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New cybercrime threats haunt biz world

As if today’s business and industry stakeholders don’t have enough problems with stiff competition, uncertain business climate, huge turnover, and even political instability, they also have to contend with more unexpected forms of business models that can undermine the target company’s financial standing before they know it.

The “Uberization” of the industry has given rise to the rise of a new-age invader with a completely different business model that enters the industry and disrupts the normal business operations of a company by way of new technologies and changing customer behavior.

The threats

According to Luis Pineda, president and country general manager of IBM Philippines, these two varieties of invaders; namely digital giants and ankle biters, can inflict a lot of damage to an unsuspecting company through vastly different ways and methods.

“Large invaders such as Amazon have huge resources that can swallow up smaller companies with a few well-placed punches. While the ankle biters are much smaller but smart entities which use the cloud well and are unencumbered by legacy infrastructure,” Pineda declared to local media practitioners in a press gathering held at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel.

Pineda pointed out that Uber’s market capital is larger than that of all car rental companies combined despite the fact that it is only an app that doesn’t own a single motor vehicle.

Its easy maneuverability and convenience factor makes it a much-sought after app for modern commuters who don’t mind paying for upscale, cleaner, and safer transport services instead of traditional car rental companies.

But perhaps more than anything else, Information Technology security is the biggest concern of chief information officers in the Asia Pacific region due to the rising numbers of incidents and the level of scale and sophistication used by these cybercriminals in pirating confidential information of companies.

Organized cybercrime

“Cybercrime thefts cost over US$3.5 trillion annually in the global business community. This includes over US$90 billion alone in the Asean region where the perpetrators operate in the shadows,” Pineda added.

While 70 percent of CEOs think rogue individuals make up the largest threat, reality is that 80 percent of cyberattacks are driven by highly organized crime rings whose tools, data, and expertise are widely shared among themselves.

Unsurprisingly, social media is their favorite medium where they take advantage of the trust of majority of its users and where the crime rings can easily disguise themselves as innocent parties using false pictures and profiles.

Another issue of concern is that half of all attacks are sourced from internal threats, trusted employees, and breaches of security across enterprises and government sectors.

While over half of CEOs agreed that collaboration is necessary to fight cybercrime, only a third have expressed willingness to share their organization’s cybersecurity incident information externally.

The survey was sourced through IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBV) which interviewed top-level management consisting of over 700 C-suite leaders across 18 industries in more than 28 countries.

The IBV study, dubbed Securing the C-Suite, Cybersecurity Perspectives from the Boardroom and C-Suite, also revealed that cybersecurity is a top concern of 68 percent of CxOs. While 75 percent believe a comprehensive security plan is important, it was also found out that key executives need to be more engaged with CISOs beyond planning for security, and take on a more active role.

“On the industry sectors most conscious of cyberthreats, banking and financial institutions rank first. They are followed by telecom companies due to their competitive and innovative services, and third are the retail and manufacturing businesses. Ranking fourth are the robotics and animation outlets,” Pineda stated.