Trend Micro: Malaysia encounters the most malware threats in SEA in 2018

  • The country is ranked second in SEA for business email compromise attacks
  • Encounters over 16 million malware threats in the year; averages over 45,000 daily


Trend Micro: Malaysia encounters the most malware threats in SEA in 2018


TREND Micro Incorporated, a cyber-security solutions provider, on Feb 28 released its 2018 Security Roundup report revealing that Malaysia ranked first in Southeast Asia (SEA) for the number of malware detected in a given country, encountering more than 16 million malware threats throughout the year, averaging more than 45,000 every day.

Not only that, the country was one of the most heavily hit targets in the region, with almost 350,000 malicious URLs hosted locally and 10.5 million victims falling prey to these URLs. Malaysia also ranked second in SEA for experiencing the most business email compromise (BEC) attacks last year, only preceded by Singapore.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), BEC has already incurred US$12.5 billion (RM50.81 billion) in losses to companies worldwide as of 2018.

Trend Micro emphasises that BEC scams have long been a problem in Malaysia-based companies.

“To minimise the risk of BEC, addressing the human factor is critical. Cyber-security awareness training, coupled with adopting advanced security technologies such as writing style DNA, can build an effective defense against BEC scams and other cyber-enabled threats,” said Trend Micro Malaysia managing director Goh Chee Hoh (pic).

In 2019, Trend Micro predicts that BEC attacks are going one level down the organisational chart. Not only are C-suite executives targeted for these scams, but also their secretaries, assistants, or high-ranking directors and managers in the finance department.

In Malaysia, spending on technology products and services is forecast to reach US$15.5 billion (RM65.2 billion) in 2019, an increase of 4.6% from 2018.

As the nation continues to embark on digital transformation, the rapid adoption of new technologies, especially IoT and hybrid cloud environment, has increased the attack surface and entry points for enterprises.

Therefore, Goh cautions that enterprises need to strengthen their cyber-defense at every touchpoint, namely, on the endpoint, in the cloud, and at the network layer.

In Malaysia, Trend Micro currently sees tremendous opportunity in adoption of advanced endpoint security, such as endpoint detection and response (EDR), and managed detection and response (MDR) services.

“Malware and attack methods are becoming stealthier and many of them - such as fileless malware or in-memory malware - are able to evade traditional defences today. That’s why we see increasing demand from enterprise customers who want to go beyond traditional endpoint protection.

“Another driver for advanced endpoint security stems from the need to record and retrieve activities that took place on an endpoint, so businesses can fully understand how an attack has happened. Looking at the threat landscape, we anticipate that more and more companies will start looking into EDR and MDR technologies in 2019,” said Goh.


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