Cybercrime is a bigger threat than ever in the COVID-19 era, with more businesses suffering attacks and malicious cybercriminals taking advantage of the confusion, according to a new e-book by BSA | The Software Alliance, which details the challenges that have arisen for cyber security in the ASEAN region since the COVID-19 crisis began and offers advice on how to deal with them.
Titled “COVID-19 and Cyber Threats in Southeast Asia,” the e-book describes how many businesses in the region have become more vulnerable to online threats due to disruptions caused by the virus, primarily the increase in employees working outside company networks. Cybercriminals – those who use networks and computers to engage in damaging illegal activities – are using opportunities created by the shake-up in business as usual to their own benefit via methods such as email phishing, malware, disguised apps, and detection of insecure networks.
“For several years now, it’s been essential for business executives to pay greater attention to cyber security, due to the massive damage that cybercrime can cause. Now the threats are rising, and the ASEAN region is especially vulnerable in its ability to defend against them, particularly due to under-reporting of attacks and the widespread use of unlicensed software here. We hope this document will act as a guide to point businesses and their staff working remotely in a secure and sustainable direction, for the sake of their customers and employees, their own longevity, and the economic recovery of their respective countries,” said Mr. Tarun Sawney, Senior Director, BSA.
The Optical Media Board, for its part, believes that as more and more individuals and businesses shift to online, cybersecurity is a matter that should be prioritized. “Businesspeople must prepare their IT infrastructure for attacks. Cyber criminals could be thousands of miles away, but once they break into your system, even executives are at great risk. Preparation is the key. CEOs and corporate boards must make cyber security their issue,” said Atty. Anselmo B. Adriano, Chair and CEO of the OMB.
The e-book offers descriptions of cybercrime tactics and advice for executives on protecting their employees from becoming victims, such as using secure software for all business operations – from communications to network security – and training employees to identify potential phishing attempts. It also features detailed statistics gathered from various studies – including those by BSA members IBM and McAfee – on the impacts of cybercrime and data breaches in general on businesses, as well as examples of severe recent cases in the ASEAN region. A glossary of cyber security terms and links to free software offers by BSA members round out the e-book.
“COVID-19 and Cyber Threats in Southeast Asia” is available for free to download now, and includes messages from relevant governmental figures in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam verifying the severity of the threats and recommended actions businesses should take.