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Cybersecurity priorities for digital leaders navigating digital transformation

by Helen J. Wolf
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The pandemic has forced the economy into digital overdrive. Organizations have had to quickly work remotely and use online channels in response to lockdowns and accelerate digital transformation agendas to survive. Unfortunately, the global threat landscape escalates alarmingly, and rapid digitization has left organizations vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

In recent years, Asia-Pacific has mainly been a hot spot for cyber-attacks, and as we progress into 2022, it’s clear that the problem is growing. It is projected to cost the world more than $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. The risk of cyber-attacks is increasing because of external factors such as the pandemic and the Ukraine-Russian crisis. These attacks paint a disturbing picture of the costs of disruption and potentially disastrous ripple effects for local and global economies.

Today, as threat actors become more sophisticated, innovative, and collaborative, cybersecurity responsibilities extend beyond security professionals – all digital leaders must now prioritize cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity priorities for digital leaders navigating digital transformation

The cybersecurity landscape in Asia-Pacific

By 2021, Asia-Pacific was one of the most attacked regions by cybercriminals, accounting for one in four attacks worldwide. India, Japan, and Australia were the top three countries affected by these attacks, with server access and ransomware being among the most popular methods. But countries vulnerable to attack include Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, proving that no destination is safe.

Last year also saw several high-profile corporate breaches and increased attacks on critical infrastructure and supply chains globally and in Asia-Pacific. Four essential infrastructure organizations in Southeast Asia were targeted: water, energy, communications, and defense. One of the possible reasons we are seeing such a high percentage of attacks in the region is the lack of ability to identify attacks quickly before they escalate. Despite threat actors becoming more sophisticated, an industry report found that 54% of organizations in Asia-Pacific had not updated their cybersecurity strategies in the past 12 months.

If organizations don’t act now to update their security, it will eventually cost them. The cost of data breaches was $4.24 million in 2021, a 10% increase from 2019. In addition, innovations and automation between threat actors have helped them improve their ability to gain a foothold and move in operational environments from day to year. To improve in minutes. The months it takes to identify attacks are no longer acceptable, and classic approaches to security can no longer respond to such automation and innovation of cyber-attacks. This makes a converged cybersecurity strategy a top priority for today’s organizations to build digital advantage while driving greater visibility and control.

How can organizations protect themselves?

Traditionally, network security techniques relied on a single layer of defense to access all services and content within. This method is no longer adequate as the perimeter of a network becomes more distributed and linked, so a more complex and multi-dimensional approach is required to extend or replace conventional firewalls with a larger zero-trust framework.

Digital leaders cannot rely on a single authorization event to authorize trust, with more people accessing work remotely. Adopting a zero-trust security approach has been marketed as a fail-safe defense against unknown and evolving threats. It has also become more important as the number of cyber attacks grows.

Instead, they must establish digital trust based on the principles of least privileged access and continuous authentication. Moreover, with the advancement of artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, network users are now “known” by much more than just their access credentials, even learning from user behavior to deny access to users who break the standard.

Global safety expectations and trends for the future

As threat actors innovate and automate us, we need to be even more effective than ever in closing the cybersecurity gaps. We have identified four key trends and agendas for digital leaders to consider:

Cyber ​​attacks will continue to grow – Cyber-attacks are inevitable as businesses embrace cloud services and digital transformation. The question now changes from ‘if’ to ‘when’. Digital leaders will play a more prominent and vital role in helping businesses navigate threats and risks while anticipating the future. Breaking silos: Many organizations still manage security in silo functions, but the more groups we create, the more complex the security becomes. You might think this is an advantage, but threat actors thrive when security gets complex because they can easily identify gaps in the system. Converging security for greater visibility and control is becoming a top priority. Creating awareness and safety culture—Creating a safety culture becomes a larger strategic initiative. Security is becoming everyone’s business, and it is critical to implement zero-trust environments that integrate all departments for complete digital visibility and control. We also forecast and drive more investment and innovation for the cybersecurity industry to build hassle-free user solutions. Greater transparency and disclosure: As organizations embrace cloud and hybrid cloud strategies, they place more trust and stress on third parties. We expect companies and third parties to strengthen their efforts to design shared responsibility frameworks and implement solutions that provide compliance, confidence, and transparency. Vendor risk has long been and will continue to be a cybersecurity challenge.

We must also continue to expand collaboration with law enforcement agencies, critical infrastructure providers, and the wider community to learn together and stay ahead of cyber threat trends.

No organization, person, or infrastructure is immune to cyber-attacks. With businesses relying more on digital services and infrastructure, now is the time to prioritize cybersecurity and place more mature cybersecurity in critical infrastructure, bring security teams closer together, and raise security awareness so that threat actors in the future be less successful.

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