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Providing clarity, for companies of every size , on good basic cyber security practices
An affordable yet robust cyber security offering for companies competing in today's business market place
Helping companies protect themselves today – for a safer business future tomorrow
A comprehensive and easy-to-use online portal developed by top cyber security industry specialists
A streamlined route to
Cyber Essentials Certification
– and so much more...
Expert advice and guidance
throughout – and from people
you can trust!
for companies of
every size , on good basic cyber
An affordable yet robust
cyber security offering for companies competing in today's business market place
Helping companies protect themselves today
– for a safer business future tomorrow
A comprehensive and easy-to-use online portal developed by top cyber security industry specialists
The Cyber Highway puts companies in better control of their cyber security: encouraging more reflective practices and driving continuous improvement in all aspects of cyber resilience.
The Cyber Highway presents companies with a fresh and practical approach to certification in line with the latest Government standards.
Our intuitive system helps businesses quickly identify areas of potential cyber-risk - and understand what is needed to mitigate current and future threats.
Of the top five locations across the globe most at risk of infection by malicious software, two are located in Southeast Asia, namely Vietnam and Indonesia. Both locations have a malware encounter rate of more than 45 percent in the second quarter of 2016, which is more than double the worldwide average of over 21 percent during the same period. With an encounter rate of 35.6%, the Philippines ranked #7 on the list.This is one of the major findings from Microsoft Asias Security Intelligence Report (SIR) Volume 21, a twice yearly report that provides unique insights into trends in industry vulnerabilities, exploits, malware and web-based attacks. The latest report identified Asia Pacific markets, especially the emerging ones, as among those at the highest risk of cybersecurity threats, with three out of the top five global hot spots for malware encounters in the region.The new edition of the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report analyzed threat information from over a billion systems in the first half of 2016 and also included longer-term trend data as well as detailed threat profiles for over 100 individual markets and regions.The report also revealed that markets with higher levels of IT maturity such as Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore have displayed malware encounter rates that are below the worldwide average, highlighting the diverse cybersecurity environment in the Asia Pacific region.Worms, Trojans and malicious websitesMicrosofts SIR Vol. 21 disclosed that the top most encountered malicious software families in the country included Gamarue, a worm which can give a malicious hacker control over your PC; Lodbak, a Trojan that is usually installed on removable drives by Gamarue; and Peals, which displays Trojan characteristics.Attackers also use websites to conduct phishing attacks or distribute malware. Malicious websites typically appear completely legitimate and often provide no outward indicators of their malicious nature, even to experienced computer users. In many cases, these sites are legitimate websites that have been compromised by malware, SQL injection, or other techniques, in an effort by attackers to take advantage of the trust users have invested in them.From the report, the Philippines has 5.99 drive-by download pages per 1,000 URLs compared to the worldwide average of 0.55. Drive-by downloads are malware or threats unintentionally downloaded from the Internet. A typical case is downloading an executable program or movie file without knowing malware is attached to it.Responding to threats in the cloud eraSecurity teams are advised to keep abreast of changes in the threat landscape brought about by the emergence of cloud computing. The latest SIR report contains an expanded feature on protecting cloud infrastructure. Some of the new cloud-targeted threats outlined in the report are: Pivot back attacks, which occurs when an attacker compromises a public cloud resource to obtain information that they then use to attack the resource providers on-premise environment; Man in the Cloud attacks, in which an attacker induces a prospective victim to install a piece of malware using a typical mechanism, such as an email with a link to a malicious website. The attacker then switches out the victims cloud storage synchronization token with his token, allowing the attacker to receive copies of each file the user places in cloud storage. This effectively makes the attacker a man in the middle for cloud storage. Side-channel attacks, where an attacker attempts to put a virtual machine on the same physical server as the intended victim. If he succeeds, the attacker will be able to launch such local attacks as local DDoS, network sniffing, and man-in-the-middle attacks, all of which can be used to extract information. Resource ransom, where attackers hold cloud resource hostage by breaking into and controlling public cloud account, and then require the victim to pay a ransom to release encrypted or restricted resources.Organizations must have a robust cybersecurity posture to withstand and respond effectively to most cyber-attacks and malware infections. Five best practices for improving defense against cybersecurity threats are: Ensure strong fundamentals. Use only genuine, current and updated software since IT assets which are old, unprotected, or non-genuine in nature significantly increase the chances of a cyber-attack. For example, pirated and counterfeit software are known to come with embedded malware infections. Focus on cyber hygiene. Poor cyber hygiene of IT users, negligent employee behavior or weak credentials/password protection within an organization increases the vulnerability to system compromise. With more and more personal devices being used at the workplace, the higher the possibility they would be infected. Establish a data culture. Develop a big data analytics culture involving data classification, multifactor authentication, encryption, rights management, machine learning for behavioral and log analytics to spot user anomalies and suspicious patterns, which can provide clues in advance on impending or ongoing security breaches. Invest in a robust cyber defense ecosystem and monitor all systems in real time. Provide trusted security solutions and modern threat protection technologies to monitor, detect and remove common and advanced cyber threats in real time, while developing in-house expertise to undertake threat analytics. Perform regular assessment, review and audit. Focus not just on the technology but also on all aspects of cybersecurity. Have an IT trusted supply chain across cloud, software, hardware, Internet of Things, BYOD (bring your own device) and regularly evaluate cybersecurity investments and performance of both software and hardware deployment, including customer and vendor access to the corporate network.Resources like the Security Intelligence Report are just one aspect of the Microsofts comprehensive approach to security. Microsoft launched its first combined Transparency Center and Cybersecurity Center in Singapore in October 2016, a joint facility that brings together Microsoft capabilities to serve the security needs of the public and private sector and foster a trusted and secure computing environment.
