KUCHING: Malaysia’s digital transformation has been remarkable thanks to the government’s commitment to providing critical infrastructure and fostering local adoption of new technologies.
However, as digitalisation efforts progress, businesses have become vulnerable to numerous cyberthreats,
To ensure a strong cyberdefence mechanism is in place, Zoho Corporation vice president and general manager (Asia-Pacific) Gibu Kurian Mathew told The Borneo Post that companies must first understand the various tactics adopted by attackers, such as phishing emails, password scanning, port scanning, token theft, and pass-the-hash.
“Organisations need to move beyond perimeter protection to focus on vulnerability detection, starting with an exhaustive risk assessment,” he highlighted.
“They also need to run simulations of potential attacks to test the IT team’s ability to prevent, detect, and respond to incidents.” Thus, Gibu said investing in the right threat intelligence systems can enable companies to correlate different network anomalies.
“The insight provided by these systems can then be correlated with user and entity behaviour analytics (UEBA), which uses sophisticated machine learning technology and an analytical approach to create a baseline of normal activities for each user, and notify security personnel when there is a deviation,” he added.
Organisations are closer to mapping the physical world to the digital one with the progression of the Internet of Things (IoT) and various software- and hardware-based sensors, he said.
Also, higher levels of digitalisation in an organisation add to these sensors’ data, especially in industries like oil and gas. The end result is a huge amount of data.
“However, with the advancement of machine learning, software has become better at dynamically learning normal human patterns and abnormal patterns,” he explained.
“This has enabled a smarter security software ecosystem that extends beyond traditional human capabilities at a lower cost. Moving on-premises operations to the cloud has brought tremendous productivity benefits for users, as higher data mobility allows easy access in the right context at the right time.”
Data mobility has its own risks in terms of compliance and business continuity, but Gibu said with the right tools and existing parallel technology, organisations do not have to sacrifice productivity.
“As an example, IT management tools can support proactive data backup procedures for on-premises data or data in the cloud, improve the availability of data, and allow IT teams to handle any unforeseen data loss.
“Businesses can also safeguard access to employee identities and user accounts using ever more sophisticated SSO technology. A combination of effective programmes and centralised tools will allow organisations to more easily manage privileged access to various systems.”
When asked about the outlook here in Malaysia, Gibu noted that the local digital ecosystem is poised to leapfrog older trends in favour of new technologies to cover ground faster.
“That said, as seen in other parts of the world, increasing user awareness will further strengthen the overall delivery of services to Malaysian citizens and bring the benefits of higher productivity, stronger user privacy, and better data security,” he said.
“The attack surface is widening with time as organisations implement more devices and technology to deliver a great user experience and increase business productivity.
“The inherent data risk this trend brings can be mitigated by using new tools that aid in delivering the right mix of user experience, employee productivity, data privacy, and security to corporate data.”