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Retail industry sees most cyber incidents in APAC due to lack of cybersecurity budget 

19% of companies in the region have experienced cyber incidents due to insufficient cybersecurity investment in the last two years. When it comes to companies’ finances, nearly one-in-five (16%) admit they do not have the budget for adequate cybersecurity measures. 

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According to a recent study by Kaspersky, globally, critical infrastructure, oil & gas and energy organizations suffered the biggest number of cyber incidents due to improper budget allocation (25%). In Asia Pacific, however, the retail industry experienced the greatest number of successful cyberattacks in the past 24 months. 

The latest survey also revealed 19% of companies in the region have experienced cyber incidents due to insufficient cybersecurity investment in the last two years. When it comes to companies’ finances, nearly one-in-five (16%) admit they do not have the budget for adequate cybersecurity measures. 

Kaspersky conducted a study to discover the opinions of IT Security professionals working for SMEs and enterprises worldwide regarding the human impact on the cybersecurity in a company. The research – aimed at gathering information on various groups of people who influence cybersecurity – considered both internal staff, and external contractors. It also analyzed the impact decision makers have on cybersecurity in terms of budget allocation. A total of 234 respondents from APAC were surveyed.

Insufficient distribution of budget for cybersecurity led 19% of Asian companies to endure cyber incidents in the last two years. 

The situation is different for every industry. For example, retail organizations suffered the greatest number of cyber breaches because of the lack of budget (37%), followed by telecommunication companies (33%) and critical infrastructure, energy, oil and gas sector (23%).

“E-commerce is expected to be a 2.05 trillion USD market in Asia Pacific towards the end of 2023. Retail being the industry which suffered most cyber incidents here makes sense as cybercriminals follow the money trail. These companies are part of the greater digitalization movement in the region and hold treasure troves of data, specifically financial ones,” comments Adrian Hia, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky.

“Our recent study proves that threat actors know which company to target. They know the data they want and where to get them. I encourage all industries in APAC, especially those that handle critical information, to allot a better cybersecurity budget to ensure the safety of their businesses, and most importantly, of their customers’ sensitive data,” he added.

Meanwhile, some industries showed a smaller number of cyber incidents. Manufacturing industry suffered 11% of cyber incidents due to budget constraints, while transport & logistics saw 9% of them. 

When asked about the budget for cybersecurity measures, a majority (83%) of respondents from APAC said they are equipped to keep up with or even stay ahead of new threats. However, 16% of companies are not doing so well – 15% report that they don’t have sufficient funds to protect the company’s infrastructure properly. 

At the same time, there are still companies without cost allocations for cybersecurity at all – 2% claimed they don’t have a dedicated budget for cyber protection needs. 

The most successful industry in APAC in terms of proper monetary distribution for cybersecurity are financial services – 100% of respondents working in this sphere claim their organizations are set to keep up with and stay ahead of all new threats. 

Would you say the budget for cybersecurity measures in your company …?

Many respondents’ companies are eager to take steps to strengthen their cybersecurity in the next 1-1.5 years. One of the most popular areas of investment is threat detection software (46%), and trainings, where half (50%) of companies plan to allocate budgets for educational programs for cybersecurity professionals and 46% for training general staff. 

Other popular measures organizations plan to take soon are introducing endpoint protection software (42%), hiring additional IT professionals (37%) and adopting SaaS cloud solutions (45%). 

“Today, companies must align cybersecurity investment with a business strategy and consider cybersecurity as one of their business goals. Of course, investments must justify themselves and be effective, so the information security department also faces the task of increasing the ROI of investments in information security and defending investments to senior management or the board of directors. Also, in addition to reducing MTTD and MTTR, information security is tasked with reducing the cost of a security incident. These challenges can be met through the use of various modern approaches and technologies. For example, we are investing in developing our SASE portfolio as well as XDR and MDR with integrated AI, Machine Learning, automated detection and response, automated threat investigation, out of the box integrations and much more. To ensure process transparency and prove the value of our solutions, we also provide C-level dashboards and reports for CISOs, which include information on how many incidents we prevented, how quickly incidents were investigated, and the effectiveness of deployed cybersecurity solutions. We also highlight customer-specific risks, and show them trends particular to the industry to help them shape their cybersecurity by targeting their defenses around current dangers, and justify investments in the necessary technology,” comments Ivan Vassunov, VP, Corporate Products at Kaspersky. 

