RITIKA SHARMA / Emirates Business
If you thought that it is just data and money that is at stake during cyber-attacks, think again. In UAE, cyber-crimes expose not only the vulnerability of the company’s security system, but also shake the customers’ confidence and trust.
A UAE-centric survey recently reported that companies might lose substantial number of their customers after cyber-attacks.
Adivt Pete, a software engineer and an independent internet solutions provider, based in Dubai, told Emirates Business, “It is a matter of your customer confidence. It is high time that companies in UAE understand that data breaches and cyber-attacks have more than one aspect. There is a financial aspect and it might be the most apparent one, but the harm done to the reputation of your brand might affect your organisation in a much bigger way.”
A recent study carried out by a security service company, has revealed that data breaches significantly dip consumers’ trust in major brands. The findings of the aforesaid report highlight rising concerns over the issue of cybersecurity and how public perception of a company is altered in the event of a breach. In the survey 46 percent of consumers in the UAE stated that their view of a company subjected to an attack would be ‘unfavourable’.
“How can I trust your company, if it is unable to keep safe my personal information? It is a matter of my safety not just a breach. If organisations understand the intangible harms of cyber security, they might take much sterner steps to make sure they imply latest technology when it comes to data safety. It is very important for UAE where competition in the market is so high,” Pete added.
While the risk to a company’s finances and intellectual property are evident in the event of a breach, this survey highlights the hidden cost of cyber-attacks on businesses, with customers less likely to buy from companies with a poor reputation for security, long after the actual incident has taken place.
“Data breaches have become far more commonplace than they used to be, with a host of actors ranging from single attackers to entire organisations now involved. The stature of the UAE as a hub for finance, retail and energy has grown exponentially over the years and has made it an enticing target for myriad cyber threat groups,” Richard Turner, President for the EMEA region at FireEye said.