The burgeoning Asian economy brings with it a new set of challenges. One of these challenges is data security. The APAC region includes some of the world’s least-networked countries – Myanmar and Cambodia, for example – as well as the world’s most high-tech companies, like in Japan and Singapore. They’re all working together to transmit data across borders, and through varying levels of infrastructure. But, while data security is clearly a challenge, it’s one that can’t be ignored. Here are the top five reasons you should care about data security:
Prior to 2012, few APAC countries regulated the transfer of personal data. That’s when the Philippines enacted the region’s first uniform data privacy law, modeled after those in the European Union. Singapore, China, Taiwan, New Zealand, Malaysia, and others quickly followed suit. As APAC countries continue to tighten their data security laws, they’re also strengthening fines and penalties. In China, for example, failure to meet data security standards can result in fines, loss of business licenses, and even jail time.
Also at risk is the ability to do business across national borders. Some countries, like Australia and South Korea, only permit cross-border data transfers when the destination country has security protocols that meet their own minimum standards.
With the popularity of outsourcing and supply chain integration, businesses are increasingly connected through their data networks. This increases the risk factor for all parties involved. If the company that manages your accounting functions experiences a breach, this breach also exposes your customers and suppliers. Likewise, malware or bots that infect your system can infect any other company whose systems are connected to yours.
Data breaches can be personally devastating. From stolen identities to ransacked bank accounts, personal data that falls into the wrong hands can turn an individual’s life upside down. This can be ruinous for the source of the data breach, especially if their security protocols were inadequate.
Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policies
Due to the expenses involved in keeping up with technological changes, as well as employees’ preferences for using their own devices, the BYOD trend isn’t going away any time soon. However, giving employees access to sensitive company data through their personal smartphones and other devices increases security risks exponentially. An employee who leaves his phone – with an easy-to-guess password – sitting on a restaurant table is an open invitation for cybercriminals.
From the “hacktivists” generating disruption for a cause, to the cybercriminals looking for ways to make a profit, attacks are on the rise, both in numbers, and in sophistication. All too often, it’s the criminals who set the agenda, with businesses operating in a reactionary mode, moving to patch a weakness only after a breach has been detected. In addition, security experts are seeing more collaboration among different groups of cybercriminals, pooling their talents and resources to pull off bolder – and more devastating – attacks.
Even enterprise-level organizations struggle with data security, and it can be overwhelming for smaller businesses. However, the more business is conducted via the Cloud, and other virtual networks, the more important cybersecurity will become. Today’s businesses have no choice, but to take it seriously.