Better Defense Strategy is Essential for Asia Pacific Cyber Preparedness

This is the first in a series of five brief summaries about cyber security strategy in the Asia Pacific region.

The costs, volume, and sophistication of cyber-attacks are growing exponentially, and this trend is predicted to continue indefinitely. The Asia Pacific region is highly susceptible to such attacks, and the region is two times more likely to be targeted by advanced cyber-attacks than the rest of the world. The average financial losses due to security incidents are estimated at more than US $1.6 million per company.

Attack methods and technologies have evolved tremendously in the past decade, but defensive methods and technologies have not. And while the agility of attackers is high and growing, defense mechanisms remain bogged down by rigid processes, slow information diffusion and tedious regulations.

The problem is further exacerbated by changes in the modern world that make systems more vulnerable. Such changes include the move to mobile technologies, greater reliance on general-purpose devices, and greater dependence on external parties such as cloud service providers. The rapid emergence of these technologies has improved efficiency and convenience, but has also increased the number of ways that organizations can be attacked.

Asia Pacific as a region needs to focus on four key areas to collectively work on our cyber-preparedness to stay ahead in cyber security.

  • More effective cyber metrics
  • Technologies and processes for faster and more targeted responses
  • More efficient defensive use of emerging technologies
  • Better framework for information sharing

While these four major action plans are each individually necessary, they also reinforce and support each other: better metrics obviously make information sharing more effective and valuable, and emerging technologies allow for better monitoring and fast-response options. Together, they form important stepping stones in the roadmap for Asia Pacific to become safer and smarter in the 21st century.