Security firm says Asia Pacific most targeted region for cyberthreats
Outdated legacy systems and poor computing habits are among the reasons Asia-Pacific, including the Philippines, has become an easy target for cybercriminals, according to security software company Trend Micro.
At the sidelines of “Security Trends 2017,” Trend Micro’s one-day cyber-security solutions event in Manila, Myla Pilao, director of Trendlabs research at Trend Micro, explained that attacks, while relatively fewer, have become more complex.
The security firm’s “2017 Midyear Security Roundup” reveals that “the region accounted for 35.7 percent of all ransomware detections followed by Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) with 25.24 percent, Latin America 22.66 percent, and North America with 15.71percent.
Among the “victim organizations,” as Myla Pilao, director of Trendlabs research at Trend Micro, put it are banks and healthcare. The most common attack are ransomware and malware and “the region has claimed the highest vulnerability.”
Asia-Pacific also took the lead in online banking malware detected and blocked at 118,193, and 47 million malicious online mobile apps were downloaded by users.
While the Philippines is on the rise in terms of confidence level in consumer online banking, Trend Micro said that most attacks happen when doing online payments. Still, at one percent, malware attacks in banks are low compared to EMEA with 21 percent and North America with 16 percent.
“Malicious apps leverage mobile games’ popularity,” said Pilao. “The good news is mobile attacks are relatively quiet because mostly are high-risk attacks.”
Aside from outdated legacy systems that are less secure, the firm also cited the region being the easy gateway as it hosts many transnational enterprises, which is often used as a stepping stone to other bigger targets.
“Ransomware attacks have become more worm-like propagation,” explained Pilao.
Other cyber-attacks from the first half of the year came from Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams, where emails may be infected with malware or used by cybercriminals to dupe recipients into a con.