Battling Cyber Threats in 4 Simple Ways
Battling Cyber threats is no easy task especially now that the pandemic has accelerated the mass adoption of digital technology. This has propagated a dialogue as to the need to improve and enhance cybersecurity to protect everyone form all sorts of scams and scandals.
Battling Cyber threats has been the priority of Singapore and other major countries in the world in response to the growing technological economy. As Singapore advances along the Digital Silk Road towards a Smart Nation, new threats from cybercriminals are faced by organizations and individuals with regards to their security, privacy, and their valuable or sensitive information.
As countries adopt to the new normal of brought by the technological age, pushed further by the pandemic, it opened a plethora of new possibilities concerning cybersecurity today, and Singapore is not the one letting its guard down. The question remains are, what are the key cyber threats present today and how does Singapore businesses can battle evolving Cyber Threats?
Key Cyber Threats
Accounting for 43% of overall crimes in Singapore, Cybercrime cases has increased in 2020. This includes offenses under the Computer Misuse Act relating to unauthorized access, modification or use of computers, computer services and computer materials, cyber extortion, and online cheating.
The following are the most common cybersecurity threats:
- Ransomware: According to CSA, the reported ransomware cases spiked by 154%, and it has observed that ransomware cybercriminals have evolved into targeted approach in fishing larger victims from opportunistic attacks.
- Phishing: In Singapore alone, the CSA has detected 47,000 phishing URLs. Majority of those victimized by these phishing attacks were social networking firms or in the financial or banking sector.
- Command and Control (C&C) Servers and Botnet Drones: It has been observed by the CSA that there’s 94% increase in the number of malicious C&C servers hosted in Singapore. These Command and Control Servers are operated by the cybercriminals as they maintain communication with compromised systems, which we call botnets. Further, according to CSA, there has been an increase in these botnet drones that has Singapore IP addresses from 2,300 daily average from 2019, to 6,600 daily average from 2020.
With the continuous evolution of cybersecurity threats, businesses and organizations in Singapore face the following issues:
- Ransomware attacks are constantly evolving to a massive systemic threats form sporadic isolated incidents.
- Organizations are exposed to further risks to cyberattacks due to the poorly configured systems and networks that have been put in place to facilitate businesses.
- As organizations depend on technology vendors to support their business operations, these organizations are at risk of supply chain attacks
Preventive Measures for Battling Cyber Threats in 4 Simple Ways
Organizations or businesses should stress the importance of reviewing cybersecurity hygiene in a regular basis. This goes the same with operational dependencies and network connections. This is to ensure that the software or the systems are updated, the intrusions are detected early and contained quickly, and the employees are well-verses in these kind of threats.
In the navigation of these cyberthreats by organization, the following are the 4 simple ways to combat it:
- Make it a habit to spell out your organization’s cybersecurity requirements to ICT vendors. When developing solutions for cybersecurity threats, it must be clear, concise, and must ensure that it is documented in the contracts. Furthermore, organizations should identify and consider industry standards and codes of practice for technology and cybersecurity in putting the requirements together.
- Minimize the collection of personal data. This is can be done by imposing rules and regulations, ensuring that the organization does not collect sensitive data unless there is a valid reason or it is necessary.
- By design, implement data protection and security. When issues arises at the initial stages of any system, product, process, or service regarding security and data protection, these issues are considered right on the spot.
- Always conduct a data protection impact assessment to assess the types of data and processing activities. This should be done at the start of any project, or there is establishment of a preliminary design of a new ICT system.
In today’s day and age, cybersecurity must not be taken lightly. Battling cyber threats is more than just a matter of technology. Way beyond the tools used and available for organizations to use to combat these threats, these organizations cannot afford to let their guards down
As the saying goes, cybersecurity today is much more than a matter of technology. Beyond the tools made available to them, organisations cannot afford to let their guard down but must remain vigilant, and keep pace with emerging technologies and shifts in the landscape, to minimise their exposure to cyber threats and risks.
Singapore’s Safer Cyberspace Masterplan, a look on the future.
The rolled out Safer Cyberspace Masterplan 2020 builds on the second Pillar of the 2016 Singapore Cybersecurity Strategy. It outlines the plan towards the creation of a mush safer and secure cyberspace in Singapore. It has been developed by the Cyber Security Agency (CSA) in consultation with the cybersecurity academia and industry in order to raise the general level of cybersecurity for individual users, communities, enterprises, organizations, and Singapore as a whole.
The Masterplan comprises three thrusts, to:
- Safeguard our cyberspace activities;
- Empower our cyber-savvy population; and
- Secure our core digital infrastructure.
All has a role to play in keeping the cyberspace secure and safe. It is our role to ensure that we take our security and others’ personal and sensitive data to the highest level of importance as it can be used against all of us. Initiatives like as done by Singapore in its Safer Cyberspace Masterplan provides for a way to make that happen, and it is the right move that every other countries should follow.