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As high as 772 million passwords are stolen or emails leaked owing to hacking leading to security disaster worldwide and hacking is becoming a big threat to the UAE businesses, but there are better ways to check it, according to Terry Cutler, CEO, Cyology Labs Canada, and Ethical Hacker. Cutler will be in the UAE to participate in the 20th Annual Regional Audit Conference (ARAC) hosted by the UAE Internal Auditors Association (UAE IAA) at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from April 12 to 14, 2020 under the theme “Future Technology Shaping Internal Audit”.

He will be conducting a session titled “Insider Secrets” to HOW hackers are getting in, and WHY”. The session will show attendees a “behind the scenes look” at how hackers harvest as much information on organisations before launching a targeted attack. Terry Cutler and other “never seen before” speakers and experts will debate at the ARAC a wide range of professional topics, including challenges emerging from Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Digital Transformation and the impact on internal audit, data privacy, digitization, cyber security and robotics.

Cutler, who is the creator of Internet Safety University, a system that has been used to help defend corporations and individuals from cyber threats, said the UAE is in the right track to benefit from it. On the effectiveness and benefits of such a university, he said: “Absolutely it’s the right time. In fact the right time was five years ago. Internet Safety University currently has over 24,500 students from 150+ countries trending at 4.2/5 stars. Time is money, so I make sure that my training is timely, and backed by a trusted source.”

He stressed internal auditors’ role in guarding against hacking and protecting sensitive data. “Internal auditors are storing sensitive vulnerability data about their client’s enterprise risk management functions, security processes and procedures along with their regulatory compliance state. Hackers can leverage this data for social engineering attacks, extortion or leverage the vulnerabilities to hack the organization,” he said.

His advice to internal auditors is to make their organisations remain on the cutting-edge of business and ward-off hackers. “As you can see that traditional security technologies like antivirus, firewalls, encryption are failing us. Look into technology that can detect when hackers get in and bypass the traditional security. It’s also best to have a response plan for when this day comes,” he said.

Cutler listed a number of threats that affect cybersecurity, such as:   Phishing / Spear Phishing attacks, Ransomware, Cloud storage, Attacks affecting websites, Compromised, Lost and stolen devices (BYOD), Failed Understanding of InfoSec and Cyber Risk (Training), Poor response, Employees, Outdated software, and stolen passwords and emails, which are estimated at 772 million.

Cutler said stolen passwords is a huge problem now because of extortion. “If the scammers can crack your password, they’ll email you using the email associated to that account saying “hey you don’t know me but your password is this, we have access to your system etc.” and you’re sitting there freaking out wondering how they guessed your password,” he said.

“This conference will be setting new trends and milestones at a time when the UAE is in the forefront to become a smart city leveraging on technology. We are featuring well-known experts at the conference to guide our professionals on how to safeguard data and ward off hackers. Targeting attendance of over 1,500 delegates from around the world, it is our vision to make this conference the biggest and the best. The conference will embark on an educational journey, rich with insights for internal auditors,” said UAE IAA Chairman of the Board Abdulqader Obaid Ali.

UAE IAA, a non-profit organization, was set up in 1995 along the lines of its parent body, the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA Global) which has 200,000 members from more than 190 countries and organizations. The UAE accounts for about 45% of the total number of internal auditors working in the region, estimated at about 7,000 auditors, of which 22% are Emiratis.

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