IT Professionals in ASEAN Confronting Increasing Cyber Security Risks


In July 2023, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations officially opened a joint cyber security details sharing and research centre, or Cybersecurity and Information Centre of Excellence, in a bid to increase the region’s shared cyber hazard defences.

The centre is a reaction to an altering threat landscape. At the opening of the ACICE, Singapore’s Ministry of Defence said Singapore alone experienced a 174% increase in phishing efforts in between 2021 and 2022, while Southeast Asia cyber crime had actually increased 82%.

Taped Future Chief Details Gatekeeper Jason Steer told TechRepublic some clients in the area felt digitisation was turning information from gold into uranium due to cyber risk. He called digital supply chains and AI as essential danger considerations for ASEAN CISOs.

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Digitisation trend in ASEAN causes increasing danger consciousness

The ASEAN region, like other emerging markets, is experiencing a rapid acceleration in digitisation. With the growth of cloud service providers like Microsoft and AWS, companies and governments are utilizing these services to make operations more scalable, whether that is to digitise procedures like invoicing and payroll or to much better handle remote work growth.

A profile photo of Jason Steer. Jason Steer, CISO at Recorded Future This digitisation pattern features danger. At threat intelligence company Taped Future’s regional conference in the region, Steer stated CISOs in ASEAN were more conscious than ever now that, although they desire great deals of information about customers because of the value it can drive for their organizations, there is a rising awareness that the hunger for data also brings risks.

SEE: Australia’s cyber shields strategy requires information science considerations.

“Among our visitor CISOs made the point that, historically, data has actually been deemed gold,” Steer said. “But, when taking a look at what organisations have actually experienced over the last 12 to 18 months, data is now seen more like uranium: The more information you have, the more danger, and the more you need to do to safeguard and secure it. How do you handle that danger appropriately now?”

ASEAN countries feeling the heat of more cyber criminal activity

ASEAN CISOs are best to be stressed. The Asia-Pacific region as a whole was the most attacked region in the world in 2022, according to a report from IBM (Figure A).

A graph showing the Asia-Pacific was the most targeted region in the world in 2022. Figure A: The Asia-Pacific was the most targeted area in the world in 2022. Source: IBM Further, a July 2023 survey by Cloudflare of 4,000 cyber security managers in the area found that 78 %of those talked to had actually experienced a minimum of one cyber security incident in the previous 12 months. Of those assaulted, 80%reported four or more incidents, and 50 %had experienced 10 or more. ASEAN countries are acutely feeling this increase in activity. Cloudflare’s report discovered that, in Malaysia, Indonesia and The Philippines, the biggest difficulty for cyber security leaders was resisting cyber attacks in the type of phishing, web attacks and business email compromise(Figure B). For CISOs in Singapore and Thailand, this threat was topped by the requirement to protect their remote labor forces, an increasing need in a cloud-driven workplace.< img src =""alt="Graphic revealing the top kinds of cyber attacks affecting APAC organisations."width="770" height="321"/ > Figure B: The leading types of cyber attacks impacting APAC organisations. Source: Cloudflare Supply chain runs the risk of a crucial factor in a connected digital world The threats of digitisation are enhanced by organisations who now count on their digital supply chain. For example, 48 %of Singapore-based

respondents to Cloudflare’s survey who were rating the leading problems with their cyber security architecture called limited oversight over their IT supply chain as an issue, just behind their applications and data being kept on the general public cloud(50 %). Must-read security protection Steer said that all organisations in ASEAN, and for that matter around the world, were buying digital services from item vendors but

were not always tracking

the cyber security postures of this extended environment. If one of those critical tools in the supply chain is down, the effect will be felt on the business due to the fact that a cog in business process has actually decreased.”At Taped Future, if AWS decreases for 20 minutes, that would be the entire platform down up until we transition to the next area,”Steer said. “You can reduce some of these supply chain problems to some extent, but it is very important for organisations to ask what their strategy is to recuperate and restore operations and the length of time they can be down until it affects their capability to service customers.”The supply chain in big organisations is getting longer and bigger; it is not just 3rd parties, however their providers. This is a difficult thing to think of, particularly when you don’t sign agreements with a provider’s providers. While there may be little you can do, you need to a minimum of begin to think of what that looks like and how to handle risks much better. “Geopolitical disputes another threat to digital supply chains The impact of conflict or geopolitical tension is of concern in ASEAN, as it is a region that depends on trade. Steer said tensions such as those between China and The Philippines in the South China Sea, a crucial shipping lane, was on the minds of CISOs in organisations. This conflict has the possible to effect digital supply chains in addition to increase uncertainty around cyber hazards dealing with organisations, federal governments or infrastructure . Artificial intelligence could likewise impact organisations and CISOs ASEAN CISOs are considering the positive and unfavorable impacts that the explosion in expert system tools might have on cyber defences and attack patterns in the region. Among the essential discussions, according to Steer, is the governance of organisational information.

PREMIUM: Stay certified with this information governance list. CISOs

are strolling the line between straight-out banning AI tools like ChatGPT to guarantee organisational data is protected from leaks or going all in on AI to realise the prospective organization benefits. AI could have an effect on local elections in ASEAN Guide stated a conversation point around AI in the area was election manipulation, particularly from state stars. With a range of precedents all over the world from previous recent elections, he said threat actors, empowered by the ease of creating content utilizing AI tools, now had the capability to develop more persuading phony disinformation campaigns. This might impact the likes of Indonesia’s election showing up in February 2024,

which would influence company and politics. AI could help to protect data in the area more effectively The opportunity to eliminate fraud and improve security might enhance with AI. Guide stated users verifying to a banking application would usually use their username, password and strong multi-factor authentication. In a world of AI, more information might add layers of security to accounts, such as where log-ins happen, what time log-ins generally take place and the IP address they normally come from.”With a lot more data points, there is not just the possibility to develop a much better user experience, but much better

avoid fraud and account takeover too,”Steer said. ASEAN nations setting sights on cyber security together The launch of the ACICE revealed ASEAN nations are continuing to work more closely together on cyber security. The area has likewise developed a joint cyber security strategy and data security framework and is working on developing a merged ASEAN security emergency action team. Skilling up ASEAN workforces is on the program; Malaysia has actually devoted to training and certifying 20,000 cyber security professionals by 2025 as part of its cyber security method. SEE: Microsoft invests in Australia’s cyber security and innovation abilities priorities. Guide said Singapore and Malaysia stand apart

in the region for advanced cyber security practices. The large number of international companies using it as a base has improved the regional skill swimming pool and facilities. Other nations, like The Philippines, are raising the bar along with regional cyber security standards increase, in part because of the supply chain governance and risk structures they are being forced to follow to keep up with rivals in the area. Source

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