Fewer cyber threats detected last year: 6 alarming online security trends highlighted by the CSA

While there were fewer cyber threat incidents in Singapore last year, the republic continues to be the target for cyber attacks by advanced threat actors, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) said in its third annual Cyber Landscape report.

Here is a look at six alarming cyber security trends highlighted in the report:

DATA BREACHES

With data becoming the most valued currency or “commodity” in cyberspace, the CSA said that cyber criminals will try even harder to breach electronic databases.

Those that store large amounts of private and personal information will be the biggest target for hackers and cyber criminals.

The data breach involving healthcare cluster SingHealth was Singapore’s worst cyber attack, with the personal information of more than 1.5 million patients – including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong – stolen by hackers in June last year.

THREATS TO GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAINS

Supply chains that consumers depend on for their goods are increasingly becoming interconnected and automated thanks to rapidly developing technology.

But the CSA warned that cyber criminals are trying to disrupt them. This could be for reasons such as extracting information from the companies involved in these supply chains, or holding them to ransom. Industries dominated by a few companies are especially vulnerable as problems in one stage of production could potentially lead to a breakdown in the entire supply chain.

ATTACKS ON CLOUD DATABASES

An increasing number of databases are being hosted in the cloud, which is where software and systems are designed specifically to be deployed over a network.

This means that cyber criminals will be on the lookout to exploit potential vulnerabilities in cloud infrastructure.

“While their primary goal remains data theft, threat actors will also try to exploit cloud services for other malicious aims, such as to amplify Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks,” the agency said in its report.

SMART BUILDINGS AND CONNECTED SYSTEMS

The advent of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and connected industrial control systems in buildings and factories might improve and quicken processes, but it also means that they are open to more danger.

As these buildings and systems become ‘smarter’, the risk of them being attacked to hold their owners to ransom, or be exploited to spread malware or conduct DDoS attacks, also increases, said CSA.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)

AI will be able to significantly enhance the capabilities of security systems in cases such as detecting unusual behaviour and rolling out appropriate responses and mitigation measures in the case of an attack.

But the CSA warned that threat actors can also use AI to search for vulnerabilities in computer systems.

It could also potentially be used to create malicious software that bypasses existing online security measures in an organisation.

BIOMETRIC DATA

As biometric authentication, such as the use of fingerprints or facial scanning, becomes increasingly common, threat actors will shift to target and manipulate biometric data, to build virtual identities and gain access to personal information.

Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/tech/six-alarming-cyber-security-trends-highlighted-by-the-csa