Homegrown baking supplies company Phoon Huat is looking to go digital and had plans to roll out an e-commerce platform last December as part of its digitalisation plans.Then a ransomware attack hit.Mr Erick Chng, head of IT at Phoon Huat, told Channel NewsAsia in a recent interview that malicious software infiltrated its systems last August. There were no financial losses, as the attackers appeared to be just playing around to see what kind of data they could access, he said. But Phoon Huat's systems were sufficiently compromised for the company to decide to delay the launch of the e-commerce site, he revealed.He said the attackers had access to image files, which included the companys invoices as these were scanned into the system as JPEG documents.The previous IT security systems were outdated and had not been patched since their licenses lapsed, Mr Chng, who joined Phoon Huat in October 2015, shared.Additionally, as Phoon Huat's IT department only had two other people, Mr Chng did not have the resources or bandwidth at his disposal to deal with the security breach, despite having suspicions of something lurking in the company's network two months before.Following the incident, Phoon Huat decided to beef up its IT security including a recent decision to sign on with Darktrace, a UK-based security vendor that integrates machine learning into its cybersecurity tool, after learning about Darktrace's capabilities from a technology exhibition last year, Mr Chng said."Their cybersecurity system has the ability to learn by itself and provide insights to help us tackle real-time threats, the IT chief said. This means less manpower is needed and (the system) also contributes to staff learning (as they see how the machine works).To date, the business with the iconic Red Man logo has yet to launch its e-commerce site. Instead, it is ringfencing the site with adequate security measures first, to be ready to address any further security breaches, said Mr Chng.Phoon Huat is just one of a few small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to have been hacked in recent years. Karaoke chain K Box Entertainment Group experienced a high-profile attack in 2014 after a group calling itself The Knowns breached its systems and leaked personal details of more than 317,000 members. And the stakes are increasing for SMEs who must secure their online presence and customer information. The Personal Data Protection Commission took K Box and 10 other companies, to task for breaching the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) last April. In January this year, it fined both JP Pepperdine Group and PropNex Realty S$10,000 for failing to secure their customers' personal details on their IT systems.LEAN NETWORK SECURITY TEAMS UNDER PRESSUREThe high usage of Web-enabled mobile phones in Singapore has also lent greater urgency to the issue of cybersecurity.The international school United World College (UWC) South East Asia told Channel NewsAsia in an interview that as more people use devices to log on to its networks, there is increasing pressure on its lean IT team responsible for keeping the infrastructure of its two campuses here secure.There is currently one person overseeing each of our Dover and East campuses, said Mr Ben Morgan, Director of IT at UWC.At its peak, 20,000 connected devices can log on to the schools networks, he noted, and the amount of data going in and out of the network is a challenge to keep track of in real time.Furthermore, the school is a high-profile organisation with parents of its students working in the top companies in Singapore, so UWC is very conscious of the potential harm that could be done, should its systems be breached and personal details of these parents and their children are leaked, Mr Morgan added.The international school is equipped with conventional IT security tools such as firewalls, whitelists and antivirus, but the IT director said it also signed up with Darktrace for its proactive detection capabilities, high visibility into its network and pool of skilled professionals available on hand should it need further assistance.For example, Mr Morgan shared that one of its students decided to test Googles claim of unlimited storage for Gmail, which led to a spike in its network traffic. The student created a file that automatically replicated itself to see what the ceiling of Gmails storage claim was, and consumed about 120 terabytes on the schools network before being detected, he said.He said it was through Darktraces tool that his team was able to understand the context of the data traffic and find out who was responsible for the spike. "This (episode) provided us a teachable moment with the student to explain what responsible use of the Internet entailed, he said.AWARENESS AMONG SMES "STILL NOT THERE"Phoon Huat's Mr Chng pointed out that while there are cybersecurity tools out there for SMEs to tap on, awareness among such firms about the importance of securing their digital presence is "still not there"."Many business owners don't understand why IT exists until they feel the pain," he said, adding that it was up to the IT professionals in these companies to advise the owners.Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat had earlier highlighted the importance of growing local SMEs capabilities regarding data and cybersecurity in his Budget speech on Monday. He noted that as the country pushed forward with helping SMEs go digital, data will become an important asset for firms, and strong cybersecurity capabilities will be needed for networks to function smoothly.
