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The UAE's regulations are designed to exclude fraudulent crypto companies and attract legitimate businesses

UAE introduces regulations to clean up crypto market

The UAE has taken steps towards regulating its payments sector with the introduction of Payment Token Services Regulation in an attempt to push out fraudulent crypto companies and attract legitimate businesses. The new regulations introduced by the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) focus heavily on stablecoins – digital currencies pegged to a real-world asset […]

The funds stolen from cryptocurrency exchange Rain were converted into Bitcoin and Ethereum to disguise their origin

Crypto exchange Rain suffers $15m hack

Rain, a cryptocurrency exchange regulated in both the UAE and Bahrain, has confirmed a serious hack resulting in losses reportedly nearing $15 million.  The exchange said in a statement on its website on Tuesday that customer funds remain secure despite the incident.  The security breach occurred on April 29 and was first detected by blockchain […]

Saudi US China Amit Medha

Saudi Arabia willing to drop China for US tech alliance

Saudi Arabia will sever technology ties with China if the United States compels it to, the chief executive officer of Alat, an investment company backed by $100 billion in capital from the Public Investment Fund, has revealed. According to Bloomberg US officials have told their Saudi Arabian counterparts that they will have to decide between […]

Binance CEO Richard Teng told AGBI the company spent $213m on compliance measures in 2023

Binance clamps down on suspicious UAE crypto trades

Binance has blocked hundreds of thousands of suspicious cryptocurrency transactions in the UAE as it ramps up compliance efforts, senior executives have told AGBI. The business, which is the world’s largest crypto exchange, received nearly 60,000 law enforcement requests from governments around the world in 2023 after heightened regulatory scrutiny. Meera Judge, the Dubai-based director […]

Teenage students use a laptop and tablet. One cybersecurity expert said pupils' personal devices could increase the risk of data breaches

Cybercrooks have their eyes on Gulf schools, experts warn

The education sector in the GCC has emerged as a prime target for cybercriminals because of budgetary constraints and a lack of expertise, tech experts have told AGBI. “Schools, in particular, are vulnerable due to their extensive storage of sensitive personal information and comparatively lower investments in cybersecurity,” said Ram Narayanan, country manager at Check […]

The National Stock Exchange in Mumbai, India. Bahrain's Investcorp is investing in technology and IT services companies worldwide

Investcorp buys Indian tech company for $120m  

Bahrain’s alternative asset manager, Investcorp, is to acquire the digital technology business of India’s National Stock Exchange (NSE) for $120 million. NSEIT provides advanced digital transformation and cybersecurity services to global customers in capital markets, insurance and banking in India, North America and the Middle East. The services include digital engineering, data and analytics, artificial intelligence, cloud services […]

A dedicated cybersecurity team can help to tackle threats, but only 32% of organisations in the energy sector have one

UAE is a ‘prime target’ for ransomware attacks

The UAE is a “prime target” for ransomware attacks, the country’s Cyber Security Council has warned. Its 2024 State of the UAE Cybersecurity report says the Emirates’ rapid digital transformation has increased its vulnerability to cyberattacks, including ransomware incidents and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. “The broader Middle East region” is a target for […]

Site Ventures, a unit of PIF-owned Site, will acquire a 10% stake in South Korea's AhnLab

PIF entities invest $133m in South Korea’s AhnLab

A technology subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) will set up a joint venture with South Korea’s AhnLab to develop and localise multiple cybersecurity technologies in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Information Technology Company (Site) and its subsidiary, Site Ventures, will invest more than SAR500 million ($133 million) in the venture to carry out research and […]

The operations centre at Saudi Aramco's Dhahran HQ. A 2012 cyberattack on the company wiped out data on 30,000 computers

Saudi Arabia steps up battle against AI cyberattacks

Twelve years after hackers brought oil production at Saudi Aramco to a halt for more than a week, Saudi Arabia is still susceptible to cyberattacks, a study had found. A survey of 8,000 private sector companies in 30 countries by Cisco AI Readiness Index revealed that the number and impact of attacks was rising and […]

The UAE has issued a warning to users of Google Chrome to update the browser to avoid security breaches

UAE authority issues security alert for Google Chrome users

The UAE Cyber Security Council has issued a high-risk alert for those using the desktop version of Google Chrome browser. Google released Google Chrome security updates last week to patch several high-risk vulnerabilities that could allow attackers to remotely execute code on affected systems or compromise sensitive data. The UAE’s council recommended updating to the […]

