Top cybersecurity trends to impact FSIs in Asia in 2016

Sean Duca, Vice President and Regional Chief Security Officer, Asia Pacific

During 2015, a number of financial institutions across the world continued to be a target for cybercriminals looking to maximise their payloads. In fact, the impact of some high-profile hacks of financial institutions in the US had been valued at over US$100 million. This has done nothing to increase confidence within the industry, as cybersecurity is rapidly becoming a complex and long-term issue that threatens the fabric of our day-to-day digital lifestyle.

This is also a very real issue in Asia-Pacific, which may be unsurprising when we realise that Asia is home to robust financial markets, representing trillions of dollars across both developed and emerging economies. As cyberattacks become more sophisticated in line with new and emerging technologies, we are seeing cybercriminals moving to target the sectors where their efforts are likely to yield the most profitable results, and ‘finance’ tops the list.

“So what does this mean for the financial sector in Asia-Pacific in the next year”, is the question that we are hearing from everyone in the financial food chain, from customers, to investors and bankers, all the way to boards of directors.

With this in mind, we have provided a look at what 2016 may hold for the financial sector in this region when it comes to cybersecurity.

  1. More calls for transparency when it comes to cybercrime

Despite Asia-Pacific having the largest number of internet users in the world, unlike the US and Europe, there is no uniformity when it comes to laws mandating the disclosure of cyber breaches. This means that what actually makes it into the public eye, can give a distorted view of the real situation in this region when it comes to cybercrime.

While sharing less with regulators may keep the heat off organisations in the short term, there is reason to believe that this also increases the chance of additional attacks targeting similar organisations with similar techniques.

Last year this resulted in the establishment of the Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA), a group of cybersecurity solutions providers coming together to share threat intelligence on attacks taking place across the region, including motivations, tactics and information on those responsible.

We expect this trend to continue, as more organisations begin to realise the benefits of sharing knowledge as a means to unify efforts to fight cybercrime in Asia.