Security Market Segment LS
Friday, 20 November 2015 12:54

Cyber attacks a growing threat to Southeast Asia businesses, governments

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Cyber attacks a growing threat to Southeast Asia businesses, governments Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net/images

Organisations in the Southeast Asian region are exposed to a 45% higher risk of facing a targeted cyber attack than the global average.

A new security report from FireEye and Optus parent company, Singtel, shows that level of risk for Asia’s organisations for the first half of this year, compared with only a 7% higher risk in the prior six month period.

Across the region, 29% of observed organisations were targeted with advanced cyber attacks in the first half of this year, with Thailand and the Philippines hardest hit, with 40% and 39% of organisations exposed to these attacks, respectively.

FireEye says that more than one-third of malware detections associated with advanced persistent threat (APT) groups originated within the entertainment, media and hospitality industries.

And, according to security firm, by targeting media organisations, threat groups can gain access to news before it is published and potentially identify undisclosed sources.

FireEye observed at least 13 APT groups targeting national government organisations in the Southeast Asia region, and at least four APT groups targeting regional or state governments around the world.

“Espionage isn’t new but it is increasingly conducted online, and Southeast Asia is a hot spot,” said Eric Hoh, president for Asia Pacific Japan at FireEye.

“Geopolitics can drive cyber attacks. As Southeast Asia becomes a larger economic player on the world stage and tensions flare in the South China Sea, organisations should be prepared for targeted attacks.”

According to William Woo, Managing Director, Enterprise Data and Managed Services at Singtel, the report emphasises the frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks against all types of industries and enterprises in the region.

“The risk of attack, faced by regional enterprises, is higher than the global average. Therefore these enterprises must make it a priority to reinforce their cyber defenses. Even though APT attacks can be discovered within a shorter timeframe than before, which is currently after 205 days, this still leaves enterprises wide open to malicious activity within their breached environment.

“To avoid such a situation, it is imperative for enterprises to adopt preemptive measures, such as our cyber defense managed services, to safeguard their assets and customers, in order to protect their reputations.”

To view the full cyber security report click here.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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