AI cybersecurity arab woman computer screen

Mena cybersecurity spend grows to $3.3bn to fight AI crime

Spending on cybersecurity and risk management in the Middle East and North Africa will rise 12 percent in 2024 to $3.3 billion, the research group Gartner is forecasting. The rise in spending is a reaction to the growing use of generative AI to create fake information and fake images for use in cybercrime. Shailendra Upadhyay, […]

UAE Cyber Security Council chairman Dr. Mohamed Al Kuwaiti speaks at the recent Intersec conference in Dubai. The UAE is the Mena region's leading AI developer

Mena IT spend expected to reach $184bn this year

IT spending in the Middle East and North Africa is projected to increase by four percent in 2024, as companies focus on upgrading software and embracing generative AI. Spending is estimated to reach $183.8 billion, a slight increase from $176.8 billion in 2023, according to US tech company Gartner. The use of generative AI will […]

UAE Cyber Security Council chief Dr Mohamed Al Kuwaiti

UAE ransomware attacks decline but payout size grows

Ransomware attacks in the UAE have declined significantly but the amount of money being demanded has risen, according to the Gulf state’s Cyber Security Council chief Dr Mohamed Al Kuwaiti. Speaking at Intersec, the security and safety conference in Dubai, Dr Al Kuwaiti did not disclose specific numbers, but cybersecurity company Kaspersky has reported a […]

In the past two years, 73 percent of UAE organisations surveyed about data security fell victim to successful ransomware attacks

Half of UAE businesses feel at risk from data attacks

More than half of UAE businesses still perceive themselves at risk from data security threats, a new report has found. The Data Risk Management 2023 UAE report by Veritas Technologies showed that in the past two years 73 percent of organisations surveyed fell victim to ransomware attacks. That is substantially higher than the global figure […]

An actor in the process of creating a synthetic facial reanimation video, or deepfake

Reality still beats deepfake technology … for now

Technology experts are confident that artificial intelligence-generated deepfakes will not dominate or replace human talent. “It sounds tremendously fake, even when it sounds ‘real’,” Ahmad Haffar, the voice behind Dubai Metro and managing partner at Mindloop Studios, told AGBI. Deepfakes are manipulated videos, images or audio recordings created using AI. They are increasingly commonplace in […]

Technology tech trends man laptop ChatGPT ChatGPT took the world by storm in 2023 and research firm Gartner predicts that more than 80 percent of enterprises will integrate generative AI into their applications by 2026

Gulf tech trends to watch in 2024

Technological breakthroughs in 2023 have transformed society and the world economy, but we must always look ahead. These are the cutting-edge discoveries and technologies that will define 2024. Quantum computing Quantum computing – using the principles of quantum mechanics to tackle problems too complex for traditional computers – is set to revolutionise industries.  Global tech […]

International Holding Company said in a disclosure to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange that scammers are using the company's name for fraudulent investment opportunities

Middle East hit by wave of brand impersonation scams

Cybersecurity experts in the Middle East are warning of a rise in brand impersonation attacks which persuade unsuspecting consumers to part with sensitive information.  International Holding Company, a global investor based in Abu Dhabi, said in a disclosure to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange last week that scammers are using the company’s name and logo […]

Mohammed Al Kuwaiti, head of cybersecurity for the UAE government. Lack of resources and too many manual processes are just a few of the IT safety issues facing companies

UAE cybersecurity is failing, say IT executives

Inadequate technology is one of the primary causes of data breaches suffered by UAE companies, despite huge investments made by IT departments in the Gulf state to combat cyberattacks, say experts. Companies in the Mena region spent $2.8 billion on cybersecurity last year, according to US technology research and consulting firm Gartner.  Yet a report […]

Canada's minister of foreign affairs Melanie Joly co-chaired the first UAE-Canada joint committee meeting in Abu Dhabi last month

Raiven launches fund to strengthen UAE-Canada ties

Raiven Capital, a venture capital company based in Toronto, has launched a new $125 million fund in Dubai with a focus on tech-based founders. The fund, set up in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), will invest in entrepreneurs developing artificial intelligence to disrupt sectors including fintech and cybersecurity.   “Raiven has ambitious plans for the region […]