The full report and more insights on the human impact on cybersecurity in business are available via the link

To get the most out of your budget, Kaspersky recommends:

  • Implementing cybersecurity products with Advanced Anomaly Control such as Kaspersky Endpoint Detection and Response Optimum. This helps prevent potentially dangerous ‘out of the norm’ activities initiated both by a user or by an attacker who has already taken control over the system. 
  • Using easily-manageable solutions. Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud is designed for smaller enterprises or companies that don’t currently have the budget for a wide stack of cybersecurity products. The all-in-one hosted SaaS console allows just a single administrator to manage a broad range of cybersecurity tasks from one place, with a simple and easy-to-master workflow.
  • Investing in training for everyone in your company – from general staff to decision makers. Kaspersky Automated Security Awareness Platform training teaches employees safe internet behavior and includes simulated phishing attack exercises. At the same time, Kaspersky Cybersecurity for IT Online training helps build up simple yet effective IT security best practices and simple incident response scenarios for generalist IT admins, while Kaspersky Expert Training equips your security team with the latest knowledge and skills in threat management and mitigation to defend your organization against even the most sophisticated attacks. And last but not the least, to advance decision-makers’ understanding of the importance of cybersecurity and how best to distribute budgets to stay ahead of threats, engage them with Kaspersky Interactive Protection Simulation for enhanced C-level professional education.
  • Considering experts’ help. For example, Kaspersky Assessments family of professional services identifies security gaps in your system’s configuration, and the Security Architecture Design helps create an IT security infrastructure that’s a perfect fit for a particular company. Every step of implementation is grounded in real security needs, giving decision-makers convincing arguments to allocate budgets.
  • Referring to Kaspersky’s ‘Cybersecurity on a budget‘ resource for small and medium businesses for tips on how to spend less on IT without compromising on security. 

BizNews

Sticking with old technology can be a strategic move

As competitors adopt new technology in some markets, firms that stick with the old technology may experience an initial decline before actually rebounding and even reaching new heights.

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Technological innovation — especially disruptive innovation — is often heralded as the best strategy for a company. But new research published in Strategic Management Journal found that as competitors adopt new technology in some markets, firms that stick with the old technology may experience an initial decline before actually rebounding and even reaching new heights. While the rise of a discontinuous technology does pose a substitute threat to the old technology, it also further exposes niche segments where companies can gain a foothold with customers who favor the old technology.

The analysis by Xu Li, a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, used archival data from the traditional Chinese medicine industry in China during the 1990s. In his interviews with managers in the field, he found that some chose not to innovate along with their competitors. In many cases, Li found these companies were performing well, if not sometimes better, by not making changes. Inspired by these conversations, Li chose to study under what conditions a firm may benefit from not innovating.

Li found some prior research on why companies would stick with older technology, but none explored why — during times of disruptive change in the market — sometimes firms are able to survive and even perform better within a small niche with old technology. What Li’s paper showed was that adhering to the old technology can, in some cases, be an effective strategy that ultimately improves firm performance.

The data showed a U-curve effect for traditional Chinese medicine firms that chose not to adopt new technology: The decline in performance began as a few competitors started launching a new technology, but later recovered and reached new heights as most competitors had adopted the new technology and exited the old technology market. But a lack of competition within the niche group of consumers who prefer older technology essentially gave these firms a monopoly within a smaller market as fewer competitors remained.

“Even though the new technology is often superior in terms of functionality, it doesn’t mean that every single customer or customer segment will be willing to move to the new technology,” Li says. “It’s important to understand what customers like about your product. We tend to assume that if a firm introduces something new, then customers must appreciate the new thing or the newness of the offering. But that’s not always true. The emergence of new technology can actually reveal people’s preference for something older.”

The research also refutes the idea that when the market is small, a company won’t perform better — but that depends on how many firms are still serving this niche. If only a few firms are left to serve this market, a company has far more power to charge higher prices among loyal customers with few other options.

“When you see a firm that is not actively innovating, we tend to believe the firm must be either incapable or is suffering — it’s always a bit of a negative tone,” Li says. “Sometimes staying with old technology might actually be a strategic choice, because by doing so it might also lead to better performance.”

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Customers prefer text over video to provide service feedback

More people indicated they would likely leave written compliments or complaints about service on a restaurant-provided tablet powered by artificial intelligence. A video message option appeared to discourage leaving feedback.

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At a time when one viral video can damage a business, some companies are turning to their own commenting platforms rather than letting social media be the main outlet for customer feedback. Only one wrinkle: in this context, customers appear to prefer writing a message rather than leaving a video.

In a recent study, more participants indicated they would likely leave written compliments or complaints about service on a restaurant-provided tablet powered by artificial intelligence. A video message option appeared to discourage leaving feedback.

With more restaurants and hotels turning to AI to enhance their service, the findings indicate that methods that require “low self-disclosure” would work better, meaning ones that don’t require customers to provide very much identifiable information.

“Some restaurants and hotels actually ask customers to create video testimonials that they can share, but for general customers, it seems they feel more comfortable with low self-disclosure. This is probably because people still do not trust AI to that level,” said lead author Ruiying Cai, a researcher in Washington State University’s Carson College of Business.

With a lot of hype around AI technology, many people have misperceptions about what it can do, Cai pointed out, perhaps believing it is capable of a lot more than simply recording a message.

The study participants reported being concerned about what would be done with their information in all the scenarios, but this was heightened with the option to leave a video.

For the study, published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, Cai and her colleagues presented different online scenarios to a total of 439 people. The participants were first asked to imagine a restaurant where they had either good or bad service. Then they reported how willing they were to give the server compliments, or complaints, with either text or video on an AI-enabled tablet.

The researchers found that the participants were more willing to give feedback using text, whether positive or negative.

The scenarios also had participants receiving a theoretical immediate or delayed reward to provide feedback, namely a 5% discount of their current meal or a future one. For complaints, the reward timing did not appear to make much difference, which the authors said was not surprising as people tend to be more highly motivated to complain than compliment.

For compliments, the researchers found an interesting connection: with more participants choosing the delayed reward over the immediate one. This may indicate that giving the compliment itself is its own reward as it makes the giver feel good, Cai said.

“It’s a good start to think about how to encourage customers to leave more compliments which could be very important for frontline employees. It could also be beneficial for the customers themselves,” she said.

Even complaints are important to encourage, Cai added. As her previous research suggests, restaurants and hotels should make it easier for customers to complain to them directly rather than go elsewhere to air their grievances.

“There have been episodes when customers were not afraid of posting angry videos on their own social media,” Cai said. “If restaurants and hotels can encourage customers to complain directly to them, then they may be able to recover and solve that service failure before it goes viral online.”

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Ambitious workers park the office politics when employer is struggling, study suggests

Workers curb competition against competitors to unite against external rivals when employer faces either losing sector status or can improve reputation.

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Workers curb competition against competitors to unite against external rivals when employer faces either losing sector status or can improve reputation.

This is according to a study – “Revving Up or Backing Down? Cross-Level Effects of Firm-Level Tournaments on Employees’ Competitive Actions” by Patrick Hallila, Hans T. W. Frankort and Paolo Aversa – that appeared in the Academy of Management Journal.

The peer reviewed paper, which has been published on the website of the Academy of Management Journal, looked at riders who, systematically, adjusted their internal and external overtakes based on their team’s competitive threats and opportunities, as well as the resources available to those competitor teams.

“Sports – particularly motorsports – can be a good proxy for several other industries as they are extremely competitive: if you don’t perform and progress you may be out. Workers in sectors such as consultancy and financial services face similar pressures,” Frankort said.

This study linked the motorsports experience to other workplaces, particularly since earlier research has shown that employees compete to improve their relative standing in the eyes of their employer, in the hope of climbing the career ladder. Such behaviors may include poaching colleagues’ clients or even disrupting or sabotaging their work.

And yet this study suggests that ambitious workers tend to modify those behaviors when the standing of their organization is about to deteriorate or improve.

“Why? Because they see the standing of their firm as an important factor in deciding who to compete with to advance their career,” Frankort said.

“If the company has a chance to out-perform better-resourced rivals, employees’ workplace behaviour is geared towards being seen to be a key contributor to that success. For example, a salesperson might try to poach colleagues’ clients. However, if a firm is facing threats, such as losing market share to smaller rivals, workers may feel that infighting is poor form. Instead, they would focus on competing against rival firms. Inside the firm, individuals may simply want to blend into the background when their company is going through difficult times.”

The findings suggest, Frankort said, that employers can influence the nature of their employees’ competitive actions. For example, employers could highlight threats to the firm from underdog firms or its opportunities against bigger rivals.

The research also found that riders’ overtaking attempts were shaped by their contractual position with the team. For example, replacement riders – the MotoGP equivalent of agency workers – attempt more overtakes against teammates when the team is doing well and against all riders when the team is struggling.

The paper concluded: “It may be that replacement riders are keen to signal their skills relative to incumbents, hoping to secure a permanent contract.”

Riders whose contracts will not be renewed challenge their teammates on the track and are less likely to overtake riders from other teams – suggesting they feel detached from the team and even disgruntled with it.

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