Each year, we gather enterprise security experts from around the world at our annual event, IGNITE, to discuss how best to combat cybercriminals of the 21st century. The event this year has been no less inspirational than in previous years, attracting many cybersecurity professionals in Las Vegas from March 31 to April 2. We walked away from the event with key learnings to battle the evolving threat landscape in the Asia Pacific region.
1. Industry-Government collaboration is key
In 2013, data breaches grabbed headlines all over the world. From the Edward Snowden scandal and the Syrian Electronic Army attacks to JP Morgan Chase card data hacking incident, we continue to see more complex attacks on a global scale, targeting governments, enterprises and individuals. According to a recent study by IDC and the National University of Singapore (NUS), Asia Pacific will record the world's highest enterprise losses of US$138 billion from cybersecurity breaches carried out by organized cybercriminals.
With more of the critical infrastructures we rely on daily, including power grids, major financial centers, and dams, now connected, it's imperative for governments, organizations and enterprises alike to have cybersecurity software in place that will provide fool-proof protection to the network, the cloud and end-points, whilst having full visibility into network traffic.
Collaboration between the industry and authorities is extremely critical to actively protect the infrastructure and information systems that sustain our economy. We are already seeing such collaborations in the region, such as the National Cyber Security Masterplan in Singapore and the iGovPhil Project in the Philippines. Expect to see more of such initiatives being rolled out, led by the respective governments in the region.
2. Innovating to stay ahead of cybercrime
A recurring theme during this year's IGNITE conference was 'innovation'. It's a cat-and-mouse game, with cybercriminals working hard to find exploit vulnerabilities in the system, said Palo Alto Networks SVP, Product Management Lee Klarich.
In the multi-device environment that we live in today, and with the Internet of Things becoming a reality, vulnerabilities exist almost everywhere. To combat this, enterprises and governments need to assess vulnerabilities and develop a response system for managing breaches. This starts from having the right technology in place to detect oncoming attacks and deter the introduction of potential threats. In addition, corporations must make cybersecurity a key part of the business case for major initiatives or new-product introductions.
3. Cybersecurity must be addressed at the most senior levels
Finally, enterprises approaches to cybersecurity will require much more engagement from the C-level to protect critical business information without constraining innovation and growth, rather than treating it primarily as a technology issue. This will require the involvement of senior corporate leaders to understand IT security risks and business implications of such threats, and the company's approach to potential hacking and data breaches.