VER­TI­CAL LIM­ITS How An­thony Teen turned his pas­sion into a busi­ness that takes on projects oth­ers say are im­pos­si­ble.

THINK TWICE BE­FORE CLICK­ING ON AN E-MAIL LINK.

The Peak (Singapore) - - Contents -

Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent re­port by cy­ber­se­cu­rity firm Trend Mi­cro, more than 298 mil­lion mal­ware at­tacks were de­tected in Asia. Phish­ing e-mail, the modus operandi for such at­tempts, is cal­i­brated to trick un­sus­pect­ing users into click­ing on com­pro­mised URL links.

“Phish­ing e-mail is the eas­i­est way to pen­e­trate a net­work. When some­body in the or­gan­i­sa­tion gets hacked, the whole (com­pany) net­work is com­pro­mised,” ex­plains Luke Ku, prin­ci­pal con­sul­tant for Con­nec­tiv­ity Global, a Sin­ga­pore-based firm pro­vid­ing e-mail se­cu­rity ser­vices.

Iden­ti­fy­ing such threats re­quires an in­vest­ment in em­ployee ed­u­ca­tion. “The devil’s in the de­tails,” says the 46-year-old, who has had over two decades of ex­pe­ri­ence in the in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try. While phish­ing e-mail mes­sages are crafted to mir­ror cor­re­spon­dences from real com­pa­nies, spell­ing and gram­mar mis­takes of­ten give them away. Pay­ing at­ten­tion to e-mail header de­tails, which re­veal the e-mail’s server of ori­gin, is also key to assess­ing their le­git­i­macy.

How­ever, re­ly­ing on hu­man judg­ment de­mands con­stant vig­i­lance. For a user who deals with hun­dreds of e-mail mes­sages each day, all it takes is one er­ro­neous click to jeop­ar­dise the en­tire net­work. To that end, Ku be­lieves that e-mail se­cu­rity ef­forts pow­ered by ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) form a more ro­bust line of de­fence. Ma­chine-en­abled learn­ing can study e-mail cor­re­spon­dence pat­terns at scale and swiftly flag anom­alies.

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