The Importance of Cybersecurity in the UAE’s IT Industry

With thousands of cyberattacks happening every day worldwide, it is no surprise that the UAE, a hub for IT technologies, is a prime target for cybercriminals. Thus, cybersecurity has become more critical than ever in the UAE's IT industry.

In this article, we will explore the current state of cybersecurity in the UAE, the initiatives to combat cybercriminals, and provide recommendations on how to protect a business from cyber attacks.

Current State of Cybersecurity in the UAE

The UAE has made strides in improving its cybersecurity, but it still faces significant challenges. The country is a prime target for cybercriminals due to its status as an IT hub and high internet penetration, e-commerce, and online services. As a result, the UAE is among the most targeted countries globally, with attacks on the rise.

The UAE Cyber Security Council has called on both public and private sectors to exercise caution and activate their emergency response systems to combat these threats. They have emphasised the importance of protection systems, cybersecurity policies, and raising awareness of suspicious electronic activities. The country stops 50,000 cyberattacks daily, with the banking, financial, health, oil, and gas industries being the most targeted.
The demand for cybersecurity is expected to increase in the coming years, as effective cybersecurity measures are critical for the future of IT in the UAE. To learn more about this topic, check out this article.

Most common threats

Cybercriminals use various tactics to exploit vulnerabilities in computer systems and networks.
  • 1
    This involves gaining unauthorised access to a computer system or network with the intent to steal data, install malware, or cause damage.
  • 2
    Malware is software designed to harm a computer system, such as viruses, worms, Trojans, and ransomware. Malware can be used to steal data, damage systems, or demand a ransom in exchange for restoring access to the affected files.
  • 3
    Phishing is a social engineering attack that involves tricking users into divulging sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card numbers, by posing as a trustworthy entity, such as a bank or a government agency.
  • 4
    Ransomware is malware that encrypts the victim's files and demands a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key. Ransomware attacks can be particularly devastating for businesses, as they can lead to significant data loss, downtime, and reputational damage.


In recent years, the UAE government has implemented numerous initiatives and regulations to protect companies and industries from cyber threats.

Cybersecurity law

New Federal Decree-Law No. 34 of 2021 on Combating Rumours and Cybercrimes, effective since January 2022, replaces the previous law and provides a legal framework to prevent online crimes and protect government websites, combat the spread of fake news, maintain privacy and personal rights, and penalises a wide range of cyber offences, including hacking, falsifying electronic documents, invading privacy, tampering with medical data, and many others.

The UAE Information Assurance Regulation

The UAE Information Assurance Regulation is a framework developed by the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority to protect information assets and supporting systems across all entities in the UAE. It aims to establish a trusted digital environment throughout the country by providing management and technical information security controls.

The IA Regulation outlines the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders and provides a reference catalogue of common information security controls to defend against known cyber security vulnerabilities. It also provides specialised controls to address sector-specific information assurance requirements and enables inter-entity and cross-sector communication to support information sharing and build national situational awareness.


FedNet provides secure architecture through Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) cloud for all federal government entities. The FedNet team observes and monitors FedNet events and procedures around the clock. A dedicated 24/7/365 security operations centre operates a Security Information and Event Management system to manage all security events within FedNet.


The UAE established aeCERT, a Computer Emergency Response Team, to elevate information security standards and safeguard the IT infrastructure against potential risks and violations. The team strives to foster a secure cyberspace for UAE residents and nationals while also disseminating information about cybersecurity incidents, vulnerabilities, and threats. Individuals may report any cybersecurity incidents to aeCERT.

Cyber Pulse

Cyber Pulse initiative aims to increase public participation in cybersecurity by raising awareness about online threats and providing guidance on how to avoid becoming a victim of phishing. It offers various training courses, workshops and lectures to the community, focusing on women and families during the first phase and students during the second phase.

The UAE's National Cybersecurity Strategy

The UAE's National Cybersecurity Strategy aims to create a secure digital infrastructure that benefits citizens and businesses. Launched in 2019 by TDRA, the strategy has five pillars and 60 initiatives to mobilise the cybersecurity ecosystem in the UAE.

Cyber Security Strategy

Dubai introduced the Dubai Cyber Security Strategy to enhance its position as a leader in safety, security, and innovation. One of its main objectives is to establish controls that ensure data confidentiality, credibility, availability, and privacy, thereby creating a secure cyberspace.
Thanks to these regulations and initiatives, the UAE has made significant strides in cybersecurity, earning recognition for its robust infrastructure.
The country ranked fifth globally in the Global Cybersecurity Index 2020 report, achieving a perfect score in three pillars: legal measures, capacity development, and cooperative measures, and an impressive total score of 98.06 out of 100.

However, it is equally important for businesses to take responsibility for their own cybersecurity.

Best Practices for Cybersecurity

Businesses in the UAE's IT industry must take proactive measures to protect their systems and data from cyber threats. The risks of a cyber attack can be significant, including financial loss, reputational damage, legal liability, and even business closure in extreme cases. Here are some steps that companies can take to improve their cybersecurity:
  • Use of encryption and other security technologies
    Businesses should use encryption to protect sensitive data and implement other security technologies such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems to prevent unauthorised access.
  • Importance of employee training and awareness
    Employees are often the weakest link in the security chain. Therefore, businesses should provide regular training and awareness programs to educate employees on cybersecurity best practices and how to recognise and report security incidents.
  • Conduct a risk assessment
    A risk assessment can help identify potential vulnerabilities in a business's IT systems and processes. This can help businesses prioritise their cybersecurity efforts and allocate resources effectively.
  • Hiring Cybersecurity Specialists
    Given the complex and rapidly evolving nature of cyber threats, companies need to hire cybersecurity specialists who possess the knowledge and skills to safeguard their data and systems. Cyber Security Engineers, QA Specialists, Information Security Specialists, and Pentesters are among the most sought-after professionals in the field.
At Lucky Hunter, we help businesses find IT specialists tailored to their specific needs. Contact us today to receive a free consultation with our CEO.

The IT industry plays a crucial role in the UAE's economy and overall development. However, this sector is highly vulnerable to cyber threats, making cybersecurity a top priority to ensure its safety and continued growth.

It's important to promptly report cybercrimes through various channels: for example, through the eCrime website, police websites or the 'My Safe Society' app launched by the UAE's federal Public Prosecution.

Reporting cybercrime is crucial as it helps authorities take necessary actions against criminals and prevent further damage.

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