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Tech & Innovation

Boxes to tick when choosing a threat intelligence provider

For any chief information security officer (CISO) or IT lead, operating in today’s highly digitalized environment, not only are they tasked with establishing and maintaining the digital transformation efforts of their companies on a tight budget, they must also ensure that the company’s IT policy is compliant with the data protection regimes in the markets that they operate in.

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Photo by Igor Miske from Unsplash.com

By Yeo Siang Tiong
General Manager for Southeast Asia, Kaspersky

A long time ago in the cybersecurity space far far away, the choice of a threat intelligence service was often restricted to a handful of providers. Today, the cybersecurity industry in APAC is worth at least USD 30.45 billion and expected to grow at an annual rate of 18.3% from 2020 to 2025, with multiple cybersecurity vendors seeking a bigger slice of the proverbial pie. 

For any chief information security officer (CISO) or IT lead, operating in today’s highly digitalized environment, not only are they tasked with establishing and maintaining the digital transformation efforts of their companies on a tight budget, they must also ensure that the company’s IT policy is compliant with the data protection regimes in the markets that they operate in. 

Clearly, it is not an easy task to take, but little things like having the right threat intelligence service can make life easier. We have been hearing a lot about this for several years now. But what is it threat intelligence exactly and what you should be looking for in a threat intelligence service provider?

Turning intelligence into action

Let’s have a quick refresher. Threat intelligence is data collected and analyzed by an organization in order to understand a threat actor’s motives, targets, and attack behavior. It empowers organizations of all shapes and sizes to make faster, more informed security decisions and shifts their cybersecurity posture from reactive to proactive in the fight against breaches and targeted attacks. 

I am aware that there are a lot of free threat intelligence if one has a knack on researching. However, let me put it this way. A premium threat intelligence report or feed is like a special block screening of an amazing movie. You get the first dibs of the plot and perhaps get to know the characters even. Eventually, the film will be shown in major cinemas. Then after say, six months or more, it will land on several streaming services.

With us at Kaspersky, we provide comprehensive, real-time, organic, and actionable information on our premium threat reports and data feed which is why they are exclusive to the enterprises and organizations which have subscribed to our services. We see to it that we share such with the law enforcement agencies as well, because cooperation is key to fighting cybercriminals.

After a few months, we will then make such data available in public. Why is it not ideal to wait until the mass release of a threat report? Because it will allow you to act fast, to assess your risks, check your endpoints, fix the loopholes which they may exploit. Because knowing first-hand such critical information can save you money, reputation, and headache. Because proactive security is necessary at this time and age.

You may wonder why don’t we make our findings public to begin with? Let us remember here that public here means anyone – including them, cybercriminals. The last thing we want is to tip them off.

Aside from these, what else should you be looking for in a threat intelligence service provider?

  1. Check their sources

Threat intelligence should make your systems smarter through data feeds. To get the feeds you need sensors scattered all across the globe to ensure that your data is reflective of the real-time, global threat landscape. 

For example, our very own Threat Intelligence portfolio is powered by millions of Kaspersky’s global users who agreed to share their anonymized data. This huge network builds our Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) which collects more than 340,000 malicious files per day, allowing us to get rich information compared with firms with limited sensors and workforce.

  1. The data collection strategy needs to be GReAT

Speaking of human force, a threat intelligence service’s data collection strategy should be the most important factor to consider in your evaluation of their capabilities because they can only provide intelligence as far as the parameters of their data sources. Given that cybersecurity attacks are often transnational in nature, it is important that a vendor can source information globally and put pieces of the puzzle together in a way that makes sense for your IT staff. It should not be aggregated, it should be organic. It should also be critically monitored and studied by the brightest minds who can understand tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs).

To assess whether a threat intelligence service has such a capability, look at their research team and see what kind of campaigns that they have uncovered. For example, Kaspersky’s Global Research & Analysis Team (GReAT) found that the Lazarus APT group shifted their modus operandi to launch targeted ransomware attacks against businesses in Asia, extending as far as France in Q2 this year. 

