According to National Computer Emergency Response Team (NCERT) of the Department of Information and communications Technology (DICT), there are 386 reported cyber incidents for 20201. This includes Data Leak, Email/Web Phishing, Financial Hacking, Cyberattacks, Identity Theft, and Ransomware. To visualize the frequency of this count, we may think of it as: at least one (1) cyber incident per day last 2020. But we should take note that this number corresponds only to the reported cases which means that the number of incidents could have been higher since there might be cases that were undetected and/or unreported.
These data breaches and cyber attacks are not only happening in the Philippines but also in our neighboring countries here in Southeast Asia. The following are a few of the major cyber incidents from an article5 in CSOonline.com:
These are just a few of the examples of cyber attacks in Southeast Asia, and according to a report from INTERPOL last January 2021, “cybercrime’s upward trend is set to rise exponentially, with highly organized cybercriminals sharing resources and expertise to their advantage”6. And in today’s world, where the pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital adoption, the risk of getting involved in a cyber incident has also increased. Businesses were forced by the pandemic to adopt e-commerce and blended work setup to continue operation, and in a time where there is a high threat to the survivability of a business, cybersecurity could easily slip out of mind and be deprioritized. This possibility is being exploited by cyber criminals who, along with the fast pace of technology development, have also become increasingly cunning in accomplishing their malicious agenda.
Therefore, it is important for businesses, no matter the size, to have a framework to follow in order to minimize their exposure to cybersecurity risk. The following is a helpful guide from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of America.
Before proceeding to the framework, it is good to emphasize the note of NIST that this framework is not meant to be a one-size-fits-all approach because of the reality that different industries and different organizations will have their own unique cybersecurity threats. This is just a starting point where the company can develop its own set of policies and guidelines. For organizations with established risk management practices, this framework can be a supplement to its existing programs2.
The core of the framework is composed of five (5) functions which aim to organize basic cybersecurity activities at their highest level. These are Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover. These functions are meant to be performed concurrently and continuously and not in a series because cybersecurity should be dynamic and evolving as the threats are also changing and developing2.
If you would like to know more about the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, you may visit this link.
It is important that a business or organization has a policy or guidelines in place regarding cybersecurity because cyber criminals target companies no matter the size or location. The following are some basic steps4 from Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of America that businesses, especially the SMEs, may follow:
It will be helpful as well to conduct Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) to provide resolutions to weaknesses in the system that might become entry points to cyber attackers. Vulnerability Assessment (VA) is used to identify the flaws in the system through a combination of automated and manual scans. However, in this approach, the severity of damage that may happen in the system given each vulnerability cannot be known. Therefore, Penetration Testing (PT) is being employed. PT is an approach wherein vulnerabilities are being exploited to simulate a real cyber attack and determine the robustness of the system. It is recommended to conduct VAPT on a regular basis to keep the system in check7.
We at Trinity hope that the article above will be helpful for you and your company in the fight against cybercrime. This is why, apart from standard insurance products, we are also offering specialty insurance lines; one of which is Cybercrime Insurance.
Cybercrime Insurance is a protection for liability arising out of unauthorized use of, or unauthorized access to, electronic data or software within your network or business. This insurance will provide protection against claims due to breach of confidential customers’ information and will provide expenses for legal advice in connection with an investigation by the Data Protection Authority.