February 29, 2024

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Improving Cyber Resilience Against Ransomware Attacks in the U.S.

Between 2019 and 2020, ransomware attacks rose by 62% worldwide and by 158% in North America alone. The sophistication and widespread impact of recent cyberattacks have caused agencies and private organisations to scrutinise their cyber resilience across not only their own organisations but also their supply chains.

Data is under constant attack from advanced adversaries and threats evolving at a pace that traditional security approaches fail to protect. The government is gaining a fuller understanding of the long-term impact on the nation’s cyber posture and what needs to be done to prevent and mitigate future attacks of magnitude from happening.

While the federal government is taking steps in the right direction with the Biden administration’s Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity and other ransomware initiatives, there is still much more to be done.  The partnership between government and private-sector organisations will be critical to ensure the success of these initiatives for improved cyber resiliency across the nation.

These are some common vital steps to protect sensitive data:

  1. A renewed focus on database security

Perimeter-based security can no longer keep up with today’s changing threat landscape as agencies adopt multi-cloud architectures, employees work remotely and data is further distributed throughout an organisation. It is better to shift the focus to protect the most valuable asset: data.

A data-centric, zero-trust approach will allow agencies to adopt a risk-based model of security with a “never trust, always verify” mindset that secures data wherever it resides. By improving visibility across on-premise and cloud databases, agencies can uncover vulnerabilities, limit user access to sensitive data and get alerts of suspicious activities.

  1. Assume a breach

Agencies should start by assuming a breach, then determine the next steps to lessen the impact — such as implementing air gaps in the network or adding extra layers of authentication. They should also look to automate cyber monitoring and mitigation capabilities with proactive, managed threat detection and response services. Then, for an additional layer of protection, agencies should supplement this with manual testing by skilled security analysts.

  1. Collaborate across private/public sector

Public-private partnerships with task forces and programs are critical to improving the nation’s collective ability to detect, prevent, mitigate, respond to and recover from cybersecurity incidents. No single agency or organisation can improve national cybersecurity alone, but by working together, government agencies and their managed security service providers (MSSPs) can enable stronger threat detection and ensure the right cybersecurity technologies are in place and used to their fullest capabilities.

  1. Enable continuous monitoring, mitigation and testing

Advanced threats often remain hidden as they spread through networks in the background. In addition, the increasing number of devices connecting to a network — paired with the ever-changing environments they operate in — make it harder for agencies to detect and mitigate these threats. This is where it is important for agencies to ensure that access rights are constantly adjusted as employees’ roles and data locations change.

With the fast-evolving nature of today’s threat landscape, periodic vulnerability testing and threat hunting are no longer as effective as they once were. As such, in order to maintain full visibility and security, agencies need continuous monitoring, regular threat hunting and ongoing access rights reviews through managed security services.

  1. Train and retain cybersecurity experts

Currently, there is a global shortage of nearly 4 million cybersecurity employees. With high-profile incidents that require large workforces for response becoming the norm, ensuring adequate cybersecurity expertise is more critical than ever before. As agencies and industries recruit more professionals, they should increase resources and training for cybersecurity programs and partners.

As part of the ongoing response to combat cyberattacks, agencies across the U.S. government announced new resources and initiatives to protect American businesses and communities. As reported by OpenGov Asia, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), together with federal partners, has launched a new website to combat the threat of ransomware, StopRansomware.gov.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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