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83% of workers in UAE pose phishing threat to companies: Proofpoint report

Even though there was a slight decrease in successful phishing attacks globally, 92% of surveyed organisations in the UAE reported at least one successful attack in the past year, compared to 86% in 2022

According to a report by Proofpoint, a cybersecurity and compliance firm based in the US, almost 83% of workers in the UAE knowingly put their organisations at risk, exposing them to potential threats such as ransomware or malware infections, data breaches, or financial loss.

Even though there was a slight decrease in successful phishing attacks globally, 92% of surveyed organisations in the UAE reported at least one successful attack in the past year, compared to 86% in 2022.

Financial penalties, including regulatory fines, increased by 44% year-over-year, in addition to a 300% year-over-year rise in reputational damage.

According to a survey, 90% of security professionals believe that most employees are aware of their security responsibilities, but 38% of employees feel uncertain or claim no responsibility.

The security professionals recommend more training (90%) and tighter controls (92%), but 94% of employees said they would prioritise security if controls were made more user-friendly and simplified.

During an interaction with Zawya, Emile Abou Saleh, Senior Regional Director, Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Proofpoint, said, “Employees must understand that they play a critical role in preventing data breaches, malware infections or financial loss and this isn’t just an IT problem.”

“As traditional working models evolve, the old ways of protecting data no longer work. Collaboratively, organisations and staff must enhance their strategies, integrating controls for financial integrity, data loss and infection prevention to safeguard emails, endpoints, cloud applications, and web interfaces,” he added.

The report analysed the perceptions of 7,500 employees and 1,050 security professionals from as many as 15 countries.

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