SecurityBrief Asia logo
Asia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Exclusive: Securing cloud data in the APAC environment

By Kai Ping Lew
Mon 26 Nov 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The cloud is changing how businesses store and manage their data, leading cybercriminals to adapt their attack methods.

The Asia Pacific region is adopting cloud technology at a rapid rate, but its cybersecurity practices need to keep up.

Techday spoke to Pivotal APAC and Japan vice president and managing director Lionel Lim about the biggest developments in cybersecurity in the Asia Pacific region.

What are the biggest cybersecurity trends you’re seeing in the region?

The three biggest trends we’re seeing in the region are ransomware, cryptojacking and phishing.

Ransomware remains a firm favourite among cybercriminals as it requires very little effort in terms of execution while offering the potential of huge monetary returns.

The rise in ransomware can arguably be traced to last year’s WannaCry attacks in which its effectiveness in crippling organisations on a wide scale was displayed.

It comes as no surprise that the APAC region saw 1,000% increase in ransomware detections over the past year.

As of now, a cause of concern for users would be the Magniber ransomware which is currently expanding across Asia targeting users with Chinese and Malay PC language settings.

With cybercriminals typically following the money, the rise and popularity of cryptocurrency has attracted their attention too.

Unlike ransomware attacks, signs of cryptojacking are less obvious in which victims merely experiencing a reduction in PC performance.

Because of its seemingly benign signs, the thought of being attacked by a virus will not cross the minds of victims and possibly remain undetected.

According to Kaspersky, cryptojacking will slowly replace ransomware as cybercriminals’ weapon of choice.

Despite being around for years, phishing still remains a major concern for organisations because the majority of users are unable to develop good cyber hygiene in line with the rapid rate of digitalisation that the APAC region is undergoing.

Such a problem is exacerbated with the surge of more sophisticated phishing methods such as spearphishing.  

How is developing infrastructure changing how businesses need to approach cybersecurity?

Threats today are evolving at a rate that makes it impossible for traditional security measures to keep up, essentially rendering traditional approaches to cybersecurity ineffective, especially in today’s cloud-native environment.

The best way organisations can protect themselves is to rely on an infrastructure that is ‘born in the cloud’.

Unlike traditional software development, which usually considers security as an afterthought, security is integrated into cloud-native apps from the very start.

In addition, security vulnerabilities are identified and eliminated at every step of the development process.

This leads to the establishment of an end-to-end security element which is a level of security rarely offered by standalone security software.

Malware, including ransomware and cryptojacking, thrives on vulnerable software and static, unchanging systems.

With cloud-native software’s agile nature, organisations are constantly changing their system and proactively ‘combating’ malware threats.

If required, organisations will be able to patch vulnerabilities as soon as the software is available.

On the other hand, it is common for enterprises to take months just to deploy patches across legacy systems.

Furthermore, cloud-native software enables companies to implement frequently rotating credentials every minute or hour so they are only useful for short periods of time.

This will help combat phishing threats by rendering leaked credentials worthless.

What are the cybersecurity risks of storing data in the cloud? How can these be mitigated?

While it is true that there are risks of storing data in the cloud, it should be noted that most of these vulnerabilities are due to human factors such as the lack of good internet cyber hygiene.

With phishing being the primary reason behind unauthorised access, organisations must make the effort to constantly enhance employeecybersecurityity knowledge and foster a culture of cybersecurity.

Organisations could also look to implement multi-factor authentication solutions as an additional layer of security.

Alternatively, the implementation of a cloud-native app will allow organisations to frequently rotate credentials.

This will effectively eliminate human weakness in the cybersecurity chain especially in a time where bring-your-own-device (BYOD) cultures are becoming more prevalent.

Another security risk of the cloud is the hosting of data in an external location.

While it is this very feature that enables employees to access data from any location and raise productivity, it also means cyber criminals will be able to attack it from anywhere too. Any successful data breach on a cloud provider could also give cybercriminals data to other organisations hosted by them too.

Organisations can overcome this weakness by adopting a hybrid cloud architecture, storing sensitive information on private cloud with non-sensitive information on the public cloud.

