Fortinet: Local firms should brace for more security threats, data loss

FILIPINO enterprises are advised to protect their businesses from security breaches and data leakage as these threats are seen to continue to cause trouble this year.

“What most vendors are finding out now is that threats are becoming more complicated, more sophisticated and harder to mitigate,” Fortinet Vice President for Southeast Asia and Hong Kong George Chang told the BusinessMirror.

“But the good thing is that whenever there is a loophole or there are technical issues, you always have a patch to come up to be able to mitigate that security fraud in that area” he said.

Over the last 10 to 15 years, the threat timeline has shown that a new threat tends to be answered immediately by a new defense system.

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“The threat then evolves, and a new defense system is highly needed,” he said, while citing that this resulted to a bunch of different security appliances, software agents and management systems that in many cases are unable to talk to one another.  Chang cited that when the attackers tweak the Threat Life Cycle, for instance via the creation of Advanced Persistent Threats, or APTs, it turns out to be very hard to stay ahead of the curve. Next-generation security architectures, he noted, will integrate discrete security systems into a platform, which can correlate threat life elements and break the infection chain in different places.

“Good thing we have a patch for that, but the supporting environment is not ready for it,” he said.

It is noted in a separate study of a global business enabler and information-technology (IT) services provider that local enterprises shed $8 billion from data loss and downtime, as business worldwide lost $1.7 trillion over the last 12 months.

Of the 125 respondents from the Philippines as included in the 3,300 IT decision-makers from midsize to enterprise-class businesses surveyed globally, 80 percent said that they experienced such threats to workloads during the period.

With such factored in to determine the preparedness of local companies from data security challenges, the Philippines is ranked No. 13 out of 24 countries surveyed for data protection maturity.  While Chang considered administration firewalls or unified threat management could help companies address security breaches, he suggested that awareness of the threats is still the best defense to combat such.

“So you need to know what’s coming in that sense. If the more you know what is impacting the market or your network, the better you are prepared for it,” he said.  At Fortinet, he said they have put a lot of effort in research and development on what is popular and where most of the attack is.  Specifically, he cited their continuous provision of quality solutions to help protect their customers from cyber threats.

“Our key mission is to provide innovative high-performance securities but with ease of implementation and management,” he said.

Fortinet is a global network security provider, whose third-party certifications show that not only its firewall, but all its anti-Virus, IPS and other solutions are served up to international standard.

Its solutions are also used heavily at the core back bone of the network by telco providers as well as stock exchange markets around the world.

Roderick L. Abad

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Roderick L. Abad graduated from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, with a degree course in Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication. He has 12 years of journalism experience, starting as a Special Features Writer in a major daily newspaper. In 2006, he moved to the BusinessMirror in the same capacity and, eventually, became a beat reporter. To his credit, he was a finalist in the 2011 Holcim Journalism Awards for Sustainable Construction and the 2013 Lasallian Scholarum Awards. He remains affiliated with the BusinessMirror as a contributor.