Applied Intelligence eyes Malaysian talent to meet rising demand: Page 2 of 2
By Gabey Goh March 26, 2014
Rising appetite for cyber-security
Applied Intelligence’s investment in the region is in line with the broader global trend of security concerns coming to the forefront of business and government considerations.
This comes in the wake of high profile cases such as American retail giant Target suffering a widespread data breach in late 2013 that resulted in the personal information theft of 70 million to 110 million people. In January, South Korea reported an insider hack that resulted in leaked data from the credit cards of 20 million people in the country.
A report issued by McKinsey and the World Economic Forum in January stated that “despite years of effort and tens of billions of dollars spent annually, the global economy is still not sufficiently protected against cyber attacks – and it is getting worse. The risks of cyber attacks could materially slow the pace of technology and business innovation with as much as US$3 trillion in aggregate impact.”
In Malaysia, Cybersecurity Malaysia reported that the cost of known cybercrime has reached more than RM1 billion in the first six months of 2013, compared with RM1.1 billion in 2012. [RM1 = US$0.30]
In Applied Intelligence’s recently released 2014 Cyber Security Monitor report, Business and the Cyber Threat: The Rise of Digital Criminality report, survey respondents were asked to rank those most likely to mount a targeted attack on their organisation.
At the top of the list is organised groups of fraudsters, identified by 55% of global respondents; second was hobbyist hackers with 46% and those responsible for industrial espionage were third with 43%.
“Major corporates are taking cyber-security more seriously as they recognise the real and present danger attacks pose to their business. They are becoming more aware of the problem and more open to spending money to secure their assets,” said Sutherland.
He said that the convergence of cybercrime and financial crime was resulting in an increasing frequency of attacks, alongside increased attacks on industrial infrastructure -- be it oil or natural resources.
Applied Intelligence specialises in providing security solutions for the telecoms, financial services and utilities verticals, in addition to its work in helping governments secure national critical infrastructure.
Sutherland said that the business is growing organically, with 50% growth reported last year and a strong set of new orders coming in from the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
When asked what the company’s value proposition is for potential clients versus security vendors already established in the region, Sutherland said that in addition to offering military-grade solutions, there was the company’s capabilities in analysing threats.
“One of the things we’re able to do, is operate very large scale data consumption analytics for clients. We’ve developed sophisticated algorithms that can absorb mass quantities of data and are able to automate the process and use advanced modelling to identify anomalous behaviours.
“You can’t prevent attacks from happening, but you can put in place the monitoring tools to aid in threat discovery. Patience is key to handling attacks via the observation of behavioural patterns,” he added.
The use of behavioural patterns in cyber-security is in line with Sutherland’s observation that the coming months will be the dawning of 'intelligence-driven security.'
Another topic that would dominate industry discussions, according to Sutherland, is the on-going challenge of securing mobile devices to accommodate enterprise Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives, with attackers increasingly moving away from fixed devices such as desktops toward mobile-centric attacks.
When asked about the state of readiness in terms of national cyber defences across the region, he said that there was still “some ways to go in securing critical infrastructure” in this part of the world, but added that there is also a growing appetite to address the issue and execute solutions.
Watson pointed out that for Malaysia, there is a need to strengthen defences but noted that the country is on a journey buoyed by a “real appetite” to do more.
“There are strong signals that investments will be made in these areas, driven by IT-literate senior government officials and ministerial bodies. Other markets are not as alive to the threat as Malaysia is,” he added.