APAC most at risk of cyber-espionage attacks

Asia Pacific is more at risk of cyber-espionage attacks than any other region, according to the new Verizon Cyber-Espionage Report (CER).

The report revealed that of all regions, cyber-espionage breaches occurred the most frequently in Asia Pacific at 42%, in front of EMEA at 34% and North America at 23%.

In those breaches, an overwhelming 85% are state-affiliated, followed by 8% of nation-state actors, and 4% of organised crime groups.

As for their motives, these actors seek out data impacting national secrets, political positioning, the need to search for economic competitive advantage, and intellectual property.

Cyber-espionage attacks have been characterised by the CER as low risk, low cost, and high payoff, making them difficult to detect and track down. These breaches typically involve advanced threats targeting specific data and operating in ways to avoid detection and deny cyber-defenders effective response.

For more than half of all cyber-defenders surveyed, it took months and years to discover a breach, and 64% of cyber-defenders said that containment time ranged from hours to weeks.

Industries that are most affected by cyber-espionage breaches are the public sector (31%), manufacturing sector (22%), and professional services sector (11%).

“Cybercrime comes in all shapes and sizes, but fighting and preventing it is of equal importance. Defences and detection and response plans should be tested regularly and optimised to confront cyber threats head-on,” said John Grim, lead author of the Verizon Cyber-Espionage Report.

In view of this, Verizon recommends enterprises to adopt cybersecurity best practices, including regular security awareness training, strengthening boundary defences like network segmentation and access, and managed detection and response.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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