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What We Learned at RSA Singapore: How Cyber Aware is the APAC Region?

Last week in Singapore, RSA was a dynamic and stimulating gathering of security professionals showing their latest innovations that will bring the global community one step closer in the fight against cyber crime.

At the same time, the conference also demonstrated how Protection Beyond the Perimeter stands out from the crowd in the APAC region.

The State Of Threat Intelligence

The rhyme and reason behind our “Protection Beyond the Perimeter” vision is a direct outcome of our emphasis on the threats that are created and materialized beyond the perimeter. By fostering a proactive, threat intelligence-led approach to understanding organizations and their assets -- companies gain visibility beyond the immediate perimeters, and unto the realm outside their direct assets; social media, supply chains, and the liking.  

Learn about Protection Beyond the Perimeter

The conversation topics and presentations were varied, and addressed key issues in the industry.

Business-driven perspectives on cybersecurity, adapting security strategies to developing technologies, layered security, ransomware, cyber wargames, security analytics, and so on.

But what we were surprised to see was that we at CyberInt were the only to focus on protecting organizations beyond their perimeters and before threats materialize. We are witnessing a major influx across the globe of cybersecurity providers that are tapping into the importance of intelligence-led cybersecurity.

On the contrary, studies show that the industry presence at RSA mirrors how the APAC market relates to the cyber industry;

In the APAC markets, cyber threats are particularly difficult to identify because of the population’s increased use of mobile devices and Social Media Networks, which creates much greater exposure for users. Another downside of this pattern is that as a ‘side effect’ of the heightened level of mobile and online activity, ignorance of cyber threats surfaces.

Unless cyber awareness is proactively enforced as a counterbalance to this level of mobile and online activity, it is logically going to be overshadowed by the community’s alternative interests.

Shortage of IT and Cybersecurity Skills

In addition to lack of awareness, another point of weakness in APAC is evident in the reported shortage of cyber experts and professionals.

Although the shortage of IT and cyber professionals is actually a worldwide symptom, Singapore and APAC at large seem to be suffering from the worst case.

In the Case of Singapore

In 2014, the Infocomm Development Authority confirmed that of the 150,000 IT professionals working in Singapore, 15,000 vacancies could not be field. And this gap has only widened, as the demands for the professionals has been increasing over time. 

By 2017, this number of 15,000 could double in quantity, amounting to a shortage of 30,000 IT professionals in Singapore alone.

On a Global Scale

What’s more is that the “Hacking the Skills Shortage” global report put out by Intel Security and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), we see that the cyber talent shortage is affecting the international IT community at large.

In the US alone, the year 2015 saw 209,000 cybersecurity jobs that went unfilled, causing organizations to lose proprietary data as a result of the cyber skills gap. By 2020, 15% of cybersecurity positions are expected to go unfilled.

Legislative Steps Towards Cyber in the International Community

Another key finding in the report pointed to trends in Government policies and their respective approaches to cybersecurity -- 76% of survey respondents said their governments aren’t investing enough in building cybersecurity talent.

From our experience as a company, we have indeed not only witnessed but have been facilitating government directives/solutions that incorporate cyber preparedness into the legislative bodies.

[Read Now: "When ‘Simulating’ Cyber Preparedness, Look Around The Globe"]

APAC Governments and Regulators Become More Concerned

We see now a phenomena cutting across Europe and now APAC of regulators emphasizing the need to invest further in ongoing intelligence-led cybersecurity testing.

This is to replicate behaviors of threat actors so that they can be analysed by threat intelligence providers, as a means to safeguard the threats from materializing. Examples of such include the UK’s Bank of England, the European Union, Swiss FINMA, and Hong Kong HKMA

Between cyber awareness, proactive cybersecurity and threat monitoring, there are a lot of niches that point to the need for the APAC industry to gravitate towards intelligence-led cybersecurity testing, so that the threat actors aren’t the first ones to arrive. 

This is exactly where we at CyberInt can help with Protection Beyond the Perimeter, as we established our presence in APAC and put much focus now to assist various enterprises in this exciting region.

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