  1. Check the visibility

I have already mentioned the borderless nature of cyberthreats. Hence the visibility of your provider should be another box you have to tick. Look into their Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) logbook and their database. Are they monitoring cyberthreats only from a particular country or region? Or do they have a global reach? Are there researchers only based in one country? Or do they have a network of experts scattered around the world? The answers for these questions are essential.

  1. The provider should understand the difference between intelligence and data 

At the heart of the debate between intelligence and data lies the concept of context. Assuming now you’ve got your data sources setup and information is feeding in from all corners of the globe, but you’re asking yourself the million dollar question: how do I know what is important and why is it important?

Things such as threat names, timestamps, resolved IPs addresses of infected web resources are useless on their own if they are not enriched with actionable context. When a relationship context is established, the data can be used more readily to answer the questions of “who”, “what”, “where”, “questions”. It is only at this point that data becomes the finished article – intelligence – and you now receive a boost to incident investigation, as well as uncover new Indicators of Compromise (IoC) in your IT network. 

  1. The ability to integrate is key

Integration can be a dirty word of the IT industry. With constant technological upgrades and the evolution of standards happening all the time, the ability to integrate new processes into existing IT operations is a never-ending challenge. 

Similarly, for threat intelligence, it is important that your service provider can provide delivery methods, integration mechanisms and formats that support smooth integration of threat intelligence into your existing security controls. 

The endgame 

The above-mentioned tips are just a few of the many other aspects you should consider when looking for a threat intelligence service, but they serve as a good stepping stone in bolstering your cybersecurity posture for now. With threats becoming increasingly complex and malicious, having the latest enterprise security programs are no longer sufficient. Adding threat intelligence to your arsenal of cybersecurity countermeasures will allow you to bring the fight to them. 

Tech & Innovation

Why website security is important for business continuity

Beyond establishing a digital presence and e-commerce store, entrepreneurs should also take steps to ensure their websites are protected from cyber threats.

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The past year saw businesses of all sizes shift to the online marketplace. And with the continued need to shelter in place due to the pandemic, digital-based transactions are expected to continue to rise in the future. 

As more entrepreneurs expand their online operations, the more they need to take website security seriously. According to the Department of Trade and Industry, with the rise of digitalization, cybersecurity and data privacy remain a challenge especially for small businesses. 

“As more Filipinos shop online, businesses of all sizes need to ensure their websites are protected to help maintain customer trust and credibility for online transactions. In addition, addressing security protection for your online presence can help to ensure that your business website is not impacted and available for your customers to make their purchases,” said Norman Barrientos, Director of Marketing for Southeast Asia of GoDaddy, the company that empowers everyday entrepreneurs worldwide. 


Securing your business website is crucial in maintaining operational continuity and customer loyalty. GoDaddy shares the following ways to help secure your website. 

Install an SSL Certificate

The basic protection your website can have is an SSL Certificate–which automatically creates a secure, encrypted connection with the browser of those who visit your site. What this means is that personal information passing to and from your website is further protected from data hacking.

Aside from security protections, having an SSL Certificate installed on your website can affect the discoverability of the website in search results.  Search engines like Google rank websites with SSL Certificates higher in search results listings. Web browsers also flag websites without an SSL Certificate as “not secure.” Business credibility can immediately come into question with potential customers who log on to your website, with the intent to do business with your company. GoDaddy offers a variety of SSL certificate plans.

Consider More Protection as Your Website Grows

Aside from installing an SSL Certificate on a website, additional protections such as a web application firewall (WAF) that intercepts incoming malicious code for security threats, and a malware scanner that alerts you if there is any bad content or code on your website and helps to start to address the issue, are crucial additional website protections to consider. Having these security protections in place can also help your website load faster. 

GoDaddy, offers Website Security services which includes a bundle of tools that helps to protect your website, as well as includes continuous website monitoring and a back-up function that allows you to restore your entire website in a single click. 

Conduct regular website Back- Ups 

As you continually edit and update your website, it’s important that your files, including photos, and the overall layout of your website are safely backed up. This allows you to restore your website should any problems occur. 

Today, tools that help keep website files more protected, like GoDaddy Website Backup, automatically take stock of changes in your website and secure them in the cloud. This helps protect your website against cyberthreats, with easy restoration which can help to limit downtime for your business. 

