Dubai: The global cyber security industry needs to develop its people, processes, policies and technologies to collectively rebuild the critical trust required for positive digital advances to succeed, a new report revealed on Sunday.

DarkMatter, a security firm headquartered in the UAE, has released the Cyber Resilience and Trust Report which calls for the industry to adopt a mentality of “cyber resilience”.

“It is clear that digital transformation has revolutionised modern life. Yet as usage has increased, what we don’t have is a corresponding improvement in security measures capable of protecting people’s data. The industry’s current approach to cyber security is overly reliant on perimeter security and reaction to threats, leaving entities vulnerable to attack,” Faisal Al Bannai, founder and CEO of DarkMatter, said in a statement.

He said that it is clear the benefits of technology are profound and far-reaching; they span fluidly across borders and industries to address major global issues. Yet, as technology advances, so do the entities that threaten it.

Hackers with criminal motivations are growing smarter and faster than ever before, and nation states are leveraging this low-cost and anonymous form of combat to level the traditional kinetic battlefield, he said.

According to IBM and Ponemon Institute’s report on Cost of Data Breach Study, 2017, the average cost of a data breach stands at $3.62 million (Dh13.3 million) while research firm Gartner points out that total global cyber security spending is projected to reach $96.3 billion in 2018, up 8 per cent from 2017.


In order to make this shift towards cyber resilience, the report reiterates a need for cyber security functions in business and government to gain organisational visibility and relevance, while also allowing for investment in software and talent.

As the Middle East continues to rapidly digitise in line with other parts of the world, Al Bannai said that hackers will have greater opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities. Across the regional reports, companies suffer larger losses than corresponding areas around the globe due to cyber incidents.

“The fact is, we are facing a crisis and trust is being eroded; but, we are doing little to avert it. While technology has advanced for the better, our thinking has not. Now more than ever, the need for a revolution within the cyber security industry is vital to rebuild trust,” Al Bannai said.

As the threat landscape continues to grow, he said a new and more predictive and intelligent dimension of cyber security will need to be embraced — one that masters an understanding of threats post-perimeter.

“If we carry on the way we always have, we will risk even greater problems down the road. To prevent this, we need to challenge the current thinking for tackling cyber threats. As hackers and other cyber criminals continue to collaborate and gain ground, we as cyber security corporations, institutions, technologists and users must respond in unity,” he said.

In a world where countless connected devices are activated each day, he said the industry must work together to combat the “vulnerabilities” that are growing parallel to technological advancement.