BSA launches Cyber Security Survival Guide in South-East Asia

Cyberattacks on organisations in critical infrastructure sectors have risen dramatically, from less than 10 in 2013 to almost 400 in 2020, says Gartner

by AFIQ HANIF/graphic by TMR

CYBER threats to the construction, engineering and infrastructure sectors in South-East Asia continue to rise, as businesses keep growing and embracing new technologies as well as digital ways of working.

According to Gartner Inc, cyberattacks on organisations in critical infrastructure sectors have risen dramatically, from less than 10 in 2013 to almost 400 in 2020.

These industries face various cyber security risks from data breaches and phishing attempts to ransomware attacks that can cost them billions of dollars. On top of that, the widespread use of unlicensed design software in these industries is risky as it makes them extremely vulnerable.

To help business leaders build a strong defence against cyber threats, BSA (The Software Alliance) has launched a survival guide that outlines these rising cyber risks and offers advice on how business leaders in South-East Asia can enhance cyber security for their businesses.

“No country or organisation in the Asean region is spared the threat of fast-evolving cybercrime. Given their position among the fastest-growing digital economies in the world, Asean member countries have become a prime target for cyberattacks,” said BSA senior director Tarun Sawney.

He said BSA knows business leaders face multiple challenges and may not have the time to commit to studying the issue.

The free e-book, entitled “A cyber security survival guide for construction, engineering and infrastructure businesses in South-East Asia” will help South-East Asian leaders in the infrastructure industry identify the threats and minimise the risks that the organisation, its clients and, ultimately, the public.

The survival guide describes four different types of cybercriminals, unethical competitors seeking an edge by gaining access to confidential data, online criminals who seek financial gain through phishing attacks or demanding ransoms, hacktivists who use cyber intrusion to expose or discredit business activities and hostile insiders or disgruntled employees who use their access to business data or networks to conduct malicious activity.

The construction, engineering, and infrastructure industries are often targeted as they typically have high-value transactions and use large amounts of data, elements attractive to cyber criminals.

According to authorities, cyberattacks on the South-East Asian private infrastructure industry are occurring every week.

“Cyber security is a matter that should be prioritised. The recent cases of Ghost Piracy serve as a warning on the risks of using illegal software for building Malaysia’s future,” said Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs enforcement director Azman Adam.

He urged the construction and engineering industries must take proactive steps to ensure the design software they use is safe, secure and compliant with professional standards and Malaysian laws. 

“Business leaders in the construction and engineering industries to review their software assets today and put sound measures in place to end the use of illegal, unlicensed software,” said Azman.