Threats from phishing and malicious emails have increased by 60 percent and the average data breach cost is expected to reach $5 million by next year, according to a new report from cyber protection firm Acronis.
The research team who authored the report also saw social engineering attacks jump in the last four months, accounting for 3 percent of all attacks. Leaked or stolen credentials, which allow attackers to easily execute cyberattacks and ransomware campaigns, were the cause of almost half of the reported breaches in H1 2022.
Read more: Revealed: Latest MENA cybersecurity attack tools and surfaces
“The last few months have proven to be as complex as ever – with new threats constantly emerging and malicious actors continuing to use the same proven playbook for big payouts,” said Candid Wüest, Acronis VP of Cyber Protection Research. “Organizations must prioritize all-encompassing solutions when looking to mitigate phishing and other hacking attempts in the new year. Attackers are evolving, using some of the tools, like MFA, that we rely on to protect our employees and businesses against us.”
Middle East cybersecurity landscape
As the Middle East region continues to grow its digital ecosystem, solid cybersecurity strategies remain a top priority on the back of heightened data breaches. According to security analysts, breaches reported in Saudi Arabia, for example, could reach an average of $7 million as the country continues to report one out of five attacks to be ransomware.
With the average cost of ransomware attacks increasing every year, factors such as weak credentials, phishing emails, and unpatched vulnerabilities remain the top cyber-attacking vectors. In the UAE, targeted organizations lost over $1.4 million in ransomware, forcing over 40 percent of the impacted companies to shut down. Following this worrying trend, the UAE Cyber Security Council announced the adoption of stringent cybersecurity standards to safeguard the country’s digital space.