How are businesses in the region placed to tackle them?

According to a study by Frost and Sullivan and LogRhythm, more than half of organisations in APAC are either reactive towards threats or have multiple tools deployed piecemeal.

This lack of integration and optimisation are characteristics of traditional security approaches to cybersecurity which are no longer effective today.

With cloud adoption in the region standing approximately at 90%, a figure that’s only going to increase over time, organisations are opening themselves up to attacks especially if the cybersecurity measures of their IT environment are not made for the cloud.

To remain secure in today’s cloud-native era, organisations must adopt a security-first approach in all aspects of their business and applications from the ground up as they continuously digitalise and proactively reduce cyber security vulnerabilities rather than reacting only when a breach is detected.

At present, APAC could lose staggering US$1.745 trillion due to cybersecurity incidents, a figure that’s more than 7% of the region’s total GDP and will only increase over time unless organisations begin adopting new approaches cybersecurity.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
How to ensure ethical deployment of AI implentations
The increase in automation and machine technology such as AI and machine learning has unlocked a whole new level of scale and service to organisations. 
Story image
Digital Transformation
How to modernise legacy apps without compromising security
At a time when digital transformation has become central to business, even the most important applications come with a ‘use-by’ date.
Story image
Ransomware
A third of companies paying ransom don’t recover data - report
Veeam's report finds 76% of businesses who are victims of cyberattacks paid the ransom to recover data, but a third were still unable to get their information back.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
AI-based email security platform Abnormal Security valued at $4B
"A new breed of cybersecurity solutions that leverage AI is required to change the game and stop the rising threat of sophisticated and targeted email attacks."
Story image
Ivanti
Ivanti and Lookout bring zero trust security to hybrid work
Ivanti and Lookout have joined forces to help organisations accelerate cloud adoption and mature their zero trust security posture in the everywhere workplace.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Cisco, Hitachi Vantara, Tricentis & Zscaler
We round up all job appointments from April 28 - May 5, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Malware
Sharp increase in phishing as cybercriminals leverage SEO to lure victims
"Malware lurking everywhere, from cloud apps to search engines, leaving organisations at greater risk than ever before."
Story image
SaaS
Absolute Software expands Secure Access product offering
Absolute Software is enhancing its Secure Access product portfolio, enabling minimised risk exposure and optimised user experiences in the hybrid working environment.
Story image
Blue Prism
Blue Prism Desktop uses IA to defend against vulnerabilities
SS&C Blue Prism Desktop aims to help protect businesses against vulnerabilities, using a combination of security measures and intelligent automation tech.
Story image
Appian
Appian awarded billions in damages against Pegasystems Inc.
Appian has been awarded USD$2.036 billion in damages against Pegasystems Inc as the result of a jury verdict in the Circuit Court for Fairfax County, Virginia.
Story image
Phishing
Developments in phishing and how to protect your business
Phishing, the practice of sending malicious emails to encourage users to perform actions that benefit an attacker, is a key security concern for modern businesses due to its prevalence and impact.
Story image
Ransomware
Anniversaries remind us to review identity risks
World Password Day provides a timely reminder for ordinary citizens and organisations to stop and think about the risks associated with digital identities.
Story image
Cybersecurity
CyberArk launches $30M investment fund to advance security
CyberArk has announced the launch of CyberArk Ventures, a $30 million global investment fund dedicated to advancing the next generation of security disruptors.
Story image
Cybersecurity
ThoughtLab reveals 10 best practices for cybersecurity in 2022
The benchmarking study reveals best practices that can reduce the probability of a material breach and the time it takes to find and respond to those that happen.
Story image
Firewall
Sophos named Gartner Peer Insights Customers Choice for network firewalls
The company earned the highest overall customer rating among vendors with at least 150 verified customer reviews.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from IronNet
Michael Ehrlich joins us today to discuss the history of IronNet and the crucial role the company plays in the cyber defence space.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
SonicWall
Find out how you and your business can prevent being caught out by everything from ransomware to cryptojacking.
Link image
Story image
Fortinet
Fortinet sees 34% revenue increase in latest financial results
