The rise of the multi-cloud environment is also a clear trend but while there are obvious benefits such as greatly simplifying IT infrastructure improving business continuity, flexibility and cost-savings, there are additional security challenges and headaches such the increased prevalence of DDoS attacks.
But while the maturity of the market plays a role in regional strategy it still needs to be understood that the same threats that target Singapore also target Vietnam, India, Australia and the wider markets across Asia Pacific.
“The threats are global, whether you are in Indonesia or Australia,” added Tsu. “The maturity of the market does not matter; the threats are the same.”
However, “the kind of threats and the complexity of those threats change on an almost daily basis,” added Tsu, which Neville Burdan - general manager of security at Dimension Data Asia Pacific - refers to as “the shifting sands of cyber security”.
“We are not on a solid foundation,” said Burdan. “The sand is moving under the feet of organisation. We have got to be very nimble with regards to what we do.”
There are a number of challenges that exist in the market, one being customer confusion due to an overabundance of similar products and a lack of adequate safeguards when it comes to the tolerance of human error within an organisation’s security infrastructure.
“The customer could be looking at five or six different products just to be secure,” said Tsu. “Who is going to manage it for the customer?
“There are a lot of challenges in understanding the threat and understanding the solution and then being able to manage it.”
For smaller sized businesses, there might only be a single person in charge of technology, which also presents an opportunity for the MSP to step in and provide an alternative which aligns to budget constraints.
“What many system integrators are trying to look for right now is something that is a bit more streamlined into a clear business outcome,” said Nop. “That is why the term ‘managed service’ is becoming a lot more accepted in this part of the world.”
From an SME perspective, Winkel said it’s not just a resource constraint but also a knowledge constraint for customers.
“Typically, SMEs do not have the resources to buy or to hire the people with the knowledge needed,” he observed.
Consequently, organisations must continually assess maturity and where they fit in the market - simply implementing a solution is no longer enough.
“There is this shifting of sand as companies migrate to these newer technologies,” added Burdan. “Companies are evolving but they are stuck in a static methodology; one that is not moving.”
Once the technology has been deployed, customers - through the help of channel partners - must be ready to respond immediately should a cyber attack strike.
“It is difficult to educate the customer to be on the same wavelength as us,” said Vincent Ma, pre-sales manager at Stone Forest IT. “That is why we provide managed services. It does not matter what product we actually use.
“We package the service and provide it to the customer and make sure that they are protected in terms of the bare minimum.
“The tough part is we need to get the entire security landscape idea into the head of the customer because for most, it's a one-man show. We provide a service rather than sell a product.”
Ma said there are “select customers” which will request a particular solution, irrespective of advice and guidance by the partner.
“For those customers, we do sell them the product they want if we carry it,” he added.
“For the majority of customers, however, who do not have a specific product in mind, we have the power to let them know that this is the product that they need to have within their environment to meet the minimum security requirements.”
Delving deeper, and according to Aaron Lim - business development manager at Malifax Technologies - most SMEs are ignorant of what is available in the cyber space.
"When we speak to SME directors the first response when we show the price is usually why do we have to spend so much money,” Lim said. “They would say they have nothing that an attacker would want to have.
“This is why I think we are facing a huge problem and that is why education by the government comes into play. When they say they have nothing for people to want to hack into they actually do not know what they have online.”
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