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Companies in the Emirates are leaving themselves open to computer attacks by failing to adequately protect sensitive commercial data, according to a recently published study.

As many as 75 per cent of respondents to a survey conducted by two UK academics said they did not have a policy in place for protecting sensitive information from hackers, the study showed. Internet security firms have previously warned that the Emirates is becoming a popular target for cyber criminals, though the alerts have apparently fallen on mostly inattentive ears.

"The issue is not taken very seriously by the majority of companies," said Messaoud Saidani, a member of the Coventry University engineering and computing faculty and who helped write the report. "People get on with their daily business not fully aware of the real threats around them. For a place such as the UAE, which is a business centre for the region, the level of vulnerability is disturbing."

Mr Saidani's research was conducted with his Coventry colleague Khalid al Awadi, an Emirati. The paper was published in the journal Information Management and Computer Security in July.

Period29 Nov 2010

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