Thursday, August 13

Strengthen cybersecurity defences to reduce losses

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As SMBs return to operating as usual as governments ease lockdowns across the region, cybersecurity expert, Kaspersky, advised SMBs to address all aspects of their business operations and strategy, that includes shoring up their cybersecurity defences to reduce the financial impact of data breaches and hacks. — AFP photo

KUCHING: As small, medium businesses (SMB) return to operating as usual as governments ease lockdowns across the region, cybersecurity expert, Kaspersky, advised SMBs to address all aspects of their business operations and strategy, that includes shoring up their cybersecurity defences to reduce the financial impact of data breaches and hacks.

In a press statement, Kaspersky pointed out that if SMBs are to ensure that their path to economic recovery remains smooth, they would need to address all aspects of their business operations and strategy – and that includes shoring up their cybersecurity defences to reduce the financial impact of data breaches and hacks.

According to Kaspersky’s latest statistics for Southeast Asian SMBs in the first quarter (1Q) this year, over a million crypto-mining attempts were foiled against devices of businesses, a 12 per cent increase compared with 949,592 mining incidents blocked in the same period last year.

The total number of miners detected in the first three months of 2020 is also significantly more than the 834,993 phishing attempts and 269,204 ransomware detections against SMBs in the region.

Malicious mining, also known as cryptojacking, happens when cybercriminals install a malicious programme on the target computer or by means of fileless malware without the user’s knowledge. As a result, this allows them to harness the victim’s processing power for their own nefarious purposes. Cryptojacking has also been known to occur when a victim visits a site that has a mining script embedded in the browser.

Kaspersky’s data further reveals that Indonesia and Vietnam were among the countries in Southeast Asia and globally with the highest number of mining attempts against SMBs. Most of the six countries in the region, except the Philippines and Thailand, have also recorded an increase in terms of this malware’s detection in the first quarter of 2020.

“Malicious mining attacks continue to remain as a widely underreported area of cyberthreats to SMBs. In this age where we are well acquainted with the infamous examples of data breaches, it is natural for us to pool our resources together and deal with ransomware and large-scale phishing attacks. However, this is not the case when it comes to cryptomining,” commented Kaspersky Southeast Asia general manager Yeo Siang Tiong.

“As the symptoms and consequences of malicious mining are less obvious and less immediate than ransomware and phishing attacks, it easier for SMBs to disregard it as a mere technical issue. However, its aftermath is costly in the long run.

“The rapid increase of cryptojacking incidents in the region should be a wakeup call for enterprises in all shapes and forms.

“Cybercriminals are doing this attack because it is profitable, it is high time that we acknowledge this and improve our defenses against it,” he adds.

To proactively safeguard your business against SMBs, Kaspersky advised businesses to enhance the cybersecurity awareness of their employees, monitor web traffic, keep track of server load, ensure that all your software are up to date, and implement the right cybersecurity solution for every aspect of their business operations, both hardware and software related.

If the company is already the victim of a crypto mining attack, or are looking to recover, Kaspersky advised that the company should use a strong security solution on all computers and mobile devices, kill and block website-delivered scripts, and if a website extension is responsible for infecting the browser, update all the extensions and remove those that are not needed or are infected.