Logicalis is enhancing security offerings in Asia as organisations balance the need for rapid transformation with mounting cyber challenges, building out a deepened level of managed services capabilities in response.
In looking back on a turbulent 12-24 months across Asia, the notable roadblocks associated to COVID-19 triggered a surge in digitalisation projects at both enterprise and mid-market levels as organisations overhauled technology portfolios and business models in the pursuit of efficiency and innovation.
“But this swift adoption of technology has also led to an increase in sophisticated and targeted attacks that are able to penetrate the archaic defence mechanisms of many enterprises, which see cyber security as an inhibitor of progress with burdensome protection measures,” observed Paras Chadha, senior business director at Logicalis Asia.
In other words, a cyber caveat continues to hang over the region like an anxious asterisk. This is a market riding the crest of a transformation wave but remains grounded by the sober realisation that evolution requires increased protection.
“This mindset is quickly changing,” Chadha noted. “Businesses are realising that they need to have a 360-degree resilient and robust security posture.
“Consequently, cyber resiliency is now emerging as a transformation lever for businesses to gain competitive advantage by fostering digital agility and by bringing business context to the security environment. Leading this change are the core pillars of automated threat intelligence and a broadening cyber security response with zero trust framework.”
According to State of the CIO research in 2022 -- commissioned and published by CIO.com and Foundry -- cyber security ranks as a leading priority for organisations in Asia, with 63 per cent of IT leaders set to actively increase protection measures in the months ahead.
Within this context, budgets are also expected to increase for more than half of businesses (56 per cent) in Asia -- with 39 per cent expected to remain the same. This is motivated by a need to invest in new skills (62 per cent), upgrade outdated IT infrastructure (60 per cent) and enhance security (56 per cent).
And perhaps such focus is unsurprising given the two defining requirements that CEOs are placing on IT departments across Asia in 2022. Firstly, lead digital transformation initiatives (35 per cent) followed closely by a desire to upgrade IT and data security to reduce corporate risk (34 per cent).
“As many large and global organisations are seriously undergoing digital transformations, the greater use of technology has also enlarged the attack surface, thereby creating more potential entry points for threat actors to breach the defences more often,” Chadha outlined.
“Adding to the complex security risk landscape consisting of multi-cloud presence and use of smart and modern technologies such as artificial intelligence [AI] for cyber attacks, it is pertinent for businesses to enforce and implement comprehensive and unified security first policy.”
According to IDG Security Priorities research -- also commissioned and published by CSOonline.com and Foundry -- Asia Pacific remains the most targeted region in the world by ransomware and state-sponsored advanced persistent threat (APT) groups.
The region experienced a triple-digit increase in cyber attacks between May 2020 to May 2021, with Japan, Singapore and Indonesia leading the pack with the sharpest increases.
In response, Chadha acknowledged that organisations are ramping up efforts to implement advanced security solutions amid plans to build a “cyber resilient ecosystem” of connected devices and networks.
“These include cloud-ready networks, zero trust models, cloud-native SIEM and integrated XDR platforms that provide automated intelligent insights that can be analysed and actioned in real-time,” he said.
Such assessment is reflected in the data with IT executives actively researching new security tools and systems across Asia, notably secure access service edge (SASE) (41 per cent), zero trust (34 per cent), XDR (33 per cent) and cloud-access security brokers (33 per cent) among others.
As vulnerabilities grow, organisations are also finding it easier and often safer to leave security to the experts with almost half of local businesses (48 per cent) currently outsourcing at least some security functions to specialist providers, with 20 per cent planning to hand over all security responsibility during the next 12 months.
Most outsourced capabilities span network monitoring (40 per cent) and security education/awareness training (40 per cent), followed by security infrastructure management (39 per cent) and security evaluation services such as pen testing (39 per cent).
During the next 12 months, businesses also plan to outsource cloud monitoring/cloud data protection (40 per cent), security evaluation services (38 per cent), behaviour monitoring and analysis (35 per cent) and security intelligence services (35 per cent).
“Given the fast-changing landscape, managed security service providers [MSSPs] and cyber security specialists are becoming more important than ever,” Chadha added. “This is especially the case for organisations that are moving towards making security an intrinsic part of their digital fabric.
“MSSPs provide a digital operating model built with unprecedented levels of agility and flexibility whilst simultaneously meeting the highest standards of customer security and data integrity.”
Chadha said Logicalis -- which acquired Singapore-based iZeno to enhance digital offerings in November 2020 -- is prioritising providing customers with “building blocks” capable of creating a security posture which is “unified, automated and collaborative”, evident through the availability of Secure OnMesh in Asia.
“Secure OnMesh is a global security solution which integrates and orchestrates security across the entire digital ecosystem of an organisation using a hyperscale cloud-native platform, to provide automated intelligent insights that can be analysed and actioned in real-time,” Chadha explained.
Leveraging the provider’s 24x7x365 security operations centre (SOC) capabilities, Secure OnMesh maximises Microsoft Sentinel and Defender platforms to deliver a fully managed security service with “no downtime” in defence mechanisms.
“There is a marked increase in the frequency of ransomware attacks in the recent months and as a result of which, organisational losses are skyrocketing and hackers are continuously shifting their targets,” Chadha said.
“We are working with our customers to secure businesses across four key fronts -- Data Risk and Loss Prevention; Securing Identities; Threat Detection, Response and Protection, and Hybrid Cloud Security.”