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Web attacks on PHL companies more than triple

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ONLINE attacks targeting Philippine companies more than tripled last year from 2022, Kaspersky said on Monday, highlighting the urgency of boosting cyber defenses against web threats that can reverse the benefits of digitalization.

In a statement, the global cybersecurity company said the number of web threats on local companies jumped to 1.69 million in 2023 from almost 500,000 a year earlier.

Web threats detected and blocked among Southeast Asian companies only increased by 0.03% to 13.34 million.

These numbers were calculated using Kaspersky’s business-to-business products installed in companies of various sizes, it said.

Cybercriminals launched an average of 36,552 daily online attacks targeting businesses in the region last year, Kaspersky said, adding that the growth in the region’s digital economies has opened opportunities for both people and companies.

“As most governments in the region build and boost their policies to foster their digital economy and infrastructure, it is urgent for local businesses to prioritize strengthening their cyber defenses against threats lurking online which can hamper their efforts to harness the benefits digitalization brings about,” Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky, said in the statement.

Web-based or online threats are a category of cybersecurity risks that may cause an undesirable event or action via the internet.

Web threats occur through end-user vulnerabilities, web service operators and web services themselves.

“Regardless of intent or cause, the consequences of a web threat may damage both individuals and organizations,” Kaspersky said.

Singaporean companies faced 86% more web threats last year at 1.65 million, while Thai companies had a 24% jump to 1.53 million, it said.

On the other hand, web threats on Indonesian companies fell by 23% to 4.97 million, while Malaysian businesses had 15% fewer attacks at 1.54 million. Vietnamese companies had 21% fewer attacks at 1.96 million.

Mr. Yeo expects companies to take their cybersecurity a step forward beyond installing basic firewalls and endpoint solutions this year

“With the massive data all types of organizations are handling now and the immense reputational and financial damages an attack can result in, an adaptive and intelligence-led security solutions and service portfolio is the need of the hour,” he said.

Kaspersky cited a 2023 PwC study that found that 28% of businesses in the region confirmed that they were more exposed to cyberattacks because of their digitalization efforts.

“The external pressure to disclose cyber-incidents and comply with cybersecurity practices is also higher now for 16% of the respondents surveyed,” Kaspersky said. — Aubrey Rose A. Inosante

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