WHAT ARE THE MAJOR
CYBERTHREATS TO THE
Microsoft has unveiled Asia Pacific
findings from the latest edition of
its Security Endpoint Threat Report
2019, annual research aimed at identifying
cyberthreats and building cyber-resilience
across the region.
Findings were derived from an analysis of
diverse Microsoft data sources, including eight
trillion threat signals received and analyzed
by Microsoft every day, covering a 12-month
period, from January to December 2019.
The research revealed significant differences
in the exposure to cyberthreats between
developed and developing countries, with
developing countries continuing to remain
vulnerable to threats despite the overall
decrease in encounter rates across the region.
“As security defenses evolve and attackers
rely on new techniques, Microsoft’s unique
access to billions of threat signals every day
enables us to gather data and insights to
inform our response to cyberattacks,” said
Mary Jo Schrade, Assistant General Counsel,
Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, Microsoft Asia.
“The Microsoft Security Endpoint Threat
Report aims to create a better understanding
of the evolving threat landscape and help
organizations improve their cybersecurity
posture by mitigating the effects of
increasingly sophisticated attacks.”
Malware and ransomware remain
key cybersecurity challenges in
Asia Pacific continued to experience a
higher-than-average encounter rate for
malware and ransomware attacks – 1.6
and 1.7 times higher respectively than
the rest of the world. This is despite a
23% and 29% overall decline across
these two threat vectors when compared
to the 2018 findings.
The research revealed that developing
countries, including Indonesia, Sri Lanka,
India and Vietnam, were most vulnerable to
malware and ransomware threats in 2019.
“Often, high malware encounters
correlate with both piracy rates and
overall cyberhygiene, that includes regular
patching and updating of software.
Countries that have higher piracy rates
and lower cyberhygiene tend to be
more severely impacted by cyberthreats.
Patching, using legitimate software and
keeping it updated can decrease the
likelihood of malware and ransomware
infections,” said Schrade.
The research identified that countries with
lower piracy rates and stronger cyberhygiene
practices have witnessed a significant
decline in attacks. Specifically, malware and
TEND TO BE
ransomware threat encounter rates in Japan,
New Zealand and Australia, were three to six
times lower than the regional average.
Despite the low threat encounters observed
in developed countries, Schrade encouraged
all businesses to remain vigilant.
“Cybercriminals do not stand still. We are
witnessing attackers pivoting away from
conventional methods and shifting towards
customized campaigns, targeted at specific
geographies, industries and businesses. By
relying on cloud technology and developing
a comprehensive cyber resilience strategy,
organizations can effectively bolster their
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