Middle East's critical infrastructure faces cyberattacks while digital transformation fuels data theft

The Middle East, with its patchwork of political rivalries and disputes, is suffering nation-state-sponsored cyberattacks on infrastructure such as utilities, oil and gas and transport hubs. Meanwhile, the move to cloud services and growth of digital commerce is fuelling a worrying rise in the theft of consumer data. Critical infrastructure must segregate and protect networks while Governments must bring forward new GDPR-style data protection.

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Across the Middle East, security teams at critical infrastructure plants are on maximum alert as a wave of politically-motivated cyberattacks targets their operations.

Many of the attacks go undetected and those that are discovered are often unreported, which may disguise the nature and extent of the problem. Attackers target infrastructure such as water systems, oil and gas facilities, transport hubs and manufacturing plants. As Tarek Kuzbari, Middle East and Turkey director for security vendor Cybereason, says: "In the Middle East, the number of politically-driven cyberattacks is very high compared to other regions.

"With all the politics in the region, such as the revolutions of the Arab Spring and tensions between different nations, each country has started to build their own cyber offensive capability and have launched their own operations."

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