Survey: PH had more online threats in 2013

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By Tom Noda

The latest Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) from Internet security firm Symantec has revealed that the number of e-security threats in the Philippines increased as the country?s ranking went up to 32nd in 2013 from 36th place in 2012.

Symantec PH senior country manager Luichi Robles
Symantec PH senior country manager Luichi Robles

Luichi Robles, senior country manager of Symantec Philippines, said in a briefing that the worldwide threat activity in the report included malicious code, spam, phishing, bot-infected computers, Network and Web attacks.

The Symantec’s ISTR 2014 Volume 9 report covered over 157 countries and territories, according to Robles.

He said there was a “key observation” which showed that while the level of sophistication continues to grow among attackers, they were a lot more patient in timing their advances.

“What was surprising was their willingness to be a lot more patient ? waiting to strike until the reward is bigger and better,” Robles said.

Symantec considered the attackers’ latest strategies as “a significant shift in cybercriminal behavior,” revealing the bad guys are plotting for months before pulling off huge heists ? instead of executing quick hits with smaller rewards.

Symantec likewise labeled 2013 as the year of ?Mega Data Breaches,? where there was a 62-percent increase in the number of data breaches from the previous year, resulting in more than 552 million identities exposed ? proving cybercrime remains a real and damaging threat to consumers and businesses alike.

Each of the eight top data breaches in 2013 resulted in the loss of tens of millions of data records. By comparison, 2012 only had a single data breach reach that threshold.

Targeted attacks were up 91 percent and lasted an average of three times longer compared to 2012. Personal assistants and those working in public relations were the two most targeted professions ? cybercriminals use them as a stepping stone toward higher-profile targets like celebrities or business executives.

To guide businesses and consumers, Symantec recommended some steps that they can take to better protect themselves ? whether it be from a mega data breach, targeted attack, or common spam.

For businesses, Symantec recommends the education of employees on information protection, strengthening of security infrastructure with data loss prevention, network security, endpoint security, encryption, strong authentication and defensive measures, including reputation-based technologies.

And for consumers, Symantec recommends them to be security savvy and vigilant by way of creating strong, unique passwords using password management software, and by keeping devices ? including smartphones ? updated with the latest security software.

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