Businesses in the Middle East have been urged to improve how they share information on the latest cyber security threats in order to reduce their risk of falling victim to hackers.
It was noted in a recent Gulf News article that as connectivity in the region has surged and more enterprises become fully digital organisations, the opportunities for criminals to take advantage of this have also increased.
It highlighted research conducted by Cisco that estimated that the number of smart devices in use in the Middle East is set to jump from 133 million this year to 598 million by 2018. Qatar in particular is said to be seeing high take-up of internet connectivity, with the UN Broadband Commission ranking it second out of 132 developing countries for the adoption of this technology.
But with this growth comes risks. PwC's 2014 Global Economic Crime Survey, for example, revealed that cybercrime cost companies in the region as much as $100 million last year, while threats are predicted to continue growing for the foreseeable future.
Although governments in the region are taking steps to tackle this problem - such as Qatar's Computer Emergency Response Team - the industry also has much to do in order to ensure that companies are as well-protected as possible from emerging threats.
Central to this is the effective sharing of information. It was noted by Gulf News contributor Dianne Mullenex that there needs to be a "fundamental attitude change" among businesses in the Middle East, which must view security as an ongoing process.
"We need to ingrain the philosophy that hackers are already inside the defences of our systems, and that organisations need programmes in place to spot and limit the potential," she said.
While traditional solutions such as encryption and extra security to protect businesses' data 'crown jewels' need to play a part in this, these techniques are not sufficient by themselves in today's rapidly-evolving environment.
"To achieve the most efficient and effective route to combating cybercrimes, programme developers need to form an industry-wide and international cooperation through information sharing and collating cyber issues, which would improve actions and responses to threats dramatically," Ms Mullenex said.