Cyber attacks to intensify, warn experts in Oman

Oman should brace for more ransomware attacks; the Sultanate’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) and specialists in the country have said. “The reason cyber-attacks will intensify is because the attackers tend to underestimate countries in the Middle East,” said Dr. Saqib Ali, associate professor at the Sultan Qaboos University’s Information Systems Department. “They think the countries here are soft targets because their security systems are not as developed as those in the United States or Europe.

“There needs to be a culture of awareness towards cyber-attacks, because they can really harm businesses, almost irreversibly,” said Tim Marjason, managing director of Marjason Consulting and Training, a company that advises business on enforcing the right security measures.

Arnold Santos of the Systems Department at the Military Technology College of Oman said, “In Oman, a large section of the population is below the age of 30 and they use the internet indiscriminately,” he explained. “People here are not aware of the effects of ransomware, and they tend to panic and comply with the attackers’ demands because they are scared and don’t know the consequences.

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