Dramatic Increase in Cyber-Attacks on Companies in Asia Pacific

Top cyber-security leaders gather at Cybertech Singapore to discuss the major cyber threats facing organizations globally. Tenfold increase in Locky ransomware attacks on companies in Asia Pacific in the past four months, according to Check Point

Thursday 8 September 2016, Singapore - There has been a tenfold increase in Locky ransomware attacks on companies in Asia Pacific, according to Check Point, one of the biggest cyber-security firms globally. Check Point revealed that the number of attacks on companies in Asia Pacific increased tenfold from 160 attacks in April to 1667 attacks in July 2016. Locky is a ransomware, discovered earlier this year, which encrypts files on an infected system and then demands payment from companies for the encrypted files in Bitcoins.

There has been a significant increase in cyber-attacks in Asia Pacific, and this will only continue to rise. The challenge for organizations is that the authors of these malwares continue to develop variants in attempts to evade detection,” said Rami Ben Efraim, Head of Government and Defense sectors from Check Point, speaking at Cybertech Singapore. The major cyber-security and cyber solutions conference took place from 6-7 September at Marina Bay Sands convention center in Singapore.

Over 1000 cyber industry leaders, academic and government representatives and cyber start-up companies gathered at Cybertech Singapore over the two-day conference and exhibition to discuss the major cyber-security threats facing companies, governments and critical infrastructure across Asia and the solutions available to tackle these threats.

Ten years ago the most advanced threats were virus and malware, today it is moving ahead. We are witnessing more and more advanced threats; more money is being made from cybercrime than from prostitution or drugs. These are not hackers – they are attackers. These attackers manage military style campaigns; they learn the targets and the vulnerabilities, and they know how to work like Special Forces. It’s a battlefield in a civilian arena.” said Brigadier General Ariel Karo, Head of Intelligence and Cyber Systems at Rafael, speaking at Cybertech Singapore yesterday.

The current approaches to cyber-security are not addressing the issue. The majority of technology is still devoted towards the perimeter defense, whereas more often than not the threat is already inside the network. Organizations, therefore, need to adopt an ‘immune system’ approach to be able to detect threats inside the network early, before a crisis develops.” commented Sanjay Aurora, Managing Director of Darktrace, Asia Pacific, a leading cyber threat defense company.

Other keynote speakers at Cybertech Singapore over the two days included Teo Chin Hock, Deputy CEO, Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA); Mock Pak Lum, Chief Technology Officer, StarHub; Professor Lam Khin Yong, Chief of Staff & VP, NTU; and Professor Thambipillai Srikanthan, Executive Director, Cyber Security Research Centre, NTU. Among the companies and organizations gathering at the event, StarHub was the industry partner and NTU the academic partner.

Key topics discussed at the event included cyber trends in aviation, big data and intelligence, advanced cyber solutions for the IOT era and human resources within the cyber industry. The event also featured a dedicated Start-up pavilion showcasing new and innovative companies from around the world with cutting-edge technologies and cyber solutions. Leading cyber start up’s exhibiting at the event included Apvera, a leader in threat intelligence solutions and Digify, a secure file sharing platform which helps companies to keep control over confidential information.

In his address at the conference, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yiftach Ron-Tal, Chairman of the Board of Israel Electric Cooperation (IEC), shared his main insights about cyber era becoming ever more sophisticated, affecting almost every aspect in our lives, being one of the most challenging technological developments, and one of the biggest risks to the Smart digital world. For further reading, click here.

During the conference, the Israeli Ben-Gurion University and the Singaporean Nanyang Technological University signed an extensive cooperation agreement which will focus on cyber issues. For further reading, click here.

Amir Rapaport, Founder of Cybertech, said “Cybertech Singapore was very successful at gathering together industry and government leaders together with young start-up companies, helping to create a new cyber eco-system for the Asia Pacific region. The conference provides a valuable platform for delegates to network, forge new partnerships and come together to tackle the major issues facing the cyber industry. Cybertech Singapore has grown significantly and is now one of the three biggest cybertech events globally."

Photos: James Ng