IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

Cybersecurity priorities for digital leaders navigating digital transformation

By Contributor
Wed 22 Jun 2022

Article by Equinix senior vice president and chief information security officer Michael Montoya.

The pandemic has forced the economy into digital overdrive. Organisations had to rapidly adopt remote working and online channels in response to lockdowns and accelerate digital transformation agendas to survive. Unfortunately, the global threat landscape continues to escalate at an alarming rate, and rapid digitalisation has left organisations vulnerable to cyberattacks. 

In recent years, Asia-Pacific has especially been a hotspot for cyberattacks, and as we continue into 2022, it’s evident that the problem is becoming more significant. Accelerated by external factors such as the pandemic, and now the Ukraine-Russian crisis, the risk of cyberattacks is on the rise and predicted to cost the world more than USD$10.5 trillion annually by 2025. These attacks provide a disturbing glimpse into how costly disruptions can be and potentially disastrous ripple effects on local and global economies.

With threat actors becoming more sophisticated, innovative, and collaborative, cybersecurity responsibilities today extend beyond security professionals—all digital leaders must make cybersecurity a top priority now.

The cybersecurity landscape in Asia-Pacific

In 2021, Asia-Pacific was one of the most attacked regions by cybercriminals, accounting for one in four attacks globally. India, Japan, and Australia were found to be the top three countries suffering from these attacks, and server access and ransomware are among the most popular methods. But countries vulnerable to attacks also include Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, demonstrating that no destination is safe. 

Last year, we also saw several high-profile breaches across organisations and a rise in attacks on critical infrastructure and supply chains, globally and in Asia-Pacific. Four critical infrastructure organisations in Southeast Asia were targeted, including a water company, power company, communications company, and even a defense organisation One of the potential reasons we see such a high portion of attacks in the region is due to the lack of ability to identify attacks quickly before they escalate. Despite threat actors becoming more sophisticated, an industry report found that 54% of organisations in Asia-Pacific had not updated their cybersecurity strategies in the last 12 months.

If organisations don’t act now to update their security, it will only end up costing them. Data breach costs stood at USD 4.24 million in 2021, a 10% rise from 2019’s. Moreover, innovations and automation across threat actors have helped them improve their ability to gain a foothold and move in operating environments from days to minutes. The months it takes to identify attacks are no longer acceptable, and classic approaches to security can no longer respond to such automation and innovation of cyberattacks. This makes a converged cybersecurity strategy a top priority for today’s organisations to build digital advantage while driving greater visibility and control. 

How can organisations begin to protect themselves? 

Traditionally, network security techniques assumed one defensive layer for access to all services and content within. This method is no longer adequate as a network’s perimeter grows more distributed and linked, so a more complex and multi-dimensional approach is required to augment or replace conventional firewalls with a larger zero-trust framework.

Applying a zero-trust security approach has been marketed as a fail-safe defense against unknown and developing threats. It has also become more crucial as the number of cyberattacks grows. Digital leaders can’t rely on a single authorisation event to authorise trust with more people accessing work remotely. 

Instead, they need to establish digital trust based on the principles of least privilege access and continuous authentication. Furthermore, with the advancement of artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, network users are now “known” by much more than their credentials for access, even learning from user behavior to deny access to users who break from the norm. 

Global security expectations and trends for the future

As threat actors are out-innovating and out-automating us, we need to be even more effective than ever to close the gaps in our cybersecurity. We’ve identified four key trends and agendas for digital leaders to consider: 

  1. Cyberattacks will keep growing—As companies continue to embrace cloud services and digital transformation, cyberattacks are inevitable. The question now turns from ‘if’ to ‘when’. Digital leaders will play a more prominent and vital role in helping companies navigate threats and risks as they anticipate what’s next. 
  2. Breaking silos—Many organisations still manage security in siloed functions, but the more groups we make, the more complex security becomes. You might think that this is an advantage, but threat actors thrive when security becomes complex as they can easily identify gaps in the system. Converging security for greater visibility and control will become a top priority. 
  3. Creating awareness and culture of security—Creating a culture of security will become a larger strategic initiative. Security will become everyone’s job, and it is crucial to deploy zero-trust environments that integrate all departments for complete digital visibility and control. We also predict and encourage more investment and innovation for the cybersecurity industry to build frictionless solutions for users. 
  4. Increased transparency and disclosure—As organisations embrace cloud and hybrid cloud strategies, they put more trust and stress on third parties. Supplier risk has been a long challenge in cybersecurity and will continue. We expect businesses and third parties to strengthen forces to design shared responsibility frameworks and implement solutions that deliver compliance, trust and transparency. 

We also need to continue to expand engagement with law enforcement, critical infrastructure providers and the broader community to learn together and get ahead of cyberthreat trends. 

No organisation, person or infrastructure is immune from cyberattacks. As companies rely more on digital services and infrastructure, now is the time to prioritise cybersecurity and place more mature cybersecurity in critical infrastructure, bring security teams closer together and expand awareness of security so threat actors are less successful in the future.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Zscaler, AWS accelerate onramp to the cloud with zero trust
Zscaler has announced an extension to its relationship with Amazon Web Services, as well as innovations built on Zscaler's Zero Trust architecture.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Aqua Security, CIS create software supply chain security guide
Aqua Securityand the Center for Internet Security have together released the industry’s first formal guidelines for software supply chain security.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Threat actors ramp up their social engineering attacks
As people get better at identifying potential threats in their inbox, threat actors must evolve their methods. Their new M.O? Social engineering.
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom puts electronics sector on notice over resale price maintenance
The Commerce Commission has concluded an investigation into allegations that television manufacturers were engaging in illegal resale price maintenance.
Story image
Collaboration
IT and security team collaboration crucial to data security
Many IT and security decision makers are not collaborating as effectively as possible to address growing cyber threats.
Story image
Contact Centre
Customer service agents don't want to return to contact centres
A new report has revealed that 85% of customer service agents want to work full-time at home and not return to contact centre offices.
Story image
SaaS
Varonis strengthens security capabilities for AWS and S3
Varonis has strengthened and expanded its cloud and security capabilities, with a critical aim of improving safety and boosting data visibility in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).
Story image
Cybersecurity
Significant security concerns resulting from open source software ubiquity
"The risk is real, and the industry must work closely together in order to move away from poor open source or software supply chain security practices."
Story image
Testing
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Tricentis
Tricentis provides software testing automation, and software quality assurance products for enterprise software.
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
trust
Consumers want personalisation, but don't trust brands with their data
Customers expect personalisation during every brand interaction but they don't trust brands to keep their personal data secure and to use it responsibly. 
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
B2B
Corpay partners with supply chain platform PracBiz Exchange
Corpay's new partnership with PracBiz’s allows more than 4000 B2B suppliers on the latter's platform to use Corpay's global payments services.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Salesforce harnesses automated solutions with new developments
Salesforce has launched Sales Cloud Unlimited, a new feature to help accelerate productivity with AI and automation.
Story image
Citrix
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.
Story image
Network Security
Netskope announces zero trust network access updates
Customers can now apply zero trust principles across a range of hybrid work security needs, including SaaS, IaaS, private applications, and endpoint devices.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Boomi, Limepay, Thales, VMware & Zoom
We round up all job appointments from June 6-16, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
10 Minute IT Jams
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Rimini Street
Today we welcome back Daniel Benad, who is the GVP & regional GM for Oceania at Rimini Street.
Story image
Entelar
How TruSens air purifiers can create healthier workspaces
The pandemic has heightened our awareness of our own and others’ health, and made us all much more conscious of the environments we work in.
Story image
PagerDuty
Ready for anything with the PagerDuty Operations Cloud
In a world of digital everything, teams face increasing complexity. Ever-growing dependencies across systems and processes put customer and employee experience, not to mention revenue, at risk.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Apptio adds portfolio enhancements to promote digital strategy
"While digitalisation creates opportunities, it also makes budgeting far more complex, leading many companies to waste substantial funds."
Story image
Data
How a single mandate changed software development forever
There’s conjecture about exactly when it was issued and by whom, but a mandate made twenty years ago is continuing to shape the software development process today.
Story image
N4L
N4L, Spark, Chorus partner for Hyperfibre school upgrade
Networks for Learning (N4L) has partnered with Spark and Chorus to upgrade Wellington College to Hyperfibre, fostering stronger outcomes for students and teachers.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.
Story image
Training
Employers look to hire inexperienced coders due to skills shortage
"Even inexperienced workers without prior qualifications or experience had managed to pivot to new roles in coding as long as they are willing to upskill."
Story image
Partnerships
Microsoft expands APAC Enabler Mentorship Program
"Mentors are the key to success for every professional. A good mentor is a coach, a guide, as well as a vocal advocate."
Story image
Disaster Recovery
Eaton provides business continuity with disaster avoidance application
Many SMBs often struggle with problems relating to UPS and IT assets due to the sheer amount of time and resources required to run effectively. 
Story image
Sustainability
Schneider Electric ups the ante on sustainability strategy
"We've made some progress but to avoid a major energy challenge, all data centres - including distributed edge data centres - must be more sustainable."
Story image
Shouta
The rise of digital gifting in the workplace
The name itself does most of the explaining; it’s a gift you receive virtually. But a misconception about digital gifts is that they need to be redeemed virtually as well. 
Story image
Secure access service edge / SASE
Cloudflare adds new capabilities to zero trust SASE platform
New features for Cloudflare One include email security protection, data loss prevention tools, cloud access security broker, and private network discovery.
Story image
Cloud
Cloudflare outage in 19 data centers worldwide due to own error
Cloudflare says its outage for 19 of its data centers yesterday was because of a change in a long-running project to increase resilience in its busiest locations.
Story image
eInvoicing
Airwallex, Xero extend partnership with easier invoice payments
Airwallex has extended its long-term partnership with Xero by releasing a new payment link integration for Xero invoices that will make receiving them easier and faster for Australian businesses.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Greater API usage raises concerns for protection - report
Radware has released its 2022 State of API Security report, which shows a rise in APIs, with 92% of the organisations surveyed significantly or somewhat increasing their usage.
Story image
Apple
Jamf updates healthcare IT to protect data on Apple devices
Jamf has rolled out new functionality to help healthcare and IT teams protect patient data and streamline clinical access for their Apple fleet.
Story image
Robotic Process Automation / RPA
rapidMATION helps Coates achieve success with landmark RPA solution
A strong Robotic Process Automation solution (RPA) can help solve many complex issues that businesses face daily. 
Story image
Manufacturing
Sternum joins NXP, collaborates on IoT security and observability
Sternum has announced it has joined the software partner community of NXP Semiconductors, a manufacturer of and large marketplace for embedded controllers.
Story image
INTERPOL
Hundreds arrested, millions seized in global INTERPOL investigation
A two-month-long investigation by INTERPOL this year involved 76 countries and clamped down on organised crime groups behind telecommunications and social engineering scams.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Cybersecurity priorities for digital leaders navigating digital transformation
In recent years, Asia-Pacific has especially been a hotspot for cyberattacks, and as we continue into 2022, it’s evident that the problem is becoming more significant.
Story image
Open source
DataStax secures US$115 million to fund database expansion
DataStax has secured US$115 million in funding, which it will use to develop and expand its Astra DB multi-cloud database and Astra Streaming service globally.
Story image
F5 Networks
Telstra, F5 team up to bolster services and solutions
“This partnership demonstrates our ongoing investment into APAC as we continue delivering high value services and solutions to our partners and customers."
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.
Story image
Microsoft
Volpara, Microsoft project to detect cardiovascular issues
Volpara Health Technologies is working with Microsoft on a research and development project to speed up creating a product that detects and quantifies breast arterial calcifications (BACs).
Story image
Orbital Insight
Orbital Insight solution set to drive better data-driven decisions
The company says the new Site Intelligence solution will provide granular visibility, behaviour analytics and deep insights about customers and competitors at any location. 
Story image
CRM
Microsoft launches app for modern selling experience
The new release is designed to enhance CRM systems with customer engagement data from Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams.