International Asia The importance of increasing cybersecurity

The importance of increasing cybersecurity

Companies do not provide sufficient training on cybersecurity. One click without a thorough check on the link address could cause a loss of a few million dollars for the company




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SINGAPORE-Jeff Hurmuses, the vice president and managing director of Malwarebytes, a company dealing with malware in Singapore, and Akshay a professional based in the US spoke about the importance of cybersecurity recently.

The duo offered tips on protecting individuals and companies on cyberspace.

According to Mr Akshay, when 80% of cyber incidents occur, only 30% of people think they are serious. Thus, there is a disconnect between reality and people’s understanding. This is where the importance of being well educated in cybersecurity comes in.

He said,” It’s not a matter of whether they’re going to get breached. It’s a matter of when they’re going to get breached.”

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Mr Jeff shared that people only realise the importance of cybersecurity and start searching for help when things crop up.

In Singapore, cybersecurity is especially important as the nation is viewed as an attractive target due to being a “hotbed for digital growth and innovation”. This is evidenced by the recent incidences of SingHealth data breach and the leak of the HIV registry.

Despite being protected in cyberspace, more than 80% of organizations were hit by at least one cyber threat in the last 12 months.

Also, Mr Akshay predicted that in the near future, more sophisticated attacks could happen and attackers will use more Artificial Intelligence (AI) to qualify, deploy and maintain malware.

Attacks such as supply chain attacks and phishing (sextortion) are not uncommon, where the former involves the victims downloading certain types of extension and having their credentials stolen.

The latter involves the victims being threatened to pay to prevent their information from being leaked to outsiders.

Additionally, bring your own security (BYOS) will expand as more people may want to know who has access to their information.

According to Mr Akshay, companies today spend about 2.5% in areas of IT but 10% in cybersecurity.

He added that the amount spent on cybersecurity will remain the same while the amount spent on other areas of IT will continue to decrease. This highlights the importance for cybersecurity and the knowledge on malware.

While such is being said, Mr Jeff commented that no company can give 100% protection.What companies can do, such as his company- Malwarebytes, is to offer the highest security protection possible and quickly solve issues that arise when they do happen.

So what can companies or individuals do to ensure higher security in cyberspace and prevent themselves from being a victim of malware?

Mr Akshay shared that the government could get more involved by co-funding cybersecurity projects.

In fact, Akshay shared that there are actually one million cybersecurity job spaces in Linkedin. However, these can never be filled up as there are inadequate talents. Hence, the government needs more people in this rising field where the future jobs are.

What organizations can do is to patch and ensure that systems and software are up-to-date. They should also utilize security solutions and implement advanced endpoint protection, detection and response.

More importantly, users should be educated and trained on the best cyber practices to prevent being a victim. At the same time, best responses could be ensured should they encounter a malware problem.


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