Fortinet has released its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022, seeing a total revenue increase of 34.4% compared to the same quarter last year.
Story image
Secure access service edge / SASE
Versa Networks recognised as SASE leader in Govie Awards
Versa Networks has announced its SASE offering has been recognised in The Govies Government Security Awards competition by Security Today magazine.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Datacom, Micro Focus, SnapLogic and VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 6-12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
ForgeRock releases Autonomous Access solution powered by AI
ForgeRock has officially introduced ForgeRock Autonomous Access, a new solution that uses AI to prevent identity-based cyber attacks and fraud.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Hard numbers: Why ambiguity in cybersecurity no longer adds up
As cybersecurity costs and risks continue to escalate, CEOs continue to struggle with what their investment in cyber protection buys. Getting rid of ambiguity becomes necessary.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Physical security systems guide the hybrid workplace to new heights
Organisations are reviewing how data gathered from their physical security systems can optimise, protect and enhance their business operations in unique ways.
Story image
Cybersecurity
HackerOne launches Attack Resistance Management solution
HackerOne has launched Attack Resistance Management - a new category of security solution that targets the root causes of the attack resistance gap. 
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Updates from Google Workspace set to ease hybrid working troubles
Google Workspace has announced a variety of new features which will utilise Google AI capabilities to help make hybrid working situations more efficient and effective.
Story image
Data Protection
Managed Service Providers key to customer data protection
Frequent cyberattacks in the ASEAN region drive the demand for MSPs that can deliver purpose-built security solutions for SME customers.
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Phishing
KnowBe4 celebrates reaching 50,000 customers worldwide
KnowBe4 has reached the milestone of 50,000 customers, adding nearly 2,500 in the first quarter of 2022 alone.
Story image
Surveillance
Genetec launches new enclosure management system for data centers
Genetec has released a new enclosure management solution that will give data centers the ability to secure, monitor and manage access to racks and cabinets remotely.
Story image
Workato
Workato unveils enhancements to enterprise automation platform
"The extra layer of protection with EKM, zero-logging, and hourly key rotation gives customers a lot more visibility and control over more sensitive data."
Story image
APAC
Odaseva expands in APAC and UK with more security features
Odaseva, a data platform for Salesforce, is establishing new headquarters in London as well as a new data center in India.
Story image
BeyondTrust
BeyondTrust integrates Password Safe solution with SailPoint
BeyondTrust has announced the integration of BeyondTrust Password Safe with SailPoint identity security offerings.
Story image
Ransomware
Zerto unveils updates to ransomware recovery capabilities
"Organisations face increased risks from the volume and sophistication of ransomware attacks prevalent today."
Story image
Hyperscale
SpaceDC partners with Aofei for data center sales in Asia
SpaceDC has partnered with Aofei Data International to sell Aofei's data centers, CDN and SDN in China.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
Cybersecurity
New report reveals evolving techniques targeting cloud-native environments
Companies are adopting cloud-native technologies faster than ever before. Unfortunately, with new technology comes new threats and challenges.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Companies rushing to secure print infrastructure
As the pandemic prioritised communication channels and the shift to remote work, IT departments fell behind in updating the security of print and IT infrastructure.
Story image
Training
Fortinet training edges toward closing cybersecurity gap
The Fortinet Training Institute has made significant progress in closing the cybersecurity skills gap, on track to train one million people by 2026.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft unveils three new security managed services
Security Experts includes three new managed services, Defender Experts for Hunting, Defender Experts for XDR, Security Services for Enterprise.
Story image
VPN
Palo Alto Networks says ZTNA 1.0 not secure enough
Palo Alto Networks is urging the industry to move to Zero Trust Network Access 2.0 because previous versions have major gaps in security protection.
Story image
Malware
Use of malware, botnets and exploits expands in Q1 2022
"As zero-day attacks and other vulnerabilities among companies like Google and Microsoft come to light, threat actors are quickly adjusting their tactics."
Story image
Forensics
Exterro adds advanced capabilities to digital forensic tool
The launch is in-line with Exterro’s investment in the FTK product line, and underscores the company's commitment to the digital forensics.
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware.