Governments still vulnerable to cyber attacks: Study

Monday, Apr 13, 2015 17:16

Research consultancy firm TRPC Pte Ltd launches a survey on cyber threats to public data on April 13 in Singapore, revealing that governments are still vulnerable to cyber attacks. — Photo courtesy of Microsoft

SINGAPORE (Biz Hub) — Blind spots and weak links still exist in IT management, usage and the policies of governments in the Asia Pacific, a recent study revealed.

This has made them more vulnerable to cyber-attacks, although they spend more on IT resources and budgets than on cyber security.

These risks were addressed in an independent study released by research consultancy firm TRPC Pte Ltd., entitled Public Data At Risk: Cyber Threats to the Networked Government.

The study, commissioned by U.S. technology giant Microsoft, shows that governments are seeking ways to implement strategic solutions for streamlining and enhancing the efficiency of their work, management of data and delivery of public services. Cyber threats affect government data, national security, critical infrastructure and international diplomacy, the study indicated.

The report also illustrated that an unmanaged and unregulated IT supply chain was one of the most potent ways in which malware infections were taking root inside systems and committing cyber security breaches.

"Current government efforts to address cyber security till date are often piecemeal at best," said Dr Peter Lovelock, Director of TRPC. "Two problems are arising for procurement professionals in Asia—the increasing prevalence of infected networks, including in supply chains, and the lack of experience in dealing with actual threats."

"A more holistic approach towards cyber security must be undertaken if a country is to be ‘cyber-ready,' from setting up agile and empowering computer emergency response teams, to sensitising and educating civil officials, especially non-IT focused personnel, regulating and monitoring the IT procurement and purchasing processes, using trusted technologies capable of defending and responding to cyber security breaches. They are all elements for building a safer government ecosystem," said Keshav Dhakad, Regional Director of Microsoft Asia's Digital Crimes Unit (DCU).

The study was carried out with the aim of proposing a roadmap for senior government policy leaders and business decision makers to enable a resilient, reliable and strong cyber security strategy and a trusted IT usage framework. — VNS

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