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Emergency teams to tackle cyberthreats

Emergency teams to tackle cyberthreats

THURSDAY, September 29, 2016
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ETDA signs pact with 17 organisations with a view to minimising the risk factor from cybercrimes in key sectors

Cyberthreats are an increasingly high-risk factor for organisations, with the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) reporting that 87 per cent of the 113 organisations and businesses it surveyed have been attacked by cybercriminals.
The agency has, therefore, joined hands with 17 private and government organisations to set up sector-based computer emergency response teams (CERTs) in order to reduce the risk from such threats. 
Surangkana Wayuparb, director of the ETDA, said her agency had conducted a cybersecurity survey last year among 113 organisations from both the public and private sectors.
It found that 87 per cent of them had already been victim to a cyberattack, while the remainder were unsure whether they had been on the receiving end of such an attack. 
The survey also reported that the top cyberthreats among organisations were abusive content, followed by malicious code and availability, she said. 
Moreover, most of those surveyed do not keep information related to cyberthreats in their organisations and lack the necessary resources and cybersecurity literacy and skills to protect themselves against cybercrime from outside their own business or organisation, all of which puts them at particularly high risk of attack, the director explained.
However, the survey also found that around 66.4 per cent of the organisations had a back-up plan and information-recovery plan, followed by 57.5 per cent with a risk-management plan and 46 per cent with a business-continuity plan. 
The survey also reported on the main causes of cyberattacks on the 113 organisations, with around 69 per cent resulting from state officials who lacked cybersecurity literacy, Surangkana said.
To minimise the risk and fallout from cyber-crime, the ETDA has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with 17 private and public organisations in the banking, insurance, energy and electricity, and telecom industries to set up a sector-based CERT in each of their fields – and in turn create a cluster of CERTs in the country. 
As a result, the organisations will be able to monitor, prevent, analyse, protect against, create awareness about and reduce the risk from cyber-threats due to the CERTs’ combined readiness across these various key sectors, Surangkana explained. 
The collaboration between the MoU signatories will also create a Web security standard, transfer knowledge and leverage cybersecurity literacy and skills to support their human resources. 
Among the organisations and businesses participating in the CERT cluster are the Bank of Thailand, the Stock Exchange of Thailand, PTT, the Metropolitan Electricity Authority, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and Thai Airways. 
Moreover, the cooperative venture should also boost confidence among consumers in regard to online shopping transactions and a reduction in cybercrime in the Kingdom, she added. The ETDA chief pointed out that Thai organisations spent an average of just 3 per cent of their income on cyber-security, while there was also a lack of cybersecurity experts in the country. 
The collaboration will therefore leverage CERT readiness, support PromptPay transactions in the near future and create a single cyber-security standard as the next step. 
Thailand recorded 4,300 cyber-attacks last year, up sharply from 3,300 in 2014.
Art Wichiencharoen, first senior vice president of Kasikornbank, said that cooperation under the MoU, to which the bank is a signatory, would create confidence among customers when it came to business transactions though the Internet, such as Internet banking and online shopping. 
Moreover, it would create awareness among those in the banking and other sectors in relation to security concerns and cybersecurity, he said.
DDoS attacks soar
Meanwhile, Akamai Technologies, the global leader in content delivery network (CDN) services, has published its “Second Quarter, 2016 State of the Internet/Security Report”, which in using data gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform, highlights the cloud security landscape, and specifically trends in DDoS (distributed denial of service) and Web application attacks, as well as malicious traffic from bots.
Martin McKeay, editor-in-chief of the report, said the overall number of reported DDoS attacks worldwide had increased 129 per cent in the second quarter of this year from the same period in 2015. 
During the quarter, Akamai mitigated a total of 4,919 DDoS attacks.
Web application attacks showed a 14-per-cent increase, year on year, with Brazil experiencing a 197-per-cent rise in attacks sourced from the region – the top country of origin for all such attacks, he said. 
The United States ranked second among countries for total Web application attacks, witnessing a 13-per-cent decrease in incidents compared to the first quarter of this year.
SQL injection (44 per cent) and local file inclusion (45 per cent) were the two most common attack vectors in the second quarter, McKeay added.