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SEA Businesses, Govt Most Targeted By Cyber Attacks: Report

Entertainment, media and hospitality industries are most targeted; government is next, according to a report by FireEye

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South-east Asia Businesses and government faced a 45 per cent higher risk of facing a targeted cyber-attack than the global average. In the prior six-month period, they faced only a 7 per cent higher risk, according to a report by FireEye, Inc and Singapore Telecommunications.

Across the region, 29 per cent of observed organizations were targeted with advanced cyber-attacks in the first half of 2015. Thailand and the Philippines were hardest hit, with 40 per cent and 39 per cent of observed organizations exposed to these attacks, respectively.

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.

FireEye observed at least 13 APT groups targeting national government organisations and at least four APT groups targeting regional or state governments around the world.

William Woo, Managing Director, Enterprise Data and Managed Services at Singtel said, “The report emphasises the frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks against all types of industries and enterprises in the region. The risk of attack, faced by regional enterprises, is higher than the global average. Therefore these enterprises must make it a priority to reinforce their cyber defences. Even though APT attacks can be discovered within a shorter timeframe than before, which is currently after 205 days, this still leaves enterprises wide open to malicious activity within their breached environment. To avoid such a situation, it is imperative for enterprises to adopt preemptive measures, such as our cyber defence managed services, to safeguard their assets and customers, in order to protect their reputations.”

Threat intelligence is an important tool for organisations seeking to stay ahead of attackers. The report contains insights into recent developments in Southeast Asia’s cyber threat landscape, such as groups targeting prominent institutions to gather political and economic intelligence, the detection of a known cyber espionage campaign, and threat actors’ evolving techniques to evade detection.