Data protection is a test no business can afford to fail
Many businesses across the Middle East are continuing to invest heavily in digital transformation.
Using advanced technology is at the forefront of national government visions, with entities of all sizes across the Middle East and North Africa implementing innovative solutions to achieve greater efficiency, productivity and sustainability.
According to International Data Corp., digital transformation investments in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa are set to double between 2020 and 2025.
With investments in digitalization increasing, so are the risks of cyber and ransomware attacks. This rise was particularly the case during the pandemic, which witnessed businesses increase spending on digital solutions.
While rapid digital transformation gives businesses an edge in this era of increased volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, it also increases the vulnerabilities and risks that can be exploited through data leaks and cyber hacks.
By 2031, a cybersecurity company anticipated that ransomware attacks against businesses would occur every two seconds, up from every 11 seconds in 2021.
Companies without risk awareness can often unintentionally compromise data security and privacy. Statistics and reports indicate that the Gulf countries are an increasing target for hacking groups.
At the beginning of 2021, the frequency of cyberattacks increased, directly affecting online users in the region. According to data security insights, 88 percent of global companies faced cyberattacks, while only 5 percent of them were protected.
The 2022 IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index showed that the Middle East and Africa was the fourth most attacked region worldwide, while the most assailed countries in the Middle East were the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
In the UAE, reports indicated a 71 percent increase in cyberattacks per week on corporate networks in 2021 compared to 2020.
During the pandemic, the Kingdom had over 7 million cyberattacks in the first two months of 2021.
Businesses must realize that several parties and factors can forewarn and forearm against cyberthreats.
These include investing in the education of employees, enhancing processes and using data protection technologies. Additionally, companies and their digital security teams need to take a holistic approach to manage cyber-related risks effectively.
To manage data security and compliance, organizations must identify business-critical, confidential or sensitive information to ensure it is adequately secured and protected effectively and consistently.
Once identified and secured, this data can be used for more significant insights and sharper business decisions.
When developing a comprehensive plan for managing cybersecurity risks, an evolving backup and data management strategy must be part of the approach.
A layered security approach encompassing multiple security tools, resources, controls and best practices is necessary. These security controls applied within and around the data protection infrastructure will ensure any backup data is secured and recoverable.
Many solutions are designed to help companies accelerate their move to the cloud. With recent increases in work-from-home practices, companies can acquire flexibility with a breadth of enterprise workload support and a rapid pace of innovation, which ensures that business data is protected.
Advanced data protection technology enables monitoring compliance standards and the quantity and categories of data saved, allowing them to meet general data protection compliance regulations.
In an era where cyberthreats and ransomware attacks are on the rise, companies must have data protection and security at the top of their minds, even as rapid digitalization continues to increase in the Middle East and across the globe.
• Fady Richmany, Commvault’s regional vice president – South Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.