A study from Gulf Business Machines found that 65 per cent of respondents believed that cyber-criminals could easily target the region as businesses fail to keep up-to-speed with implementing the latest cyber-security measures.
It found that 25 per cent of businesses did not regularly screen to ensure their IT infrastructure and data is protected.
Hani Nofal, director of Intelligent Network Solutions at GBM, said that almost half of the businesses polled said they spent up to 10 per cent of their IT budget on security.
He predicted that figure to increase as cyber-security becomes even more crucial to businesses in the region. This is despite 60 per cent of respondents believing the number of successful cyber-attacks will decrease in the next 12 months.
Nofal said: “Companies are more aware of IT security issues than ever before. Although organisations are showing more interest in pre-emptive measures against possible cyber threats, they are not always taking the appropriate measures.”
Some 35 per cent of incidents of cyber-crime described in the research were found to be staff related; with security risks increasing as social media becomes more prevalent within companies.
He added: “Companies in the region have been exploring social media as a new way of communicating with the public.
“Enterprises are, therefore, opening their internal networks and allowing access to social media. This is increasing the potential of cyber risks for organizations and making them more vulnerable to cyber security attacks.”