SG ranks 11th globally as a cyber threat source: Kaspersky detects over 1M incidents in Q4 2019

SG ranks 11th globally as a cyber threat source: Kaspersky detects over 1M incidents in Q4 2019
SG ranks 11th globally as a cyber threat source: Kaspersky detects over 1M incidents in Q4 2019

Kaspersky’s latest data shows that more than one million detected incidents originated from servers located in Singapore in the final quarter of 2019. This places Singapore at 11th place globally when it comes to locations with the most number of incidents caused by servers hosted in the country.

These updated statistics from the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) paints a promising picture for Singapore’s cybersecurity posture, as the number of cyber threats declined by 80% year-on-year in Q4 to 1,256,144 incidents. This has allowed the Republic to fall two places globally when it comes to generating cyberthreats from servers hosted in the country.

Kaspersky’s research also found 1,181,356 local incidents on the computers, and that 15.7% of users in this country were infected by local threats during this period. When assessed against Kaspersky’s global threat database, Singapore fell by 17 places year-on-year to rank 140th worldwide. In terms of web threats, Kaspersky detected 603,112 different Internet-borne cyber threats on the computers of KSN participants in Singapore, with 12.3% of users were attacked by web-borne threats during Q4 2019.

“Singapore’s status as one of the region’s leading digital economies is a double-edged sword. On one hand, its connectivity renders the country more susceptible to cyberthreats. On the other, one would expect that the country has the resources and the capability to deal with cyber threats. At the end of the day, it is all about finding that right balance as we accelerate our progress towards being a fully-fledged Smart Nation. To do this, both public-private sectors as well as the commitment of the general public, are essential in creating a safe digital environment so we can all reap the benefits of next-gen technology,” says Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager at Kaspersky, Southeast Asia.

“Recently, the Government has implemented a new cybersecurity masterplan to protect the country’s critical systems, as well as advocate greater levels of cybersecurity literacy among Singaporeans. Singapore’s improved performance, based on our latest data, shows that we are progressing in the right direction, but we need to build on our current wins to ensure that we do not become complacent and allow cybercriminals to wreak havoc on our IT systems. Particularly, this new decade calls for enterprises and critical systems in the country to look into feeding their networks with in-depth threat intelligence to beef up their defences against sophisticated targeted attacks,” adds Yeo.

Local threats include worms and file viruses account for the majority of such incidents. This data shows how frequently users are attacked by malware spread via removable USB drives, CDs and DVDs, and other “offline” methods.

Web-based threats are malware programs that can target someone while using the Internet. These browser-based threats include a range of malicious software programs that are designed to infect victims’ computers.

Web threats include drive-by download that refers to the unintentional download of malicious code to one’s computer or mobile device, leaving it open to a cyberattack. This infection can also be done through social engineering which involves tricking the human mind to download a legitimate-looking but infected program on a computer.

In order to be secured against the evolving threats online, Kaspersky’s security experts advise the following basic but important steps:

  • Carefully check the link before visiting a site, especially for misspelling or other irregularities, even if you think it’s a site you’ve visited regularly before.
  • Enter your username and password only over a secure connection. Avoid logging in to online banks and similar services via public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Be aware that URLs that begin with the “https” may not always be secure.
  • Don’t trust emails from unknown senders until you can verify the authenticity of their origins.
  • Always run a system with a quality, up-to-date anti-malware program such as Kaspersky Internet Security. Our advanced solution will help you solve most of the problems automatically and alert you if something went wrong.

For companies, Kaspersky recommends the following:

  • Educating employees about the risks – like the basic rule to not open emails from people they do not know as well as attachments or links.
  • Advocating good password habits in the workforce including using unique passwords and keeping it safe from anyone’s access.
  • Setting up tiered levels of access, giving permission only to those who need it on each level.
  • Incorporating global threat feeds into their systems which can provide in-depth visibility into cyber threats targeting organisations such as Kaspersky Threat Intelligence.
  • Conducting regular cybersecurity training which will deliver knowledge on latest threats and more importantly to improve employee habits and form new behaviour patterns for a safer work environment.