He advised people to select the most comfortable solution that ensures appropriate and complete data recovery in their work environment and will enhance the feeling of complete confidence that the vital lifeline of their company is strongly protected.


Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

In this June 22, 2012 file photo, a smoker extinguishes a cigarette in an ash tray in Sacramento, Calif. (AP)
Updated 18 August 2018
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Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

  • Quitters saw their risk of diabetes increase by 22 percent in the six years after they kicked the habit
  • The people enrolled in the studies were all health professionals, and did not mirror current smokers in the general population, who are disproportionately low-income, less-educated and more likely to smoke heavily

NEW YORK: If you quit smoking and gain weight, it may seem like you’re trading one set of health problems for another. But a new US study finds you’re still better off in the long run.
Compared with smokers, even the quitters who gained the most weight had at least a 50 percent lower risk of dying prematurely from heart disease and other causes, the Harvard-led study found.
The study is impressive in its size and scope and should put to rest any myth that there are prohibitive weight-related health consequences to quitting cigarettes, said Dr. William Dietz, a public health expert at George Washington University.
“The paper makes pretty clear that your health improves, even if you gain weight,” said Dietz, who was not involved in the research. “I don’t think we knew that with the assurance that this paper provides.”
The New England Journal of Medicine published the study Wednesday. The journal also published a Swedish study that found quitting smoking seems to be the best thing diabetics can do to cut their risk of dying prematurely.
The nicotine in cigarettes can suppress appetite and boost metabolism. Many smokers who quit and don’t step up their exercise find they eat more and gain weight — typically less than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms), but in some cases three times that much.
A lot of weight gain is a cause of the most common form of diabetes, a disease in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal. Diabetes can lead to problems including blindness, nerve damage, heart and kidney disease and poor blood flow to the legs and feet.
In the US study, researchers tracked more than 170,000 men and women over roughly 20 years, looking at what they said in health questionnaires given every two years.
The people enrolled in the studies were all health professionals, and did not mirror current smokers in the general population, who are disproportionately low-income, less-educated and more likely to smoke heavily.
The researchers checked which study participants quit smoking and followed whether they gained weight and developed diabetes, heart disease or other conditions.
Quitters saw their risk of diabetes increase by 22 percent in the six years after they kicked the habit. An editorial in the journal characterized it as “a mild elevation” in the diabetes risk.
Studies previously showed that people who quit have an elevated risk of developing diabetes, said Dr. Qi Sun, one the study’s authors. He is a researcher at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
But that risk doesn’t endure, and it never leads to a higher premature death rate than what smokers face, he said.
“Regardless of the amount of weight gain, quitters always have a lower risk of dying” prematurely, Sun said.