New Black Hat Asia Research: More than 70% of Security Professionals Predict a Major Data Breach Across Asian Countries in the Next Two Years

Nearly 60% of Asia-based cybersecurity pros fear malicious attacks on the horizon from Russia, China and North Korea; some also doubt effectiveness of APEC Privacy Framework

SINGAPORE, March 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A majority of information security professionals in Asia expect to see major, cross-border compromises in enterprise networks and critical infrastructure in the next year or two, and most do not feel confident in their ability to defend against these impending threats.

These concerns and more are outlined in Black Hat Asia’s first-ever research report, Cybersecurity Risk in Asia. The report, compiled from a survey of nearly 100 current and former attendees at Black Hat Asia, provides insights on critical information security issues pertaining to Asian cyber defenses and vulnerabilities. The results closely mirror  the responses of Black Hat attendees in the United States and Europe – raising further concern for cybersecurity on a global level.

Black Hat is the most well-known and established conference of cybersecurity researchers and enterprise information security professionals. Tapping into its expert community, Black Hat gained insights from professionals in Asia ranging from CEOs, CSOs, CIOs and other members of the C-suite, directors of information technology and information security, network admins and security staff.

Critical Infrastructure Risks Attacks by 2020
Nearly 70% of those surveyed expect an attack impacting critical infrastructure across multiple Asian countries will happen within the next two years. As in Black Hat surveys conducted in the USA and Europe, security professionals in the Black Hat Asia study are concerned that recent incidents in their region may indicate that a major breach of critical infrastructure is forthcoming. Past attacks in the Middle East and Asia have spanned damage to industrial control systems, data theft for surveillance purposes, and hacking of computers used to support critical infrastructure in Asian countries. 

What InfoSec Pros Fear
In recent years, Asia has seen not only continued mass, opportunistic attacks via malware, but also attacks that are highly targeted and focused on specific objectives such as data theft or extortion via ransomware. These trends and more are the reason almost 60% of respondents cited targeted attacks as their biggest concern – specifically, malicious actors in Russia, China, and North Korea.

Lack of People, Resources Is Central Problem
When asked, more than 30% believe the primary reason cybersecurity strategies fail in Asia is because of a shortage of skilled professionals. This skills shortage, coupled with a lack of budget, makes for a dangerous combination that leaves many Asian security organizations under confident in their ability to defend their own organizations’ critical data from cyber-attack. The report also calls out that security professionals in Asia are more willing to job-hop than their counterparts in the United States and Europe, but they express a similar frustration in gaining the attention of upper management on top security priorities. More than 50% of Asian cybersecurity professionals say they are either actively looking for a new job or open to it.

Weaknesses in Security
Among weaknesses keeping information security professionals up at night, nearly 40% believe end users who violate security policy or fall prey to phishing and social engineering scams are what’s leaving their organizations most vulnerable to compromise. Professionals also cite spending as an issue, with nearly 30% stating that compliance-related spending consumes the greatest portion of security spending. These concerns are cited even with the implementation of the APEC Privacy Framework, which requires companies in the 27 countries that form the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation region to adhere to certain privacy guidelines. 30% of respondents view the framework as having created more work for them, but 14% say it hasn't done anything to improve privacy.

Download the Full Research Report 
The findings in this report and the responses from professionals in the field are a call for action to government officials and business leaders. Asia is in need of more attention on cybersecurity initiatives, research and defenses. For actionable insights and more information related to these critical industry trends and findings, download a copy of Cybersecurity Risk in Asia, here:  

Black Hat Asia 2018: March 20-23, Singapore
In response to the findings in this report as well as worldwide trends and topics, Black Hat will host some of the brightest minds in the information security community at Black Hat Asia 2018. The event will feature a robust schedule complete with timely research Briefings, hands-on Trainings, a Business Hall featuring leading solution providers and additional specialized programs to address the needs of the wider information security community. The event will take place March 20-23 at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. For more information and to save S$200 on your briefings pass by March 16, please visit:

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Future Black Hat Dates and Events

  • Black Hat USA 2018, Las Vegas, Nevada, August 4-9
  • Black Hat Europe 2018, London, UK, December 3-6

About Black Hat
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Media Contact:
Kimberly Samra
Black Hat PR