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TECHNOLOGY

Every 2 in 3 Southeast Asia businesses are ransomware victims, Kaspersky study finds 

August 16, 2022 5:39 p.m.

Ever since the infamous Wannacry attack, ransomware has become something of a buzzword within the corporate world, with large attacks on enterprises appearing in headlines month after month.

Businesses in Southeast Asia (SEA) are well within the radar of these cybercriminals with three in five (67%) confirming that they have been victims, according to the latest research by Kaspersky.

Global cybersecurity company, Kaspersky, surveyed 900 respondents across North America, South America, Africa, Russia, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, 100 of which were from SEA. Conducted in April 2022, the research titled “How business executives perceive ransomware threat” gathered the answers from those in senior non-IT management (such as CEOs, VP, and Director level) and business owners or partners at companies with 50-1000 employees.

Half of those (34%) who have admitted having their data maliciously encrypted by cybercriminals experienced ransomware attacks not once but several times. The remaining respondents (33%) said they have experienced such incidents one-time only.

 The most common denominator among ransomware victims in the region is that almost all paid the ransom (82.1%). In fact, 47.8% of the surveyed executives confessed that they paid the ransom as soon as possible for immediate access to their business data, two digits higher than the global average of 38.1%.

Almost a quarter (23.9%) did try to get their data back through back-ups or decryption but failed and paid ransom within two days while 10.4% took a week of effort before paying up.

 When the ransomware victims were asked of the steps they will conduct should they face the same incident, majority (77%) of the business leaders in SEA confirmed that they will still pay the ransom showing a worrying tendency for companies that have already been a victim of ransomware to pay up, encouraging cybercriminals to continue their attacks.

“It is concerning to see that only 17.9% of businesses here in SEA victimized by ransomware did not budge on the cybercriminals’ demands. We stand firm that paying the ransom should not be a knee jerk reaction for enterprises. But, with more than half (67%) of those we surveyed admitting that their organizations would not survive without business data if attacked, we understand the urgency and the desperation to get their data back as soon as possible, by all means,” comments Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky. 

Kaspersky’s study also revealed a key puzzle piece – that the majority (94%) of enterprises in SEA will seek external help if attacked by ransomware. This is a tad higher than the global rate at 89.9%.

Almost a quarter (20%) of which will contact the law enforcement, while 29% will reach out to a third party cybersecurity incident investigation and response service provider like Kaspersky. The remaining percent will contact both of these external organizations to know how to respond to a ransomware attack.

“With only 5% of enterprise leaders confirming that they have internal incident response capabilities or they have the regular IT team or service provider to figure out a ransomware attack, it is clear that our enterprises here in SEA need help. We advocate for cross-border and public-and-private cooperation that will help governments and companies to combat threats like ransomware. However, such is not the only answer. Enterprises here should really look into acting on concrete steps to upskill or even to build their own security defense team with intelligence-led incident detection and response capabilities,” adds Yeo.

Global cybersecurity company Kaspersky co-founded the global project called “No More Ransom Initiative” which has grown from four partners to 188 and has contributed 136 decryption tools covering 165 ransomware families.

Since its launch in 2016, it has helped more than 1.5 million people decrypt their devices all over the world. Nearly 30,000 ransomware victims from July last year to June end of 2022 in SEA were also able to retrieve their data through this project.

The project is done by Kaspersky along with the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Dutch National Police, Europol’s European Cybercrime Center, and other partners.

Kaspersky, however, puts emphasis on preventing a ransomware attack. The global cybersecurity company encourages businesses to follow these simple and effective recommendations to help protect their organizations against this threat:

  • Always keep up-to-date copies of your files so you can replace them in case they are lost (e.g. due to malware or a broken device). These should be stored not only on a physical device but also in cloud storage for greater reliability. Make sure you can quickly access your backups in the event of an emergency.
  • Install all security updates as soon as they become available. Always update your operating system and software to eliminate recent vulnerabilities.
  • Provide security education to your staff. Explain that by following simple rules, employees can help prevent ransomware incidents. Check out dedicated training courses, such as the ones provided in the Kaspersky Automated Security Awareness Platform.
  • Enable ransomware protection for all endpoints. There is a free Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool for Business that shields computers and servers from ransomware and other types of malware, prevents exploits and is compatible with already installed security solutions.
  • Enterprise companies are recommended to use anti-APT and EDR solutions, enabling capabilities for advanced threat discovery and detection, investigation and timely remediation of incidents, as well as to have access to the latest threat intelligence. An MDR provider could help to effectively hunt any advanced ransomware attack. All of the above is available within Kaspersky Expert Security.

