KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 -- The COVID-19 pandemic is shifting social and business norms and forcing businesses to ramp up their digital transformation, says Asia Cybersecurity Exchange (ASIACYBERX).
It said the wider adoption of digitalisation means that businesses must include cyber risk assessment, testing and training as part of the new normal, even after the pandemic eases.
“The extended restriction of movement is causing a paradigm shift to remote working and ‘social distancing’ and this has led organisations to move operations quickly to the digital channels for continuity.
“The acute spike in digitalisation has presented chief executive officers (CEOs), entrepreneurs, as well as information security personnel a new set of cybersecurity challenges, as higher usage of technology means greater exposure to cyber threats,” ASIACYBERX said in a statement today.
Formed in April 2018, ASIACYBERX is solely owned by ACE Accelerator Network, which is a collaboration between LGMS, the largest professional security testing firm in Malaysia and ACE Group, a diversified investment conglomerate to support Malaysia’s transformation to become a world-class cybersecurity resource hub.
ACE Accelerator Network and LE Global Services Sdn Bhd (LGMS) CEO, Fong Choong Fook said a number of companies that traditionally did not have much online presence prior to the outbreak suddenly find themselves needing to digitise their business quickly.
“This group is most vulnerable to cyber threats. So, it is time for businesses to change their mindset to view cybersecurity assessment and management as the new normal, just as ‘social distancing’ has become the new social norm,” he said.
CyberSecurity Malaysia recently reported a total of 838 cyber attacks during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period from March 18 to April 7, representing a whopping 82.5 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.
“Today’s hackers do not target a specific industry or company. They are using automated ways to attack any companies or even individuals who lack cybersecurity knowledge.
“For example, hackers may be pretending to be suppliers and customers, and unprepared businesses will easily fall prey to it, and we are looking at a huge population of businesses that lack the right cybersecurity measures,” Fong said.
When a cyber attack occurs, businesses must be able to respond immediately and decisively, hence, they must step up preparations against cyber threats to ensure that their operations would be able to recover quickly, he said.
“Education is key. They must realise that cybersecurity and physical security is not the same.
“Physical security is tangible and can be detected; on the other hand, cybersecurity requires specific know-hows to identify the security gaps,” he said, adding that small and medium-sized enterprises need to stay up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity trends and incidents.
“At least, with the right knowledge, they know what needs greater protection and take the right steps to do so,” he added.