The Asia-Pacific region has been a global centre for technological innovation for some time. As these nations become increasingly tech-centric, data security is becoming a more prominent concern for companies and governments. Rising regulatory standards and a growing threat landscape mean APAC businesses should review their cybersecurity practices. Here are our insights on how you can better secure your data.
Over the past few years, data protection laws in countries like China, Singapore, and Korea have grown increasingly stringent. Despite these regulations, rising cybercrime rates warrant higher security standards.
Here are a few ways you can secure your data to stay safe and compliant.
Adopt a Zero-Trust Approach to Security
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, 66.7% of Asia-Pacific employees primarily worked remotely, and many will continue to do so even with the elimination of the virus. Since the APAC workforce is now more distributed, managing access controls and authentication is increasingly critical. Adopting a zero-trust security model can help keep your data safe while enabling remote access.
Zero-trust models segment networks and verify all incoming and outgoing data and processes. Users have to verify their identity to access company data, and even then, they can only access what they need for their specific job. These tighter controls ensure no one posing as a remote employee can infiltrate your system.
Network segmentation mitigates impact if a breach does occur. If a hacker accesses part of your system, they can’t affect the whole network. While this level of restriction might have seemed unnecessary once, it’s a crucial step for a remote workforce.
Train Employees to Spot Phishing Attempts
Another trend that has spread across the globe recently is a rise in phishing attempts. In these attacks, threat actors pose as a friendly entity to trick an employee into granting them access or revealing sensitive information. Since they target human weaknesses instead of technological ones, they can slip past even the most advanced defenses.
Email filters can detect and filter out some phishing messages, but the best defense is employee awareness. Your workers may not fully understand how prominent this threat is or how to spot a malicious message, so training them to identify and handle phishing attempts can equip them to prevent data breaches.
Businesses should also regularly remind employees about cybersecurity best practices and phishing protection. Cybercrime trends shift frequently, and workers can get complacent with security after a while, so regular training exercises are ultimately beneficial for building employee resilience.
Pay Attention to Endpoint Security
As this work-from-home trend continues, endpoint security also demands attention. Remote employees access work files from networks they share with several, likely unsecured, devices like smart home gadgets. More network endpoints mean a larger attack surface for any malicious actors. Zero-trust policies and other verification methods can help reduce the threat these endpoints pose.
Employers may want to go a step or two further, as well. Requiring remote workers to set up a dedicated network for their work devices will remove their home endpoints as a threat. Since endpoint security in a distributed workforce means employees bear much of the responsibility, keep policies as simple as possible. If they are too inconvenient or confusing, workers will likely ignore or bypass them.
Cybersecurity faces a global talent shortage, and the gap in Asia-Pacific nations is the highest in the world. As of 2018, the APAC cybersecurity sector had roughly 2.14 million unfilled positions, accounting for the majority of global shortage.
Since businesses may not be able to acquire the cybersecurity talent needed, you may want to embrace automation. An understaffed IT security team can’t handle every cybersecurity need at every moment. Adopting some level of automation, like automated threat detection, can help artificially expand your workforce. These tools will let your security professionals do more with less.
Automation can handle the more repetitive, mundane aspects of cybersecurity while workers tackle the dynamic, higher-skilled areas. You may not be able to automate every aspect, nor should you, but automating a few areas can help.
Bolster Your Cybersecurity Today
The world as a whole faces rising cyber-threats and regulations, and APAC leads in this trend. Data security is a pressing issue, but not one without an answer. With careful forethought and implementation, you can comply with any regulations and stay safe from cybercriminals.
These four steps are by no means comprehensive, but they’re an excellent start. Follow these guidelines, and your data will be much safer than when you started.