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It is perhaps no surprise that cybercrime spiked during the lockdown to tackle Covid-19. Since the beginning of May, phishing attempts have risen 600 per cent in the UAE, while 80 per cent of companies claim to have seen an increase in cyberattacks.

There are numerous contributing factors to the acceleration of cyber fraud. Firstly, phishing attacks had customised messages related to the pandemic. Secondly, working from home and the adoption of various digital platforms encouraged fraudsters to be opportunistic. Thirdly, individuals accessed more data at home giving potential opportunities for misuse by fraudsters. Finally, individuals using open public WiFi, which often has no security measures, was a further invitation for online criminals to strike.

Due to the pandemic, fraud protection has become more essential than ever, especially to banking customers who are always the number-one target for fraudsters. There has been a 230 per cent rise in attacks on financial institutions attributed to the pandemic, as cybercriminals were quick to adapt well-known schemes by leveraging emotions such as fear and confusion.

In this new reality came new challenges that companies and institutions need to face, such as the enhancement of physical security controls; risk of internal and external fraud; risk of availability and business disruption; and the possibility of data leakage.

As a leading Islamic bank, ADIB is focused on increasing its monitoring capabilities, as well as implementing additional layers and types of controls to support a new setup that aggressively adopts cloud and remote access services.

ADIB has introduced a new secure set of collaboration tools to increase business productivity without compromising information security. The bank has also enhanced its technical, procedural and security awareness controls, increased the portfolio of secure remote connectivity services to cater to different kinds of users, and leveraged various technologies by moving from on-premises tools to cloud-based technologies.

Through a progressive strategy, ADIB will continue to ensure tighter security measures and controls are in place, ensuring staff are fully aware of its work-from-home policies and practise secure working, while updating the bank’s readiness plan to meet all potential scenarios.