Kuala Lumpur, April 26 - While there is no 100% protection, one could actually stay pretty safe just by not being such an easy target. This is true not just for that stroll down a quiet street, preventing home burglaries, and cyber security.
In today's world where everything is connected, everything can be hacked. Attacks are growing both in volume and complexity. For example, it could take tens of decades or more to decrypt files encrypted by some ransomware even with all the computing power in the world were dedicated to that task.
British insurance company Lloyd’s estimates that cyber attacks cost businesses as much as US$400 billion a year, which includes direct damage plus post-attack disruption to the normal course of business. In five years, this is expected to rise to US$2 trillion, said F-Secure Corporation president and CEO Samu Konttinen.
Kontinnen highlighted ransomware as "a lucrative business model that works". Ethics and legality aside, some ransomware operations seem to run just like a regular legitimate business, complete with a call centre! Once the ransom is paid, the attackers are typically "honest criminals", and will release the decryption key.
According to Gartner, 75% of cyber attacks occur on the application layer, irrespective of where the threat comes from, such as system misconfiguration, defective software, or insecure passwords. Discovering and eliminating such vulnerabilities in time requires constant scanning and ruthless control.
"Security is at its most critical before attackers attempt a breach. By fixing vulnerabilities before they can be exploited, companies will be able to provide a formidable deterrent," said Kontinnen.
Notwithstanding that the bulk of corporations are likely still oblivious to the risk of not adequately protecting their IT systems, demand for security services is booming and with it, the cyber security business.
Among them, Finnish F-Secure is merrily growing two to three times faster than its peers and understandably pleased with its achievements.
According to Konttinen, F-Secure last year won the AV-Test Best Corporate Protection Award again, the fifth time in a row. "This is the most prestigious award in cyber security and I'm particularly proud that we were up against companies five to 20 times our size and still outmanoeuvred them."
The company recently launched the F-Secure RADAR advanced security scanning and management solutions, made available in Malaysia from April.
F-Secure RADAR is a powerful and scalable enterprise-grade scanning engine with an intuitive management dashboard that maps client's entire network, identifies known vulnerabilities and tests for web application vulnerabilities.
"F-Secure RADAR detects weaknesses and threats immediately, thereby boosting network and application security and ensuring regulatory compliance," says Konttinen.
F-Secure RADAR can either be hosted on-premise or by F-Secure. The company is targeting finance, services, and other IT data centre-driven businesses for this new offering initially, before reaching out to other segments including manufacturing. It also aims to expand the offering to its existing public sector clients.
When asked what his sales expectation for F-Secure RADAR in Malaysia and the region, Konttinen exclaimed "we expect to sell a lot!".
Malaysia is an important location for F-Secure, where it has a workforce of close to 200 and operates a 24/7 global support centre. Outside of Finland, Malaysia is the only host for the company's Security Lab – located in Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur . The Bangsar South headquarters also serve as the hub for the entire Asia-Pacific region.
"We're very happy with the local talent as well as support from the government, especially MDEC [Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation]," says Kontinnen.
Among others, F-Secure is involved in MDEC's Train the Trainer programme where it trains some 30 lecturers a year on cyber security. It also works closely with Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to monitor cyber security threats - "we're the only vendor present in Malaysia with the full set of support," said Kontinnen.