UAE resident? There’s a 42% chance you’ve been hacked (at some point)

A Kaspersky Labs survey has revealed that 42 per cent of UAE residents have been cyberattacked - and less than half the country's internet users use online protection

Kaspersky Labs Cybersecurity Index
Screenshot of the UAE's results on the Kaspersky Cybersecurity Index microsite

While you splurge on a new smartphone at Gitex Shopper, spare a moment to consider the state of your online security. Maybe you’ve already been hacked. If so, there’s a high probability you have no idea about it. Antivirus major Kaspersky Lab has launched its Cybersecurity Index, the first global index to measure the current cyberthreat levels faced by internet users.

The antivirus software provider has previously worked with market research firm B2B International to carry out regular large-scale global online surveys to evaluate how internet users behave online, what their concerns are, what issues they face and how they defend themselves against possible threats. The Kaspersky Cybersecurity Index is based on this data, collected from thousands of users across the globe.

The index combines three key indicators. These are measured every six months and provide the information needed to monitor the degree of risk to the average internet user:

The Concerned Indicator shows the percentage of people who believe they may be targeted by a cyberattack. This metric shows the degree to which users realise the danger they are exposed to.

The Affected Indicator identifies how many people have actually fallen victim to cyberattacks during the reporting period – e.g., have faced data leakage or extortion online.

The Protected Indicator highlights the number of users who have installed a security solution on the device they use to access the internet. This is the average figure for all the devices used, including computers and mobile devices.

The Cybersecurity Index is formed from a detailed survey carried out across 21 countries in August. According to the data, only 21 per cent of users in the UAE currently believe he or she is threatened by anything online. Interestingly, double the number of users (42 per cent) have actually fallen victim to cybercriminal schemes. However, only 47 per cent of UAE users have installed security solutions on all their devices to access the internet. The index demonstrates that many users underestimate cyberthreats even after facing them. This attitude inevitably affects their security.

“We created the index to draw the attention of users, the media and vendors to the issue of cybersecurity,” explains Andrei Mochola, Head of Consumer Business at Kaspersky Lab. “Many users today, we believe, do not expect to come face-to-face with cyberthreats, so they fail to install security solutions on their devices and behave carelessly online. This makes them easy targets for cybercriminals. The Index reflects the results of this approach: globally today, 29 per cent of people have been affected by online threats.”

You can learn more about the index, view its indicators for different countries, ages and genders, and find out more about the behaviour of users online here. The Kaspersky blog offers advice on behaving securely online.