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Collaborative and Integrated Cyber Defence Key to Closing the Security Gap

The impact of global cyber breaches reached a whopping $2 trillion in 2017, expected to rise to about $10 trillion by 2025, according to Sanjay Rohatgi, Symantec’s Senior Vice President for APAC. He also highlighted the fact that there has been a global shift in terms of cyber risk, and cyber criminals have evolved to become extremely skilled, coordinated, strategic and not to mention effective over the years.

Sanjay spoke during the opening keynote address yesterday at Symantec Vision Malaysia 2018, where the cyber security company shared some insights on what the cyber threats are, where the cyber security risk is going, and unveil Symantec’s platform that can help businesses navigate the complexities of the modern cyber security landscape.

He revealed several key findings from Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR), and in 2017:

  • Cryptocurrency related incidents, unsurprisingly, was the biggest growth area in cyber crime
  • Ransomware infections went up 40% (which we assume was largely contributed by last year’s global WannaCry outbreak). However, the average value of a ransomware demand fell to $522
  • 1 in 13 URLs analysed were found to be malicious
  • The Emotet trojan was a growing threat and worryingly, its targets were no longer just aimed at the banking sector
  • Email continued to be the most common attack vector used by threat actors, with around 70% of attacks coming from email

While new technologies are always exciting and bring a new dimension to the world of business, they also introduce new points of vulnerabilities to organisations. This is especially the case with the implementation of the internet of things, which is well on its way towards becoming a new norm. IoT was certainly an important part of the day’s agenda, with the speakers acknowledging that in terms of security, organisations are now reaching the same situation and facing similar challenges they had with cloud 5 or 6 years ago.

“Every industry is vulnerable to cyber breaches,” Sanjay said, urging organisations to stand up and take notice of how the threat landscape has really changed. “As we digitally transform, it is critical for us to create a better security posture in order to be better prepared to detect and respond [to the threats]. This is no longer just a CIO or CISO agenda. This is actually a boardroom and CEO agenda because it is about business risk. It is not just an IT risk. The attacks or breaches are so lethal now that they can actually cause existential risk [for businesses].”

Speaking on the topic of security consolidation and optimisation, David Rajoo, Symantec’s Chief Enterprise Solution Architect for the ASEAN region mentioned that one of the biggest challenges in the security industry has been the best of breed practices being adopted where each solution functions separately to solve specific business problems with almost zero consolidation. In today’s increasingly complex IT environment, it inevitably means there will be security gaps that threat actors can take advantage of.

Symantec’s approach towards closing those gaps is by focusing on securing the four main termination points where the majority of the threats come in, which are the endpoint, web, cloud and email, though its Integrated Cyber Defence platform (ICDx) built with robust point-to-point integrations and a broad technology ecosystem.

Through the use of open source data control bus, Symantec’s platform is able to integrate and work seamlessly with other solutions from the company’s third party competitors as well as partners. This gives enterprises a clearer overall view of their network as well, allowing them to not only prevent, but also detect and respond to attacks and breaches much faster.

The future of the cyber defence, it seems, lies with a collaborative effort between all the big players in cyber security, and that resonates with Symantec’s own vision. As Sanjay put it, “We understand that Symantec is only part of the puzzle. A lot of our competitors and partners also bring their own value. This is how the industry has evolved. No vendor can do it alone. You need to open up to other vendors and partners to provide customers with the best security posture they can attain.”

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