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Asia Pacific needs to step up on identifying cybersecurity risk

Edward Lim, Managing Director, Southeast Asia, RSA | Nov. 6, 2015
Organisations need to re-orient the way they view cybersecurity and actively fight with the right weapons to maintain a stronghold in their sphere of control.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Edward Lim, RSA
Photo: Edward Lim

It is undeniable — the upward trend of security breaches, malware and hacking cases every year. Worldwide cybersecurity spending is expected to reach US$75.4 billion in 2015, with the increase in spending being driven by high impact nature of advanced targeted attacks. From the inception of the Internet, to the conception of peer-to-peer file exchange programmes and eventually, to the rise of connected devices, e-commerce and cloud-computing, advancements in technology have led the world to expand faster than we can keep up with and threats have been getting increasingly sophisticated.

The complex web of interconnected devices is continually opening up gateways to information, and countless access channels makes for increased difficulty in keeping watch over the safety of such online data. With the paradigms of the cybersecurity landscape evolving so rapidly and threats only getting more immense and imminent, RSA's Cybersecurity Poverty Index (CPI) found that 75 percent of organisations globally are facing significant cyber security risk and only a quarter of these organisations feel that they have the necessary advanced security strategies in place.

Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) houses several of the world's largest and most viable economies that presently rely on rudimentary cyber capabilities. In recent years, high profile cases such as the hacking of Singapore's Prime Minister's office website by the Anonymous collective; the hacking of Google Malaysia's domain by the 'Tiger-Mate #Bangladeshi Hacker'; and malware attacks on three major South Korean banks that crippled ATMs, have shaken the region. Also, high usage of unlicensed software has been detected in various countries within APJ, with 84 percent of all software in Indonesia and 81 percent of that in Vietnam being pirated — opening many loopholes for malicious exploitation to occur.

Major reworking in the foundations of cybersecurity strategies is needed to properly detect and respond to these new, persistent threats. To better analyse the situation at hand, we need to first understand the status of each country and vertical industry. According to a recent survey sponsored by DomainTools, the majority of large companies experienced breaches within the first half of 2015 and almost a quarter of these firms do not even know how their attackers got in.

To delve into the deeper aspects of cybersecurity, over 400 security professionals across 61 countries were polled to assess the ability of organisations to identify, protect, detect, respond and recover by analysing their levels of perceived cybersecurity maturity and risk exposure. The data compiled showed that the highest reported maturity levels were in 'Protection' and the lowest were in 'Identification'.


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