If you become a victim, never pay the ransom. It won’t guarantee you get your data back but will encourage criminals to continue their business. Instead, report the incident to your local law enforcement agency and get help from incident response experts such as Kaspersky.

Companies can also try to find a decryptor on the internet – some of these are available at https://www.nomoreransom.org/en/index.html

TECHNOLOGY

Ultra tough HONOR X9a 5G gets tested in an experiential launch in Philippines; priced at P16,990

January 23, 2023 3:01 p.m.

Celebrities, guests from the media, and partners have been gathered in an overnight event at Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay to experience the toughness of the new HONOR X9a 5G.

“To see is to believe, that’s why we came up with this launch that really puts HONOR X9a 5G’s toughness to the test. Our guests have seen first-hand how durable our new phone is and we are very confident that the activities we laid out for have showcased the top-of-the-line performance of HONOR X9a 5G,” said Stephen Cheng, HONOR Philippines Vice President for Marketing.

During the afternoon festivities, guests were challenged to participate in games that highlighted HONOR X9a 5G’s top specs such as shooting its screen with a toy gun and in a paired drop test where one has to throw and the other catches. A selfie area in front of Taal also brings out the best in HONOR X9a 5G’s super triple camera capturing the crisp and accurate colors of the famous volcano. The viral phone has also withstood the outdoor badminton and smash challenges.

HONOR X9a 5G Specs

Sporting a 120Hz Premium OLED Curved Display, the HONOR X9a 5G brings users a large screen of 6.67-inch with an impressive screen-to-body ratio of 93%, guaranteeing an immersive viewing experience for all your favorite content.

An ultra-large 5100mAh battery in a compact body awaits you too. So far, the HONOR X9a 5G is the thinnest and lightest smartphone to feature a battery larger than 5000mAh, which allows it to support up to 2 days of daily use for a truly uninterrupted user experience. With just 30 minutes of charging, the HONOR X9a 5G delivers 12.5 hours of video streaming, sparing users from having to worry about their battery.

Designed for a style conscious audience, the HONOR X9a 5G is available in two stunning colors: Titanium Silver and Emerald Green. Starting from January 20 to February 3, the HONOR X9a 5G will be available to purchase via all HONOR kiosks and partner online stores –  Lazada (http://bit.ly/3XHFPIC), Shopee (http://bit.ly/3XzEfrS), Tiktok Shop (http://bit.ly/3kfHhTS), and Home Credit.

HONOR fans can finally avail the HONOR X9a 5G via Home Credit, for as low as Php 661 per month with insurance, Php 765 without insurance, and on a 0% interest installment payment.

HONOR X9a 5G is priced at P16,990 with FREE HONOR Earbuds X3 Lite worth P3,999.

For more information and announcements, you may visit HONOR’s website www.hihonor.com or social media platforms: Facebook (Facebook.com/HonorPhilippines), Instagram (Instagram.com/honorphilippines/) and TikTok: (Tiktok.com/@honorphilippines).

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TECHNOLOGY

Miscommunications in IT security lead to cybersecurity incidents in 62% of companies

January 12, 2023 5:58 p.m.

More than half of top-tier managers (62%) admit that a miscommunication with the IT department or IT security team has resulted in at least one cybersecurity incident in their organizations.

In terms of personal attitudes, the majority of non-IT executives cited a diminished sense of cooperation between different teams (34%) and said this situation makes them question their colleagues’ skills and abilities when communication with their IT-security employees was unclear (33%).

The recent Forrester analytics survey says that companies spend an average of 37 days and $2.4 million to detect and recover from a cybersecurity breach. To determine how much mutual understanding between executives and information security teams affects a company’s cyber resilience, Kaspersky conducted a global survey of more than 1,300 business leaders. 

