SE Asian businesses, govts more likely targeted by cyber attacks: Report

SE Asian businesses, govts more likely targeted by cyber attacks: Report
PHOTO: Reuters

SINGAPORE - Businesses and governments in the Southeast Asia region are more likely to be targeted with cyber attacks, Singtel and FireEye announced in a joint report on Thursday (Nov 19).

The report revealed some startling statistics, which recorded the region facing a 45 per cent higher risk of facing a targeted cyber attack than the global average. In the preceeding six-month period, the region faced only a 7 per cent higher risk.

Thailand and the Philippines were hardest hit, with 40 per cent and 39 per cent of observed organisations exposed to these attacks, respectively.

The report added that more than one-third of malware detections associated with advanced persistent threat (APT) groups originated within the entertainment, media and hospitality industries. By targeting media organisations, threat groups can gain access to news before it is published and potentially identify undisclosed sources.

Meanwhile, there are at least 13 APT groups targeting national government organisations and at least four APT groups targeting regional or state governments around the world.

"Espionage isn't new but it is increasingly conducted online, and Southeast Asia is a hot spot," said Eric Hoh, president for Asia Pacific Japan at FireEye. "Geopolitics can drive cyber attacks. As Southeast Asia becomes a larger economic player on the world stage and tensions flare in the South China Sea, organisations should be prepared for targeted attacks."

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