SEA ripe for a cyber storm due to the rapid growth of IoT connectivity

Global content delivery network (“CDN”) provider, Limelight Networks, has recently put forth findings from a survey of 1300 consumers and 300 businesses across Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. The findings carry some resonance in the wake of yet another high-profile online security breach in Malaysia – this time, the casualty being CIMB. One of Malaysia’s premier banks, it announced that several magnetic tapes containing back-up data were lost in transit during routine operations.

It is no wonder that Limelight Networks found that only 18.72 percent of Malaysian consumers feel “extremely confident” that businesses are doing enough to protect them against cyber crime, in its ‘State of Cybersecurity’ research report. How a business responds to cyber-attacks therefore can significantly impact consumer trust and affect brand reputation and long-term revenue. Notwithstanding, increasing cybercrime has not stopped consumers from continuing their online activities, at least, not yet.

The report found that 92.36 percent of Malaysian consumers do check a site’s security before partaking in e-commerce or other activities compared to Singaporean consumers who appear less concerned with only 86.73 percent. When making a transaction, smartphones are the device of choice in Malaysia, with laptops coming in second, mirroring the SEA trend (smartphones at 70.02 percent while laptops at 60.11 percent).

The Limelight report also found that a brand’s reputation and credibility were directly impacted once their website has been hacked. Yet, businesses are not sitting idly either. The vast majority of businesses which responded to the survey indicated that their organization has implemented technologies to protect against distributed denial-of-service (“DDoS”) and other attacks, which is especially important given that more than half of  Malaysian businesses indicated that their organization’s digital presence had been attacked in the past two years, resulting in site downtime or loss of data.

“With a potential cyber-attack lurking in the corner, brands can no longer rest on ‘legacy trust’ that they have built over the years. Today, it’s about building trust each time a customer transacts with a brand online. Cybersecurity is never a one-size-fits-all approach. Brands need to think about a multi-layered approach to security and explore the use of a cloud-based solution,” opined Jaheer Abbas, Sales Regional Director, Southeast Asia and ANZ at Limelight Networks.

“They also need to employ a CDN that can buffer volumetric attacks,” said Abbas. “Not only can a CDN mitigate DDoS and other high-volume cyber-attacks, it can also have a significantly positive impact on the end-user experience by improving the speed and quality of content delivery.”

What exactly is a CDN

CDNs are the transparent backbone of the internet responsible for content delivery designed to solve latency between a web request and the content being available onscreen. The delay interval is affected by a number of factors, many being specific to a given web page. In all cases however, the delay duration is impacted by the physical distance between a website visitor and that website’s hosting server.

A CDN’s mission is to virtually shorten that physical distance, the goal being to improve site rendering speed and performance.

To minimize the distance between the visitor and a website’s server, a CDN stores a cached version of its content in multiple geographical locations (a.k.a., points of presence, or PoPs). Each PoP contains a number of caching servers responsible for content delivery to visitors within its proximity.

In essence, CDN puts a host’s content in many places at once, providing superior coverage to its users. For example, when someone in Malaysia accesses a China-hosted website, it is done through a local Malaysian PoP. This is much quicker than having the visitor’s requests, and the host’s responses, travel the full distance to China and back.

 CDN – first line of defence

Cybersecurity is all about managing outside access to a company’s protected perimeter, ideally blocking all threats before they can even set foot on its doorstep.

Deployed on the edge of a company’s network, a CDN is perfectly situated to act as a virtual high-security fence and prevent attacks on the company’s website and web application. The on-edge position also makes a CDN ideal for blocking DDoS floods, which need to be mitigated outside of its core network infrastructure.

In addition, CDN acts as a virtual ‘traffic guard’ positioned in front of the company’s servers, alternating the flow of incoming requests in such a way that ‘traffic jams’ are avoided.

Additional insight from the Limelight report (Businesses)

 More than 70 percent of Malaysian businesses feel that a sustained cyber-attack could have significant financial and brand implications

  • When it comes to deploying cybersecurity solutions, the major hurdles to implementation are cost (26.67 percent) and lack of in-house expertise (25.7 percent) to manage security solutions
  • For businesses deploying cybersecurity solutions, a combination of cloud and on-premise is preferred with 42.86 percent of respondents favouring this approach

Additional insight from the Limelight report (Consumers)

 Brand integrity and cyber-attacks — When attacks occur, brand reputation falters and this impacts future business. According to the report, more than 70 percent of Malaysian consumers change their opinions of a brand after a cyber-attack

  • When it comes to cybercrime, consumers are most concerned about violations of financial and personal information (75.62 percent)
  • Consumers are extremely concerned about the current state of cybersecurity and think businesses are not doing enough to stop threats

About Limelight

 Limelight Networks Inc., (NASDAQ: LLNW), was founded in 2001 in Tempe, Arizona and has now built itself into a global leader in digital content delivery with a network of 80+ delivery locations and 40+ global metro locations. Limelight aims to empower customers to better engage its online audiences by enabling them to securely manage and globally deliver digital content, on any device. The company’s Limelight Orchestrate Platform includes a global infrastructure with a fully-integrated suite of capabilities and services to help a company address all its content delivery needs.


To read the complete “State of Cybersecurity” report, click here.

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