‘Cyberthreats Are Not Problems You Can Solve Simply by Increasing Budgets’

Difficulty keeping up with rapidly evolving cybersecurity technologies, products and solutions is the primary barrier hindering Asia-Pacific organizations from ensuring secure cyber environments. This is according to 46 per cent of respondents across the Asia-Pacific region surveyed by Palo Alto Networks for its report, “The State of Cybersecurity in Asia-Pacific.”

The struggle to combat increasingly sophisticated cyberthreats and the search for appropriate solutions to address them have been underscored by several observations based on the survey results.

Amongst the spectrum of cybersecurity offerings available, antivirus (69 per cent) and firewalls (67 per cent) have the highest take-up rates in the region. On the other hand, far fewer companies have adopted more advanced solutions, such as two-factor authentication (27 per cent), anti-ransomware (25 per cent) and biometrics (22 per cent). This is despite two-thirds of APAC organizations having increased cybersecurity budgets from last year, with up to 74 per cent getting sizable budgets (5 to 15 per cent of total IT spend) dedicated to cybersecurity.

A need to change the mindset towards cybersecurity

A majority of organizations in APAC (58 per cent) believe a ‘detect and respond’ approach is more important than prevention. However, this mindset towards cybersecurity might require re-evaluation, given the continued prevalence of data breaches in the region.

In financial year 2016-17, 52 per cent of organizations have reported a cybersecurity breach. Furthermore, 30 per cent have reported financial losses of over US$100,000 from those breaches.

Organizations in each market noted a range of challenges they faced in ensuring cybersecurity. Overall, the APAC markets surveyed were unanimous about employees’ lack of cybersecurity awareness being the topmost challenge. Risk from third-party vendors was the second most prominent concern (36 per cent).

With the rapid adoption of digital technologies – especially in developing markets – migration to cloud followed as the third-biggest pain point (31 per cent). In particular, governments displayed a need to be more agile in adapting to technology trends, with updating legacy IT systems being their largest hurdle.

“Cyberthreats are not problems you can solve simply by increasing budgets,” says Sean Duca, vice president and regional chief security officer for Asia-Pacific, Palo Alto Networks. “A good approach to cybersecurity requires the buy-in of business leaders and understanding of the threat landscape so they can help design and implement more effective cybersecurity policies in order to prevent breaches."

Duca notes that besides ensuring that networks are adequately secured with a next-generation breach prevention-minded platform approach, organizations must also ensure that employee education is elevated to the top of their cybersecurity agenda.



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