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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Cybersecurity an Issue that Warrants Urgent Attention: Fortinet PH


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Fortinet, a global leader in high-performance cyber security solutions, urged businesses here to start leveraging advanced cybersecurity technologies to ensure a smooth journey towards digital transformation.

In the recently held 4th National Summit on Cybercrime, spearheaded by the Philippine National Police-Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG), Alvin Rodrigues, chief security strategist of Fortinet Asia Pacific, said that firms are looking at digital transformation as a strategy to help them gain a competitive edge.

Digital transformation is the process of aligning business models, technologies, business processes and people to deliver outstanding customer experience and value.

“As a company embarks on its digital transformation journey, it should include a cyber security strategy to protect its digital transformation process,” said Rodrigues.

Digital transformation in the Philippines has already begun as consumers here actively take part in social media and e-commerce activities. The rise in cyberattacks against consumers and businesses offering digital services, however, is worrying.

Such attacks are becoming more varied and sophisticated. Phishing and spear phishing, where cybercriminals try to obtain personal information by disguising themselves as trustworthy entities, are very common. So are maladvertisements – fictitious advertisements carrying malicious links that download malware to users’ computers.

Watering hole attacks, on the other hand, infect websites regularly visited by a company’s employees with malware. Once the employees visit and their devices get infected, the malware will make their way to the organization’s corporate network, to which the employee devices are connected.

Rodrigues noted that these attacks undergo a common "attack chain". After identifying their targets, attackers will decide their weapon of choice. They then launch an attack. If successful, the malware can stay in the network for months or years to collect valuable information about the organization.

Fortinet predicts that cyberattacks will get harder to detect as they become more human-like. These smarter attacks call for more intelligent and automated defenses.

Fortinet also foresees bigger threats to smart cities, which contain vast digital assets. Targets for cyber criminals include traffic systems, news broadcasters, telecommunication facilities, and power and utility installations. The allure of fame for successful hackers of smart cities – attacks are likely to be highly publicised in the media – also increases the likelihood of attacks.

“The task now is to gear up organizations to better break the cyberattack chain. Fortinet has the expertise to help them detect, prevent and mitigate attacks, and at the same time improve their security posture,” Rodrigues said.

Fortinet Philippines has been actively supporting the advocacies and plans of government agencies like the PNP-ACG, as well as the Department of Information Communications Technology (DICT) and National Privacy Commission (NPC).

One of the first steps a firm should take to determine its security posture is to get clarity on what's happening in its corporate networks. Fortinet is offering a free Cyber Threat Assessment Program (CTAP) that gives businesses a detailed analysis of all traffic and content flowing through its corporate networks. Following the analysis, Fortinet will flag areas of concern in a report, and work with a consultant to recommend mitigation measures.

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