Phuket [Thailand], Oct.17 (ANI): The subject and issue of cyber-terrorism should be on the agenda of every government, says the Managing Director (Asia-Pacific) of global cyber security company Kaspersky Lab.
In an exclusive interview given to ANI on the sidelines of the recently held APAC Cyber Security Conference, Stephan Neumeier replying to a question, said, "Cyber terrorism should be on every government's agenda, otherwise the damage would be too big to find or to contain."
Candid enough to admit that cyber-related threats would not go away overnight, and only have the potential to grow in the years ahead, Neumeier said, "Today, technology is connected, but security is not always guaranteed. We have to be very careful about cyber-terrorism. Governments are stepping up now more than ever before to address this threat, and some countries even have dedicated departments and ministers to deal with the issue of cyber-terrorism."
Elaborating on the issue, Neumeier said, "Singapore, for instance, is an example. Secondary schools, primary schools, have included cyber-security in their respective curriculums. Schools and homes have personal computers with cyber-security elements. At Kasperksy, there is a passion to protect and we do have an understanding on cyber-security solutions.
Shifting his focus to what Kaspersky visualizes as "emerging markets", Neumeier informed ANI that his company has listed India as one of its "main focus countries", apart from China and South East Asia.
He said Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Central Asia account for 70 percent of Kaspersky's business currently, while Latin America, the Middle East, Turkey and the Asia-Pacific region account for the remaining 30 percent.
He said the company is experiencing and enjoying strong double digit growth, and from an investment point of view is looking at those countries and regions that are enjoying a gross domestic product growth of five to six percent or above. India and the Philippines fall in this category, he added.
The focus, he said, was on potential B2B projects in these areas, as also on acquiring a market share of small and medium-range businesses where Kaspersky competitors CISCO and Oracle have an advantage at present.
"Investment in infrastructure part, it does not mean that the consumer side is to be ignored. There is greater access now to 4G connectivity. Android is the fastest growing system and is exposed to malware. We are trying to protect and transform. Growth is in the B2B and in the digital payment sectors."
He said that because of increased mobile usage, it has become all the more necessary to protect the consumer.
On what needs to be done going forward on the issue of cyber security, Neumeier said that all sections of society need to be educated enough and have greater awareness on the subject. This plus a willingness to invest, whether on the corporate side or the consumer side, is the need of the hour to counter potential risks.
He also said this involvement or awareness need not be pro-active or reactive, just focused and faster.
On whether technology has impacted the way of life as it was in the past, Neumeier said that it was his personal observation that, "Technology is something that has become a way of life and it is almost impossible to conceive of an environment without it. It is up to the individual to make the choice; to make sure that communication and interaction at the human level remains alive and worthwhile."
Earlier, taking part in the APAC Cyber Security Weekend 2017, Neumeier said, "I am amazed to see what Kaspersky has achieved in the last 20 years. I am happy to share with you the news that Kaspersky has joined the free market, which means that products are now available off the shelf to the public, and this will go a long way towards improving global IT systems."
Addressing over 40 delegates, including 26 journalists from about 11 countries across the Asia-Pacific region, Neumeier reflecting on the current cyber security landscape and on cyber threats, said an assessment could be gleaned from the fact that between 1986 and 2006, malware explosions were pegged at about a million, whereas in 2016, more were happening on an average every week.
To emphasize the danger facing the global community, he said 474 million malicious attacks have been observed on the Windows platform and 23 million such attacks on Android i.e. mobiles and tablets etc. in recent times.
Describing India as one of the emerging markets that Kaspersky was looking at with interest, Neumeier said that the next area of focus for the company is Linux operating systems and devices.
He stated that almost everything needs to be protected today and that it would not be sensible to train focus on only one particular structure.
Terrorists, hackers and saboteurs were now increasingly using the digital way to cause harm and meet their goals. As an example, he cited the 2011 case of Aramco, where data on 35,000 personal computers was wiped out and it took three years and 10 million dollars to rebuild from scratch. Another example was the collapse of the power grid in Ukraine in 2016, which resulted in 80,000 people and 20,000 sub-stations being impacted.
"Everything starts with the power grid. We are talking to many governments on this issue of protecting these grids. Without power nothing works. Systems need to be safe, need to be secured and immune by design. Architecture and applications have to be protected," he said. (ANI)