APAC energy, healthcare and transport sectors are most vulnerable to cyberattack

APAC energy, healthcare and transport sectors are most vulnerable to cyberattack

Report pinpoints proliferation of Generative AI circumventing approaches to authentication and verification of identity.

Ensign InfoSecurity has released its latest Cyber Threat Landscape report showing the biggest threats and vulnerabilities across some of Asia’s key economies – including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea and Hong Kong.  

This year, the report incorporates a new approach by providing detailed insights into specific threat actors.

“We have observed an overall lack of cybersecurity awareness across organisations in Asia. While this is deeply concerning, we envision new AI-powered technologies playing a big role in the next tech revolution. Policy and regulation, along with a strong ethical framework for AI, will go a long way in casting a security net for nations at large and organisations in particular,” said Lim Minhan, Head of Consulting at Ensign InfoSecurity.

Key insights from the report include:

  • Singapore: Energy & water utilities, healthcare and transport identified as the most vulnerable sectors.

Singapore’s transport industry group (aviation, maritime and land transportation) – saw an average dwell time – the time malicious actors have compromised a system before being detected and contained – of 71 days, higher than the previously reported regional average of 33 days, but lower than the observed regional average of 83 days. Singapore’s energy and water industry was the target of mostly highly sophisticated attacks.

Increasing digitisation in the healthcare sector and the advancement of IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) has created a matrix of difficult-to-manage networks resulting in a wide digital attack surface – it is most likely that many healthcare networks are already compromised.

  • Top Threat Trends in 2022

2022 saw an increasing evolution and proliferation in the use of Ransomware and Wiperware as cyber weapon platforms. The year also saw the continued impact of cyber supply chain compromise due to large-scale, deployed components which are vulnerable and lead to the compromise of several big-name victim companies.

The evolving exploitation of IoT), mobile devices, applications and operational technology for greater leverage by threat actors.

The continued proliferation of the Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) model, resulting in a shift in the number of attacks targeting SMEs –  many of which may support essential service providers.

Regionally, the report reveals activities by state-sponsored and organised threat groups originating from China have now eclipsed those of state-sponsored groups operating from Russia and North Korea.

  • AI and Business Cyber Resilience

Generative AI (GAI) remains a double-edged sword, with threat actors exploiting GAI to create convincing phishing content with 10-15% higher click through rates, develop malware faster and circumvent authentication and identity verifications by synthetically generating imagery and voice representations.

While it seems that GAI development and proliferation may favour threat actors, cyber defenders are also leveraging GAI and other forms of AI technologies to enhance their own efficiency and effectiveness to accelerate the resolution of low-level cyberattacks, freeing up defenders to focus on more complex issues.

Click below to share this article

Browse our latest issue

Intelligent CIO APAC

View Magazine Archive