According to the results of the study, 98% of non-IT respondents experienced miscommunications regarding IT security. With regards to consequences, most often a breakdown in communications leads to serious project delays (67%) and cybersecurity incidents (62%). Almost one-third of respondents (30% and 27% respectively) even said that they had even encountered these issues more than once. Among other negative effects are a wasted budget, the loss of a valued employee and deteriorating relationships between teams –situations that occurred to 61% of respondents.

In addition to worsening business indicators, unclear communication with IT-security employees also affects the emotional state of the team and makes executives question IT-security employees’ skills and abilities. Also, 28% executives admit that misunderstandings make them lose confidence in the business’ safety and 26% of them find this situation makes them nervous, which affects their work performance. 

“Clear communication between a company’s executives and IT security management is a prerequisite for corporate business security,”  comments Alexey Vovk, Head of Information Security at Kaspersky.

 ”The challenge here is to put oneself in the others’ position, to anticipate and prevent serious misunderstandings. This means that, on the one hand, CISOs should know the basic business language to better explain the existing risks and need for safety measures. On the other hand, a business should also understand that information security in the 21st century is an integral part of business and budgeting for it is an investment in protecting company assets,” adds Vovk.

To make the communication between IT security and business functions within the company more transparent, Kaspersky recommends the following: 

  • Understanding professionals from another sphere requires not only empathy but also additional knowledge. While IT security workers could get more information about basic business terms and concepts in various training courses, non-IT executives have an opportunity to walk in a CISO’s shoes to get insights on the most relevant IT security challenges. 
  • Both IT and non-IT managers should not lock themselves in a professional “information bubble”. Staying aware of the agenda in both the business and cybersecurity worlds is another key to successful communication and mutual understanding between them.
  • Cybersecurity specialists should use reliable and understandable arguments when communicating their needs to the board and justifying their cybersecurity budget. Use information about the threats and security measures most relevant to your particular industry and company size to prove the probability of risks and the protective measures needed. Resources such as IT Security Calculator and reports based on experts’ observations can significantly ease this task.
  • Today when cyber threats are becoming more and more relevant and companies are forced to increase their information security budgets, it’s extremely important to allocate cybersecurity investments to tools with proven efficacy and ROI. This means tools that lower the level of false positives and reduce the time of attack detection, the time spent per case, and other metrics are important to any IT security team.

The full report and more insights on communications issues between C-level and IT security managers are available via the link.

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TECHNOLOGY

WIKO to release Huawei-developed smartphones

January 2, 2023 5:46 p.m.

A few days ago, the French technology brand WIKO made its debut on Weibo, and its China official website was launched simultaneously.

According to the teasers, last December 27, WIKO release its flagship phone in China, which not only supports 5G, but also a device thats equipped with Harmony OS, with a 108-megapixel main camera, 66W super-fast charging and other familiar configurations.

The new flagship–WIKO 5G, uses a 6.78-inch 120Hz high-refresh screen, equipped with a Snapdragon 695 processor, a rear-mounted 108megapixel main camera + 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle + 2-megapixel macro + 2-megapixel depth-of-field lens, and the front camera is 16 million pixels, built-in 4000mAh battery.

It uses a 2.0GHz Octa Core CPU processor using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G chipset, an Adreno 619 graphics processor paired with 8GB of RAM, 128GB/256GB of internal memory and runs on the HarmonyOS operating system.

Equipped with 4 rear cameras, Quad Camera with LED flash consisting of

  • Main camera, 108 megapixel resolution, Samsung HM2 sensor, aperture f / 1.9, 1 / 1.52) and PDAF system
  • The second camera, Ultra Wide lens, 8 megapixel resolution, f / 2.2 aperture
  • 3rd camera, depth lens, 2 megapixel resolution, f / 2.4 aperture
  • 3rd camera, macro lens, 2 megapixel resolution, f / 2.4 aperture

According to reports, WIKO is officially licensed to release smartphones developed by Huawei technology. WIKO is a local mobile phone brand in France. Later, the mobile phone business of this brand was jointly acquired by Tianyin Holdings and Dongguan Financial Holdings. In addition, WIKO took the second place in the French mobile phone market in 2014, second only to Samsung in terms of local market share.

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