The Future May Hack You

As the digital economy expands, cybersecurity threats will multiply. Companies that think cybersecurity is an IT problem have already been hacked by the future. The shocking reality is that 49% of businesses fell victim to cyber-based ransom attacks in 2016, and the costs of redressing cybercrime damage are set to hit a jaw-dropping $6 trillion per annum by 2021. Asia-Pacific leaders know they are not fully prepared, with 55% of them admitting their security strategy is more reactive than proactive. What’s worse, nearly 40% of Asia-Pacific organizations took 24 hours to identify a security breach, while 30% took a week to months. Numerous additional incidents likely escaped the business’s notice. Moreover, 77% of regional companies suffered loss of reputation and brand value as a result of a breach in additional to remediation costs.

Leaders see the situation worsening, with 60% saying there are more emerging threats than they can currently control, illustrating that the underlying IT infrastructure is ill-equipped for the new machine age. Data is the biggest digital asset today, and protecting it (customer data, financial data, marketing data, IP data, etc.) means protecting your business. Brand loyalty is the result of trust cultivated over many years, but it can be destroyed in a day. With business success today centred on the use of consumer data, trust has become the new battleground for digital success. It’s an uphill battle for organizations to keep their brand and consumer trust intact. With so much at stake, companies can’t afford to take their foot off the pedal in matters of security. It is essential for cyber-security to move beyond a watercooler topic to a key agenda point for boardroom discussions so that concrete decisions can be made.

By 2020, cybersecurity will become the number#1 business priority for Asia-Pacific organizations. Online security threats are now a fact of life, moving organizations’ ability to mitigate risk from an inconvenient need to a necessary competitive advantage. As data and hybrid environments continue to grow at an exponential rate, creating more IT infrastructure complexity, it is increasingly challenging for IT to protect their companies’ brand, while ensuring smooth operations. Two proactive approaches from IT will help businesses achieve their number one business priority:

  • Make security automation a core element of enterprise IT defense mechanism. Cybersecurity attacks can occur at any time of the day and any day of the year. Organizations cannot have security staff available 24/7, and even if they do, there is no guarantee that nothing bad will happen. This is precisely why security automation will be critical. Although software bots can’t prevent cyberattacks from happening, they do enable a much faster response. The speed of response to an attack determines the scope of damage to your critical assets. In fact, 65% of Asia-Pacific senior IT executives are planning to automate security infrastructure to instantly assess, verify, prioritize and assign all incoming alerts. This will reduce the time to resolve the underlying security incident from days or weeks, to hours or even minutes. Moreover, automation can help break down data silos across the organization by providing a more uniform infrastructure that brings disparate systems together, thus reducing security complexities.
  • When a machine attacks, you need machine to defend. Tomorrow’s attackers will be machines that think. The challenge is to build immunity against them. Fighting back requires an intelligent machine that can detect threats proactively, identify stealthy malware, reconfigure network traffic to avoid attacks, inform automated software to close vulnerabilities before they are exploited, and mitigate large-scale cyberattacks with great precision. No wonder 70% of regional IT executives are planning to use cybersecurity applications with embedded intelligence. Darktrace, an AI security company, learns how each bit of a network operates, spots patterns and prevents cybercrimes before they can occur.

Cybersecurity has already gone beyond a human phenomenon. In the same way that smartphones have become an extension of our persona, artificial intelligence and automation will become the new face of consumer trust. We’ll see much bigger and more sophisticated attacks in the future, and companies need to be prepared for the coming of new age of cyber threats.