Fortinet, a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cyber security solutions, issued a clarion call for business leaders in Malaysia to adopt stronger cyber security measures and compliant policies to protect against mounting threats. Greater effort is also needed to raise the awareness of potential threat to reputation, revenues and intellectual property from cyber-attack.
Digital transformation is fast disrupting the old ways of doing business by introducing a slew of innovative digital technologies into the workplace and exponential new opportunities for business growth.
With the unveiling of Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ), almost every organization in Malaysia is now engaged in digital transformation. Two consumer generations – Millennials and Gen Z are also driving digital transformation forward with their insatiable demand for instant connectivity with real-time data and transaction.
“The pace of technological change is relentless. Digital transformation without an equivalent security transformation is leaving Malaysian firms more vulnerable than ever as cybercrime is expected to continue rising. Businesses need to be protected from hackers, insider threats and other malicious cyber-attacks,” said Anthony Lim, Principal Consultant for Fortinet Southeast Asia & Hong Kong.
Market research firm Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that cybercrime damages will cost the world US$6 trillion annually by 2021, up from US$3 trillion in 2015. Cybercrime costs include damage and destruction of data, loss productivity, financial data theft, fraud, post-attack disruption and reputational harm.
“Organizations in Malaysia must take tough measures to develop a robust cybersecurity strategy and ensure they are primed and ready to stop potential cyber-attacks. In today’s environment of highly sophisticated threats, it is crucial that firms strengthen defences against cybercrime and remain a secure place to do business,” said Alex Loh, Country Manager for Fortinet Malaysia.
The frenzy to embrace the digital economy has created unprecedented cyber security risks. A significant part of the problem is the expanding digital attack surface. IT resources have been pushed to its limits due to the growing adoption of IoT devices and networks, the geometric growth of traffic driven by applications and big data, the creation of complex and highly elastic multi-cloud environments, and the number of highly mobile users demanding network access from anywhere on any device.
When implementing new systems and technologies, local companies tend to deploy isolated, one-off security solutions to address a new challenge in a new environment. Unfortunately, most sophisticated attackers take advantage of the seams that exist between these projects, exploiting vulnerabilities in one part of the network to gain access to another.
Building a More Secure Digital Business Infrastructure
Fortinet identifies six security strategies for organizations in Malaysia to strengthen their digital business infrastructure and solve the security challenges in digital transformation:
- Develop and maintain a holistic security plan with unified policies and protocols.
- Build security plans around open standards to ensure cohesiveness even when plans and solutions evolve. Any solutions being considered that strays from the larger security picture needs to be reconsidered.
- Establish single-pane-of-glass visibility for centralized management and orchestration. This must include an active inventory of all devices on the network and an assessment of their state of vulnerability tied to indicators or compromise; as well as an active plan to patch, protect, or replace at-risk devices. Centralized coordination also allows security systems to expand and adapt dynamically as network systems and resources shift and evolve.
- Share and correlate threat intelligence, both local and global, so that every device is tuned to the latest threats including SIEMs and sandboxing to detect complex or day zero threats.
- Utilize open standards-based security framework to enable active coordination between devices to respond to a threat, regardless of where it occurs across the distributed and elastic network.
- Apply automation and artificial intelligence. The time between breach and compromise is dropping by the day and will soon be measured in microseconds. There is no longer the luxury nor resources to hand correlate data and then manually responding to a threat.
Digital transformation is impacting every aspect of our professional and public lives. Only by setting aside our usual way of doing things and approaching it from a consistent and holistic fashion will it transform our society for the better.