Asia needs strong risk-awareness culture to mitigate cybercrime

Leaders in Asian organisations need to instil strong risk-awareness culture, to handle increasingly sophisticated cybersecurity demands in the wake of the pandemic, says industry expert. — by

With cybersecurity becoming more sophisticated in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, Asian organisation leaders should instil a strong risk-awareness culture within their organisations.

MetricStream’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Asia Pacific Aravind Varadharajan said they also need to consider a more thorough assessment of their risk landscape in order to capture and assess emerging and evolving risks.

Aravind noted that despite the rapid acceleration of technological adoption across the region, many organisations encounter challenges in achieving a holistic view of potential risks within their companies.

"Organisations that consider proactive measures to manage risk by embracing advanced technology will reap the rewards, turning risk into a strategic advantage,” said Aravind in an email interview with Bernama, recently.

The hybrid work environment has turned almost every employee into a frontline worker, as their interactions place them in the unique position of being valuable sources of risk-related information for their companies.

"Hence it is vital for companies to prepare their employees to manage cybersecurity threats efficiently," said the holder of a Master’s degree in Sociology focusing on cultural and social change, racial and ethnic diversity, and social inequality.

Employees need to be constantly refreshed with the right training and reporting systems to help them identify and report any potential malicious attack.

"Leveraging the right tools and technologies is paramount for front line employees to become more self-aware, inculcating good habits with the correct proactive behaviour,” he added.

Aravind said while Malaysia’s heavy reliance on technology has increased the risk of cybersecurity threats, he also noted that the country is working towards mitigating the risks through capacity building and preparedness.

"In addition, enterprises will now have to contend with navigating third party risks as well, which happens when someone infiltrates our system through an outside partner or provider with access to our systems and data,” he said.

He cited a global survey by Deloitte in 2021 on third party risk management responded by over 30 countries showing more than half of the organisations (51%) faced one or more third-party risk incidents since Covid-19 officially became a global pandemic.

The loss caused by cybercrime like ransomware is predicted to reach US$265bil (RM1.1tril) annually by 2031. Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that threatens to publish or block access to data or a computer system, usually by encrypting it, until the victim pays a ransom fee to the attacker.

"In addition to the threat of cyber-security attacks, the convergence of environmental, social and governance (ESG) and GRC will become a fundamental priority for enterprises in 2022,” said Aravind who has worked and lived in Japan, Singapore and India and speaks multiple languages. – Bernama

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