Trend Micro, a global cloud security provider, is concerned that regional governments, businesses and individuals are not taking web threats seriously, and the consequences are potentially disastrous.
With 2.7 million active machines currently infected across the GCC, the security vendor is concerned at the region’s passive approach to Internet security.
Trend Micro’s Smart Protection Network technology can see how many computers are active on the Internet and the number of infected computers across the GCC is on the rise, the company warned.
In 2010, there were more than 2.2 million infected active machines – a 32% rise from 2009. In 2011 alone, the region has seen more than 2.7 million compromised machines.
“The visible infections in the region continue to grow year-on-year. As we become more dependent on the web, threats will only increase. We must educate ourselves and be better protected because the consequences are more than what individuals and businesses can afford,” commented Chris Moore, GM, Middle East, Africa and Med.
According to Trend Micro, Saudi Arabia accounts for the highest number of infected machines. Compromised machines numbered 1,363,815 in 2010, a 31% increase from 2009. So far in 2011 the Kingdom has 2,093,398.00 compromised machines.
In the UAE, there were 500,715 compromised machines in 2010, a rise of 140% compared to 2009, the company said. This year alone, there are more than 209,054 compromised machines.
Kuwait accounted for 10% of all infected machines in the GCC in 2010, Qatar 3.5%, Oman 3% and Bahrain 1.2%, as per Trend Micro. Presently there are 335,521 infected machines in Kuwait, 19,324 in Qatar, 93,188 in Oman and 22,119 in Bahrain.
“The numbers for the region are very alarming. Protecting ourselves on the Internet is not complex. We just need to use professional security software that can also block threats, and exercise personal caution,” added Moore.