Recent data from the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) showed nearly 4 million Internet-borne threats were detected in computers of Kaspersky users based in the Philippines who surfed the web from October to December in 2019.
This has placed the country in the top spot in Southeast Asia and seventh place worldwide in Kaspersky’s 2019 ranking, climbing six notches up from its 13th spot in the same period in 2018.
The KSN is a complex distributed infrastructure dedicated to intelligently process cybersecurity-related data streams from millions of voluntary Kaspersky users around the world. From its Q4 report, a total of 3,906,410 web threats were found in computers of Kaspersky users in the Philippines which is 31.6% overall.
Meanwhile, the report also showed fewer local threat incidents among Kaspersky users in the country. These are malware attacks on computers from removable media such as USBs, CDs, DVDs and other “offline” methods. The Philippines is currently at 64th place globally with only 8,998,044 detections in Q4 of 2019 which is a significant drop from its 74th place with 11,757,863 detections in Q4 of 2018.
Threat sources also went down to 76,900 incidents in Q4 last year from 453,788 incidents in the same period in 2018. Threat sources are locations of detected malware shared from servers hosted in the Philippines.
The last quarter of the year is comprised of the ber-months or the Christmas season in the Philippines. For the past years, this is the time when Filipinos begin going on online shopping sprees and becoming too active on social media reaching its peak in the holiday season in December.
“Being one of the world’s top Internet users, I think there’s no stopping the Filipinos from utilizing the web as a part of their modern way of life. We’re hoping that as they completely embrace this technology, so too will their practice of cyber hygiene as long as they go online,” said Mary Grace Sotayco, Territory Manager for the Philippines at Kaspersky.
“The significant drop in local threat infections tells us that there’s good news here. Filipinos are slowly understanding the risks, which the numbers reflect. We recognize the challenges which are almost similar across the region. Shifting the mindset is a collective effort and we’ll continue doing our part in sharing our threat intelligence and expertise to the public and to our partners in the government and private sectors,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.
In order to be secured against the evolving threats online, Kaspersky’s security experts advise the following basic but important steps:
- Carefully check the link before visiting a site, especially for misspelling or other irregularities, even if you think it’s a site you’ve visited regularly before.
- Enter your username and password only over a secure connection. Avoid logging in to online banks and similar services via public Wi-Fi networks.
- Be aware that URLs that begin with the “https” may not always be secure.
- Don’t trust emails from unknown senders until you can verify the authenticity of their origins.
- Always run a system with a quality, up-to-date anti-malware program such as Kaspersky Internet Security. Our advanced solution will help you solve most of the problems automatically and alert you if something went wrong.
For companies, Kaspersky recommends the following:
- Educating employees about the risks – like the basic rule to not open emails from people they do not know as well as attachments or links.
- Advocating good password habits in the workforce including using unique passwords and keeping it safe from anyone’s access.
- Setting up tiered levels of access, giving permission only to those who need it on each level.
- Incorporating global threat feeds into their systems which can provide in-depth visibility into cyberthreats targeting organizations such as Kaspersky Threat Intelligence.
- Conducting regular cybersecurity training which will deliver knowledge on latest threats and more importantly to improve employee habits and form new behavior patterns for a safer work environment.