How to Prevent Cyber Crime
The increased reliance on technology and the use of online services in business have left businesses and their customers vulnerable to cyber-attack and data loss. With so much sensitive corporate and customer information maintained online, all businesses, should undertake regular preventative measures to ensure the security of their own business and customer data.
Cyber Crime On The Rise
The potential loss and exposure of client data caused by IT security breaches and cyber-hacking is enormous, and often, subsequent customer litigation can be business-killer! Data losses are not the only risks: Losses caused by the inability to do trade during IT system downtime when under attack, can run into the tens of thousands or worse, into the millions of dollars, not to mention the loss and harm caused to your business reputation. This damage can be irreversible.
Take the case of one of the world’s largest oil companies, Saudi Arabia’s Aramco (The inside story of the biggest hack in history), who, in 2012, suffered one of the worst hacks in world history. Cyber-criminals successfully targeted the company and partially wiped or destroyed the company’s 35,000 computers, bringing the business to a standstill, resulting in lost oil production, lost sales and other costs to remedy the breach.
No One is Immune
No business is immune and the victims of cyber-threat and their customers are really starting to pile up. Putting aside the recent spate of cyber attacks on banks, in recent years we’ve witnessed:
- The Sony hack, where thousands of files including employee social security numbers were leaked.
- The Marriott Hotel cyber-attack resulting in the data loss of thousands of customer credit card details.
- The attack on the extramarital affairs website, Ashley Madison, where 32,000 customer records (names, email addresses and account details) were stolen and leaked online.
- The attack on Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca (commonly referred to as the Panama Papers), resulting in the loss and leaking of over 11 million documents, revealing client & customer information including the confidential details such as offshore bank accounts and companies, owned by the firm’s customers.
Asia – a Magnet for Cyber Criminals
Businesses operating from, or trading throughout Asia are at even greater threat as the region is a magnet for cyber-criminals seeking and cyber-attack. In fact, according to the Kaspersky Cyberthreat Real Time Map a number of Asian countries feature prominently as some of the world’s most attacked countries, with Vietnam at number 2, China (7), Indonesia (9), Malaysia (10), India (13) and Philippines (15).
Our own experience in the regions supports these numbers. Four out of every ten servers tested by our security team, result in our team being able to exploit the IT security weaknesses of the company and perform one or more of the following:
- Denial of Service – bringing the service to a complete halt,
- Cyber-spying – extraction of sensitive and external information including database tables, user passwords and confidential files, or
- Contamination – modification of websites and applications causing them to display and/or transmit specific data and/or false data.
With so many Asian countries featuring in the top ten of the world’s most cyber-attacked countries, cloud security for businesses operating in Asia is critical.
Prevention the Best Cure
The dark world of cyber-crime, lurks silently everywhere, and the methods used by hackers are wide and varied. Security flaws can occur at any time and often without your knowledge, and so testing of your IT systems and IT security should be performed regularly to prevent cyber crime, minimise the risk of cyber-attack and data loss. With regular security testing and ongoing education of your team, you can minimise your risks and reduce your vulnerabilities.
Regular IT Security ‘Health’ Check-ups
Regular security testing and system audits allow you understand your risks and exposure, and more importantly fix the vulnerabilities before cyber-hackers, or worse, your competitors can harm your business via data loss.
Preventative strategies, including IT systems & data security audits, regular security testing and penetration testing (among other things) by qualified and trusted IT risk specialists should be considered and undertaken regularly.
Its critical to have a qualified risk management partner with experience in evaluating the weaknesses in your systems. At SMCS Risk, we’re a trusted partner on the ground in Asia. As a client of ours, we work together with you to minimise your risks, reduce your vulnerabilities to cyber-crime and to provide piece of mind in knowing exactly who you are dealing with.
Interested in learning more? Contact us today.