25 Sept 2020 | Asia Cyber Summary

In the spotlight this week: 

  • Hacking incident in German hospital results in death of patient taken to another city

  • Global pandemic raises security concerns

  • Greater focus on cyber security by top executives in Australia

  • Top banks in Singapore reported to have handled suspicious funds

German Hospital Hacked, Patient Taken to Another City Dies

German authorities confirmed a misdirected hacker attack caused the failure of IT systems at a major hospital in Duesseldorf. As a consequence, systems gradually crashed and the hospital wasn’t able to access data; emergency patients were taken elsewhere and operations postponed. A woman who needed urgent admission died after she had to be taken to another city for treatment. The Duesseldorf University Clinic’s systems have been disrupted for more than a week. The hospital said investigators have found that the source of the problem was a hacker attack on a weak spot in “widely used commercial add-on software,” which it didn’t identify.

Global Pandemic Opens Up Can of Security Worms 

The unprecedented effects of COVID-19 brings to light an uncomfortable truth for many businesses – the lack of inadequate security systems in place to support remote work, causing them to face a new reality that includes a much wider attack surface and less secured user devices. Many also have had to adopt and adapt to digital tools quickly, taking on new technology that may not be adequately secured. HackerOne CEO Marten Mickos said: "The COVID-19 crisis has shifted life online. As companies rush to meet remote work requirements and customer demands for digital services, attack surfaces have dramatically expanded, leaving security teams stretched thin and not staffed to cope."

Top Enterprise Executives in Australia Step Up Focus on Cyber Security

Top enterprise executives in Australia are becoming more involved in internal discussions about cyber security products and strategies and want to better understand their cyber risks.  The 2020 ISG Provider Lens™ Cyber Security – Solutions & Services Report for Australia finds that stricter regulations in the country are driving greater C-suite interest in cyber defenses. Enforcement of the Australian Privacy Act and the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme is sharpening enterprise focus on compliance and data security.

As more countries in Asia look to tighten digital security laws, this should lead to greater awareness of the importance of practicing safe cyber hygiene –both by companies and individuals, at the very least to avoid paying hefty fines.

FinCEN Leaks: DBS, CIMB, and Deutsche Among Banks in S'pore That Handled About $6 Billion in Suspicious Transactions

Findings by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) found that top banks in Singapore handled about US$4.5 billion (S$6.13 billion) in suspicious transactions between 2000 and 2017.  Although such suspicious transaction reports do not imply that the transactions are illicit, the Monetary Authority of Singapore is taking these reports very seriously. Authorities are looking to add to Singapore’s regulatory framework to combat money laundering to meet international standards set by the Financial Action Task Force.

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