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Singapore a prime target for cybercriminals, but we’ve got to stay secure

Zafirah Salim | Oct. 3, 2014
Kenneth Chen, Managing Director, ASEAN, Blue Coat shares some security tips for consumers on how to ensure data security and privacy online, and for companies to conduct their businesses safely in the virtual world.

Maintaining data security and privacy online

According to the SPF report, the most commonly deployed tactic is "grooming", whereby the perpetrators study the profile of the victims for their likes and dislikes, and then present themselves as being similar to the victim. So how then can individuals work towards ensuring data security and privacy online so as to avoid falling victim to these cybercrimes?

"Social media profiling tends to take place when personal data is easily mined. To circumvent this, individuals can safeguard themselves by practicing safe online behaviours. Such behaviours include choosing the appropriate privacy settings, and not sharing personal and financial information online," said Chen.

Examples of such information include addresses, passwords, birthdates, as well as financial information such as banking and credit card details. These details should never be shared with strangers, emphasised Chen.

Chen also advised concerned parents to employ a web protection software, such as Blue Coat's K9 web-protection. It is a free software available for download that allows for a full range of parental controls, and provides anti-phishing services to protect against online fraud and data thefts, he explained.

Conducting business safely online

With the slew of online crimes taking place across the nation, it is needless to say that online businesses are also at risk. In fact, IT security becomes even more important when operating a business online. With that said, it is critical to take necessary measures to protect it against hackers who could steal vital information; or viruses which could bring down your computer system (and your business).

Security breaches by cybercriminals can cause huge financial damage to businesses. Besides the financial cost, there's also the potential damage to a company's reputation. Of course, there is no silver bullet to security - no system is foolproof, but it is wise to put as many safeguards in place as possible so that hackers will look for easier targets.

Chen recommends some top security tips for online business. Firstly, they should protect data by encrypting it with SSL (Secure Socket Layer), and employing two-factor authentication. Secondly, online companies should make use of integrated, full channel monitoring solutions, such as Blue Coat's Advanced Threat Protection framework and SSL Visibility Appliance.

He also advised online companies to set up effective security-monitoring controls. There should be security analytics and forensic capabilities in place to investigate the source of attacks when they do strike. Lastly, Chen said that there is a need to educate all stakeholders, especially employees and customers, on basic cybersecurity protocols. 

In addition to these five tips, companies can also enforce an "effective password" policy, as well as prepare an incident response procedure in advance, said Chen, adding that there is a need for companies to shift their mindsets away from prevention, and to focus more on detection and response planning instead.


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