What is the impact of ransomware on financial crime compliance in the UAE?

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Ransomware attacks are now a bigger concern to major organizations around the world in. In this article we will discuss the major concerns around such attacks and the laws and regulations governing the same.

What is a ransomware attack?

A ransomware attack can be defined as malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until certain sum of money is paid. It is thus a malware that includes encryption, which when passed to the victim company’s system, holds the hosts information at ransom resulting in both business interruptions and loss of income. An additional aspect that makes such attacks even more deadly is the fact that ransomware is often designed in a specific way in order to spread across a network and quickly paralyze an entire organization by targeting their database and file servers. Critical data is then encrypted and thereby became non -accessible to the said organization until released by the attacker, which happens on making the ransom payment and hence the name “ransomware”.

How common are these attacks?

Recent statistics released by Carbon Black, a cyber-security company shows that such attacks have increased by a 148 % since early 2020 with the top targets being the financial sector. Pursuant to the statistics released in the UAE shows that companies have paid almost AED 5 million as ransom in order to gain back access after a cyber-attack. Pursuant to the reports, at least 84 percent of the companies that were subject to ransomware attacks ended up making the ransom payments.

Recommended safe guards:

With the increasing number of ransomwares, the possible defenses are required to be thoroughly examined as well as adopted. The following measures can be adopted as a protective measure against ransomware attacks.

  • Antivirus software: Ensure to take the proactive measures in order to invest in antivirus software that comes with market reliability in fending off ransomware attacks.
  • Data Storage and backup: Another measure includes taking steps to ensure that your critical data including the company’s database is stored whether it being cloud storage or otherwise and further, ensuring that there exist back up storage that can be accessed to incase the primary database is compromised. Further, it goes without say that the backup database should be periodically updated in order for the same to be considered reliable and effective.
  • Routine upgrade: Ensuring routine updating of the security features of your system is one such measure. This may sound straight forward enough, but studies show that this step is often ignored or overlooked by companies. Routine system updating ensures that the latest technical changes in the security system as well integrated and can often act as the first shield barrier against a ransomware attack.
  • Awareness: Raise internal awareness and provide training courses for employees to understand safe internet practices and to build a proper security awareness.

It does not matter whether you’re an established company with deep pockets or a new entrepreneur or even an individual. Cyber-attacks are increasingly prevalent in today’s world and investing in property protocols that can prevent as well as provide damage control measures have to be adopted and practiced.

What is the impact of ransomware on financial crime compliance in the UAE?

Ransomware attacks are now a bigger concern to significant organizations around the world. In this article, we will discuss the major concerns around such attacks and the possible protective measures that organizations should adopt.

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