Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 67 - Page 31


‘‘ business

A few years ago Cathay Pacific suffered a lapse in data security affecting the personal information of an estimated 9.4 million people . Along with the questions it raised around the effectiveness of cybersecurity for all companies , a top international law firm noted another effect : an uptick in interest in collective redress , a type of representative action resembling a class action lawsuit .

Two years later , cybersecurity would once again step into the spotlight as risk shot up , in step with millions of people around the world shifting to remote work during the global pandemic . Multiple Asiabased offices of international insurance giant AXA , the Singapore-based arm of Japanese insurance company Tokio Marine Group , and several military groups throughout Southeast Asia , have become just a few of the targets of ransomware attacks within the past year .
Designed to spread through a network , ransomware is malicious software that infects a computer and restricts access to crucial user data for a ransom . The cost of a ransomware attack can amount to nearly US $ 2 million per incident and have a global economic impact of over US $ 20 billion . Ransomware attacks rose by 93 % last year .
As citizens become increasingly acquainted with the value of their data , any negligence , misuse or lack of adequate protection has moved into the spotlight of possible issues for company boards across APJ . With class action and consumer group-led lawsuits on the rise , the responsibility to protect against ransomware and other cyberattacks that threaten user data and privacy has become more critical than ever for businesses .
Here are three things to keep in focus when implementing security measures :
Emphasize the importance of cybersecurity training for all
Ransomware can spread through a system like wildfire , but it needs an entry point . For example , an infected email , email attachment or application . No matter their role , any member of an organization can lead the ransomware into the system .
Thorough , regular and up-to-date trainings on best cybersecurity practices are the best preventative measure to keeping system and profits safe . So , make sure the company ’ s cybersecurity plan affords it the resources it needs .
Dave Russell , Vice President of Enterprise Strategy , Veeam Software
The other reason that data and privacy have arisen as such crucial topics is timing . A Trend Micro survey found Asia Pacific to be the second-most vulnerable region in the world to cyberattacks , after North America . Ransomware attacks ranked in the top five cyberthreats in the region , while confidence in company preparedness lagged . A staggering 86 % of survey respondents believed they would be breached in the next 12 months .
In the wake of this information , business leaders should sit up and take notice . Data breaches are no longer an issue that exists within a company itself – they sit at the board level as well . Moving forward , business leaders should expect increasing momentum toward ensuring the right cybersecurity measures are in place .
Ransomware attacks rose by 93 % last year .
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