An inside look into today’s cybersecurity landscape businesses

Amidst growing investments in cybersecurity and innovation in handling cyberattacks, it is important to note that attackers too are getting more and more sophisticated, devising new ways to lay their hands on sensitive and valuable data at the expense of organisations and even nations.

Asia Pacific for one, continues to face prominent cybersecurity threats.

“By now, we are familiar with reports of how Singapore was the top target for online attacks during the recently-concluded Trump-Kim Summit,” said Neville Burdan, Director, Cybersecurity at Dimension Data in an email interview with Networks Asia. 

Cybercrime is unfortunately becoming democratised with zero barriers to accessing avenues such as the Dark Web, where one can purchase turnkey tools to break in. What’s critical for businesses to do is to focus on the basics. Basics do not mean it’s simple. These could involve investing in the right tools, regular patching, continuing to focus on creating awareness to bolster their security posture.”

In the interview, Burdan further talks about threats on the horizon and how a business can manage varied attacks through cybersecurity advisory, ransomware protection and managed security.

Why are we still facing cyberthreats? Given all that is spent on security, why aren’t we yet hardened enough?

Cybercrime is unfortunately becoming democratised with zero barriers to accessing avenues such as the Dark Web, where one can purchase turnkey tools to break in. What’s critical for businesses to do is to focus on the basics. Basics do not mean it’s simple. These could involve investing in the right tools, regular patching, continuing to focus on creating awareness to bolster their security posture.

To help further business’ understanding of how they can make informed cybersecurity investment decisions, we at Dimension Data put together an Executive’s Guide to the 2018 NTT Security Global Threat Intelligence Report for the APAC region, which is derived from NTT Security’s insights into current and future cyberthreats from monitoring 40 percent of the world’s internet traffic – over 6.1 trillion logs and 150 million attacks. The findings support what we know, that attackers always seek to target key growth sectors, given the attractiveness of potential data. Unsurprisingly, the financial sector was found to be the most attacked sector in Asia Pacific.

Another reason why there is still a gap in ensuring an adequate security posture is because, locally and globally, the balance between compliance and cybersecurity remains challenging – embracing compliance without detriment to one’s security initiatives. Organisations are still struggling to achieve an optimal balance between new and revised cybersecurity standards, data governance policies and frameworks. Especially with implementations such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the Middle East & Africa and the Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) scheme in Australia this year.

Why is ransomware still a threat? Shouldn’t we and the bad guys have moved on by now

Indeed, ransomware continues to pose a significant threat as it remains the cybercriminals’ weapon of choice. According to our findings, ransomware attacks increased globally by 350 percent in 2017, and represents 7 percent of total malware – up from 1 percent last year.

Unfortunately, even as society evolves with the demands of people, so does cyberattacks. Ransomware continues to present a threat with new variants of malware being discovered as systems become infected daily. Attackers continue to be attracted to carrying out such attacks because of the financial incentives of ongoing outbreaks.  With more than 400 different malware types found to have infected computers in Singapore, according to the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), the persistence and relentlessness of cyber-adversary campaigns indicate that ransomware popularity and prevalence will continue.