From domains to creating your own business website, GoDaddy is the one-stop shop for everything you need to create a strong online presence. Find out more about GoDaddy’s website security tools by logging on to www.GoDaddy.com.

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Strategies

5 Practical ways to keep your finances safer online

Kaspersky’s fresh data for Q2 2021 showed a 60% increase in mobile banking Trojan attacks blocked in the region versus same period last year.

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Photo by Blake Wisz from Unsplash.com

Kaspersky reveals its Q2 2021 mobile threat report for Southeast Asia (SEA) where it has monitored a 60% uptick in the number of attacks using malicious mobile bankers detected and blocked in the region. 

Mobile banking Trojans – or bankers – are used by cybercriminals to steal funds directly from mobile bank accounts. These malicious programs typically look like legitimate financial apps, but when a victim enters their security credentials to try to access their bank account, the attackers gain access to that private information.

Overall, since the beginning of 2021, Kaspersky products have foiled 708 incidents across six countries in SEA. This is already 50% of the total number of mobile bankers blocked in 2020 which was 1,408.

Indonesia and Vietnam logged the most number of incidents during the first half of the year. However, globally, the two countries are not among the top 10 countries affected by this threat. Vietnam is only 27th and Indonesia is 31st as of June this year.

The five countries with the most number of mobile banking Trojan detections in Q2 2021 are Russia, Japan, Turkey, Germany, and France.

*Mobile banking Trojans attacks detected from users of Kaspersky mobile security solutions in the country

While the number of mobile banking Trojan attacks in SEA remains low, 367 incidents from April to June 2021 versus 230 detections during the same period last year, the continuing pandemic continues to force users to start using mobile payment systems.

“We are almost at the second year of the pandemic which has fast tracked the mobile payment adoption in the region at a breakneck speed. During the beginning of this health crisis, our survey already showed that the majority of internet users here have shifted finance-related activities online, like shopping (64%) and banking (47%),” comments Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.

The same survey revealed that seven in 10 (69%) are worried about conducting financial transactions online and 42% of the respondents admitted to being afraid about someone accessing their financial details through their devices.

In addition, another Kaspersky report titled “Making Sense of Our Place in the Digital Reputation Economy” discovered that the majority (76%) of 861 respondents from SEA confirmed their intent to keep their money-related data away from the internet. The sentiment is highest among Baby Boomers (85%), followed by Gen X (81%), and Millennials (75%).

“Clearly, there is an awareness about the threats present when we do banking and payment transactions through our mobile phones. But there is still a gap between knowing and acting on it. So to help users from SEA embrace the power of their smartphone and also keep their finances safe, we suggest some practical tips but also encourage everyone to please look into using security solutions as a safety net in case they accidentally clicked a malicious link or downloaded a rogue mobile banking application,” adds Yeo.

Here are some practical tips from Kaspersky which you can do to beef up your money’s safety online:

1. Get a temporary credit card

Cyber criminals have developed incredibly sophisticated techniques and malware that can sometimes thwart your best efforts for safe online shopping. As another level of security for safe online shopping, you can use a temporary credit card to make online purchases, in lieu of your regular credit card. Ask your credit card company if you can be issued a temporary credit card number.

Just remember to avoid using these types of credit cards for any purchases that require auto-renewal or regular payments.

If a temporary credit card is not possible, an alternative is to use a credit card with a low credit limit.

2. Dedicate a computer to online banking and shopping

If you have more than one computer, it may be wise to dedicate one for online banking and shopping only. By avoiding using the computer for any other Internet browsing, downloading, checking email, social networking, and other online activities, you effectively create a ‘clean’ computer that is totally free of computer viruses and any other infections. For added security for safe online shopping, install Google Chrome, with forced HTTPS. This ensures you are visiting only secure websites.

3. Use a dedicated email address

Create an email address that you will use only for online shopping. This will severely limit the amount of spam messages you receive and significantly reduce the risk of opening potentially malicious emails that are disguised as sales promotions or other notifications.