When it comes to the business of information security and the big technology trends that will likely shape the year ahead, the RSA Conference is perhaps the most important source of insights. And with a record attendance of more than 43,000, RSAC 2017 was no exception. (See my top seven startups here.)The cybersecurity trends that stood out this year were cloud and container security, machine learning, securing the Internet of things, rugged DevOps and the growing managed security services market. Lets look at a few of these.AI and Machine Learning: About three-fourths of the vendors on the expo floor touted some level of artificial intelligence or machine-learning capabilities. Currently, however, most of the machine-learning capabilities discussed are just like the Bayesian techniques in spam filters and heuristics commonly found in anti-malware software but now, new and improved!Bottom line, much of the talk around AI and machine learning is currently more hype than reality, which makes it difficult for channel partners and end users to understand whats real and whats marketing.Cloud On Track: In contrast, when it comes to cloud, things have hit a tipping point. According to a report published by cloud access security broker Skyhigh Networks and the Cloud Security Alliance, titled "Custom Applications and IaaS Report 2017," the use of cloud in the enterprise has hit an all-time high, and the use of custom apps is growing rapidly. According to the report, enterprises typically run 464 custom applications; yet, information security teams are aware of only 38.4 percent of those apps. Enterprises need partners that can help them identify and effectively manage this shadow IT that is growing in their organizations.What's more, use of software as a service is growing 10 times as rapidly as traditional IT, and infrastructure as a service is growing at twice that rate. According to the Skyhigh Networks and CSA report, this year, for the first time, infrastructure-as-a-service providers will host more custom applications than are held in corporate data centers.Current projections on security spending for this and the next few years match the survey results. According to research firm IDC, spending on cloud IT infrastructure will grow 18.2 percent to reach $44.2 billion this year. More than 60 percent of that will be in the public cloud, while private-cloud environments will be just shy of 15 percent.Additionally, IDC forecasts that worldwide security-related spending will grow just north of 8 percent, and global revenues for all security-related IT spending will reach $102 billion from $74 billion today.
Cybersecurity firm NCC Group has launched a strategic review after issuing a profit warning.The company announced on Tuesday that the performance of its assurance division will be significantly lower than anticipated. This will hit its overall financial results for the full year ending 31 May, 2017.NCC now expects that the full year adjusted EBITDA will be approximately 20 per cent below the 45.5m-47.5m range forecast on 13 December, 2016."The rate of sales growth and subsequent delivery in the assurance division in the third quarter to date has been lower than had been anticipated in both security consulting and software testing and web performance," NCC said in a statement. "The reduction in expected sales and profitability in the third quarter has been seen in the UK, mainland Europe and North America."Sales are normally higher in the fourth quarter but any increases are highly likely to be offset by the shortfall in the rest of the year, NCC warned. Longer term NCC hopes to bring in extra sales as firms seek to achieve compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation ahead of the May 2018 deadline.NCC's escrow division remains on course for reaching its sales target but the deterioration in sales by the assurance division has prompted NCC to initiate a review of its operating strategy. The review will be led by the board, supported by externally appointed consultants, and expected to come out with preliminary findings before NCC announces its results in July 2017."NCC Group continues to firmly believe that the Assurance Division has significant growth prospects which it is determined to capture once the Group has reviewed its existing strategy and operations," the firm concluded.NCC shares were down a quarter from 126.50p overnight to 97p in London trading at the time of publication.NCC Group's chairman Paul Mitchell last month said he would be stepping down in May as the firm revealed it had been hit by the cancellation of three large contracts and the deferral of a fourth. The firm hasn't indicated the root source of the problem. Speculation among analysts suggests it might be down to issues with renewing government contracts attached to forensics and incident response outfit Fox-IT, a November 2015 acquisition.
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