Taiwan ranks the third largest cyberattack target in Asia
Taiwanese enterprises have come under mounting threat of targeted attacks on their computer networks, FireEye, Inc. said Thursday, citing 2014 data placing Taiwan in the third place, behind South Korea and Hong Kong, on the volume of advanced persistent threat (APT) activities in the Asia-Pacific region.
Tony Cole, vice president and global government chief technology officer at FireEye, a publicly listed U.S. network security company, said at a press conference in Taipei that due to Taiwan’s position within an intense geopolitical rivalry between the major powers and its tech firms’ possession of important information coveted by APT hackers, companies in Taiwan are more prone to cyberattacks than those in other countries.
An APT is a type of cyber intrusion in which an unauthorized person gains access to a network and maintains this access undetected for an extended period of time. The purpose of an APT attack is to steal data rather than to cause damage.
The number of APT activities directed against Taiwanese companies in the fourth quarter of 2014 saw a 26 percent upsurge from the previous quarter. For the whole of 2014, Taiwanese companies have experienced a quarterly increase of 6.6 percent of overall APT attacks, according to a FireEye study.
Cole said that APT activities made their first appearance well before 2014, but many enterprises have not been aware of these rampant cyberattacks until last year.
Companies have managed
to reduce the amount of time it takes them to detect a cyberattack, Cole noted, adding that it took on average 243 days before organizations realized hackers had infiltrated their network in 2012, but it took 229 days in 2013, and 205 days in 2014.
However, businesses have found it increasingly difficult to detect a security breach by themselves. Only 31 percent of businesses had the ability to detect a breach from an internal entity in 2014, compared with 33 percent in 2013, and 37 percent in 2012.