MANILA - At least 3 out of 4 companies in the Philippines have suffered from a form of cyber attack, a study by technology and cybersecurity firm Kroll released on Monday showed.
Kroll said the attacks underscore the need to monitor and prepare to keep their systems and data protected.
Malaysian and Philippine firms have recorded the most cyber security incidents with 76 percent and 75 percent of firms reporting attacks, which are higher than the Asia Pacific average of 59 percent, Kroll data showed.
Kroll Senior Vice President for Cyber Risks Jay Gomez said the higher number of incidents in the country could be due to insufficient preparation, among others.
“Cyber attackers will seek out any country that has vulnerabilities, and we can see that all APAC markets are affected by this to an extent. Three in 4 Philippine businesses have experienced a cyberattack, mostly because of malware and phishing scams," Gomez said.
Malware and phishing, at 29 and 21 percent respectively, rank as the top most common cause of cyber incidents in the country, according to Kroll's study involving 700 IT and security professionals in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Australia, Indonesia and Japan.
Malware, phishing and password attack account for 51 percent of all reported incidents in APAC, the study showed.
"Despite the number of cyber incidents, many companies still do not have a response plan in place if an incident were to occur, which leaves companies at the risk of being unable to handle an incident effectively and of being vulnerable to further attacks," Gomez said.
"Having a plan would save you a lot of heartache. Because if you plan for an incident, it's better than not planning at all," Gomez added.
In APAC, 36 percent of organizations do not have an incident response plan, Kroll said.
According to the study, 70 percent of Philippine companies are also most concerned about data loss while 60 percent are concerned about intellectual property theft, data showed.
In the entire APAC, an average of 51 percent reported data loss as the impact of cyber attacks.
At least 29 percent of the surveyed Philippine firms also cited regulatory fines as a major concern, which is "higher than in any other APAC country," Kroll said.
Other concerns in APAC include data loss, reputational damage and business interruption.
"Cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving. The cyber threat actors are also taking up the ante. Every day we’re getting more vulnerabilities coming out and hackers are very quick to exploit these vulnerabilities. So it’s very important to monitor these threats and to have cyber threat intelligence," said Ely Tingson, Kroll Senior Vice President for Cyber Threat Intelligence.
At least 65 percent of surveyed firms are moving to the cloud to address security threats, Gomez said. Moving to the cloud gives them more flexibility because the cloud provides more security control, he said.
Meanwhile, cybersecurity experts from Kroll have also shared the following ways to protect individuals' data while using the internet:
• Don't use the same password across different platforms
• Limit posts and exposure to social media
SMS-linked scams have been proliferating in the Philippines therefore the need for personal online hygiene is crucial.