Local firms make cyber threats ‘personal’

The awareness level for cloud security is still not where we would like it to be, says VP


More and more organisations and businesses in Malaysia are starting to make cyber threats “personal” by taking cyber security seriously, according to Trend Micro Inc Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa VP Dhanya Thakkar (picture).

That said, Thakkar said there is still plenty to be done in terms of security — especially for organisations and businesses that are most susceptible to cyber threats such as banks, healthcare, governmental bodies and manufacturers.

“Even though more organisations are adopting the cloud, the aware- ness level for cloud security is still not where we would like it to be,” he said.

Thakkar said the adoption rate in the country has much room for improvement compared to a country like Australia, which is more developed and has a much higher adoption rate in terms of cloud security. “We are invested on helping industries move into cloud computing by actively talking to organisations about planned security, especially for hybrid cloud security,” he said. Thakkar said Trend Micro is also working on managed service solutions where computers and networks are monitored and maintained by a third party for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

He said for now, a majority of SMEs are finding it hard to secure their data from cyber attacks due to resources; therefore, Trend Micro will provide SMEs with a managed service which covers cyber security, as well as counter-solutions.

“SMEs need a highly skilled workforce and knowledgeable people who are able to prevent intrusion or mitigate an attack — and this costs money.

“We are thus providing managed services to these organisations that are pre-packaged and driven from the cloud and are more consumption based, so they won’t have to make huge investments outright,” he said.

According to Thakkar, although cyber threats have been rampant, it is a challenge in acquiring cyber security professionals.

“Many organisations are getting it wrong as they are trying to just hire ready-made professionals that are in the market; however, they do not exist.

“We need people who are willing to learn and grow, as well as to be curious about things,” he said.

Thakkar said with proper training and guidance, these young talents could turn out to be great assets.

Trend Micro recruits talents from universities and trains them in its intensive programme.

“We have thus far hired and trained about 200 professionals in the region through the programme,” he said.

According to Trend Micro’s mid-year security roundup 2018, Asia has the highest number and percentage of people falling prey to malicious uniform resource locators (URLs).

Malaysia ranked third in the region among all the south-east countries, generating about five million clicks on malicious URLs along with 3,205 banking malware attacks.