4. Manage and protect your online passwords

Using strong passwords and using a different password for each online account is one of the most important things you can do for safe online shopping. We know it can be difficult to remember so many different passwords, especially when they are composed of numerous letters, numbers, and special characters. But you can use a password manager to aid you in keeping strong passwords for multiple accounts.

5. Use a VPN

If you absolutely must shop online while using public Wi-Fi, first install a VPN (virtual private network). A VPN will encrypt all data that is transferred between your computer or mobile device and the VPN server, preventing hackers from hijacking and viewing any sensitive data you input.

In the Philippines, Kaspersky endpoint solutions like Kaspersky Total Security (KTS) that have a password manager and  VPN features is currently included in its 9.9 promos in Shopee and Lazada.  Filipino customers can enjoy up to 50% discount.

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Tech & Innovation

3 Things Canon introduced to improve your digital life

Whether for work or play, everyone can now enjoy a wide range of options from Canon, each one designed to fit today’s demanding digital needs. From cameras and projectors that will elevate your next digital project to innovative software that will simplify your ways of working, Canon has a solution for you. 

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“At Canon, we take pride in being an all-in-one solution provider, catering to the different needs of our customers. We are driven to continuously create and innovate, and at times like this, we pivot to adjust when customer needs change. It is our commitment to innovation that allows us to continuously delight people with products and services that fit their business or lifestyle,” said Kazuhiro Ozawa, Canon Marketing (Philippines), Inc., President & CEO. 

Expanding Creativity and Staying Connected with High Quality Video  

In this digital normal, livestreaming, virtual meetings, classes, and even social occasions like e-weddings, have become essential in everyday life. With the entire world streaming, it is important to have high quality videos that allow for people to stay connected and creative. That is why Canon has developed the EOS Webcam Utility, a free and easy-to-use feature on Canon cameras that turns your camera into a webcam. Take beautifully crisp, in-focus videos while on calls, or opt to defocus a distracting background with a natural and bandwidth-friendly bokeh. 

You can use the EOS Webcam Utility with the full-frame Canon EOS RP. The EOS R system, Canon’s celebrated range of mirrorless cameras, is built for creators who demand the power and performance of a full-frame sensor with the ergonomics of a mirrorless camera. With Canon EOS RP, get a better broadcast experience for your virtual audiences with 4K 30p video resolution, a fun, vari-angle screen, and the reliable EV-5 focus feature that keeps the subject crisp without the need for external light.

Aside from EOS RP, Canon’s PowerShot G7X Mark III is a favorite among many vloggers. The top-of-the-line compact camera captures 4K video without crop, at an improved ISO sensitivity range of 125 – 12,800 and can continuously shoot up to 30 frames per second during RAW Burst Mode.Designed for today’s digital nomads, the camera supports a direct, wireless, and for a mobile-first experience for your audience, vertical content sharing to popular social media sites like Instagram, Tiktok, and Faceboook, as well as livestreaming to YouTube.  

An optimized Business Solution for the new normal 

Beyond consumer products, Canon advocates for making business as simple as possible. With Therefore, business owners and their employees don’t need to manually rummage through physical files because the solution serves as an organized, centralized data bank with highly customizable security access options. Companies large and small can now smartly store any kind of file, such as income statements, receipts, employee files, or even photos, in Therefore™ and conveniently find it in a few clicks from anywhere in the world, even their own living room. Click here for more information. 

Lifestyle Solution for Fun, Entertainment, and Work 

Movies and presentations can now be viewed with utmost flexibility with Canon’s pocket projector.  The compact and lightweight MP250 lasts up to 2 hours of operation, projects up to 93″ wide at up to 250 lumens brightness. 

The MP250 is ready to work with any laptop thanks to its embedded media and document viewer and HDMI and USB ports. For those who can’t be bothered with a laptop, the mini projector can also support wireless content sharing from Android OS devices or direct playback from a USB flash drive. 

Whether for work or play, everyone can now enjoy a wide range of options from Canon, each one designed to fit today’s demanding digital needs. From cameras and projectors that will elevate your next digital project to innovative software that will simplify your ways of working, Canon has a solution for you. 

Follow Canon Philippines (@canonphils) on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest news and updates. 

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