Cybercrime: MENA Region On A War With Digital Enemy

Online ventures and the operation of digital technology have increased briskly in the MENA region. Although there are certain variations between countries, digital transformation has helped to raise prospects in international hubs for digital services. This has increased opportunities in the region. However, digital growth has increased due to cybercrime and so businesses are facing challenges with stress. 

The surge in cybercrime has arisen in spite of huge investment by the MENA region for cyber protection. Although they have embraced various measures, including regulations. Cybercrime has jeopardized the growth of the digital economy. It oscillates trust in developing technologies in which they aspire to swell.

There are multiple factors for the rise of cybercrime in MENA. For instance adoption of new technologies and taking a digital route. While these are important for the growth of the nation, it is important to keep a strict check on cybercrimes.

Many facts tell us that it will not decrease, but will increase in the future. The first reason behind this is the skyrocketed growth in the digital economy. Also, the second factor is the immense speed of adopting the latest technology. And the third factor is the merging of technologies in the Internet of Things (IoT) as it develops and expands, therefore creating new risk exposures with the many network devices. 

Cybercrime is omnipresent and so cannot be completely abolished. But the government can restrict its impact by constructing flexibility in the overall economy and powerful institutions, and also by investing in preventing capacity. Judicial structure plays a vital role in this process. 

The state of customer protection for cybercrime:

Customers should know practical information from authorities and online businesses, on what risks they will face and how to get a solution for it. They also should take safety measures when they are using online services. As more and more customers prefer online transactions, it is impossible to completely avoid cybercrime. That’s why measures have to be taken to prevent cybercrime by building trust and help so that it can deliver considerable aid to customers and widen the MENA Economy.   

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In some regions, they take measures to bring awareness to customers:

  • In Saudi Arabia, the consumer protection Association started a website in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce and Investment to aid customers to detect signs of online duplicity and gain knowledge on how to protect themselves with tools to complain about the treachery in a text message. 
  • The Omani Association for Consumer Protection is stepping up customer awareness of tricking protection and private online safety through conferences, courses, and practical knowledge. 
  • The Egyptian Consumer Protection Agency is cautioning customers on how to safeguard themselves from security risks while shopping online, joining broadband, and browsing. 

In the future, measures have to be taken to secure e-transaction and avert cybercrime so that customers are protected. 

Role of customer rights organizations:

Stopping to strengthen and urging strong security and evaluating anti-fraud in digital services will cause expensive outcomes for the customers and immense economy. This will cause customers to lose trust. Customer organizations are taking measures to improve the current situation. 

Governments and organizations can consider taking the following actions:

  • Emphasize and invoke measures to protect customers payment details, financial benefits, and private identity against fraud and exploitation. 
  • Captivate the stakeholders to assist in development measures. It includes cautious storage and dispatching financial data or any personal information. 
  • Start and escalate awareness among the businesses of legislative demands and how to ease consistent and virtual fraud reporting to aid crucial action against cybercrime. 
  • The companies and governments need to follow better practices on the deposit and transfer of private information. 
  • Inaugurate breach notification rules for companies and verify the statement of responsibilities.   

Suggested steps for online and companies:

  • Embrace better practice standards for separation and security by outline, and operate independent analysis of data security. 
  • To adopt the safe practice, customers can make it easily accessible. 
  • Producing IoT products and services should be observed with regulations to assess cybercrime risks to analyze modifications.
  • Companies should restrict accountability for customers, develop reimbursement schemes in case of security breaches or tricks and inspect possibilities for digital tools to identify fraud. 

Suggested steps for customers organizations:

  • Inspect the Consumers International Digital Index, a database of international examples in digital strategies to help customers, to protect and to help to function through regulations and policymakers and exploring customer issues and complaints. 
  • Awareness-raising initiatives were sketched to reach vulnerable customers, who are less knowledgeable about the digital world so that it can inform about document-related tricks. 
  • They can register security guidelines for different digital services and products using guidelines and checklists. 
  • Create digital awareness campaigns so that customers can take necessary steps to safeguard themselves and guidelines to do next if their data is stolen or lost. 

To conclude, in the long run, cybercrime is here to stay. All countries are striving to create a safe digital environment, but often these efforts are shattered, plotted, and receptive. Also, they do not include all essential stakeholders. Government responses often lag serious threats and so protective measures are exploited. Hence, a strategic approach is needed at this hour for the national cybersecurity that follows regulations and is collaborative by intention so the businesses can grow with no threat. 

I, Priya Nagarajan, is a past Assistant Professor, mentor, tutor, counselor. Writing has always been a passion of mine and so changed my path to my passion. I believe language is the best way to convey your thoughts and dreams to get the results. I believe it takes a personal approach to reach individual success. I write with a flair for creativity and a keen eye for the professional.

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