Geopolitical tensions have turned into a one of the biggest sources of cross-border cyber-assaults. Indeed, as nations collide over prolonged simmering bilateral or multilateral disputes, the resultant hostility has given rise to a new type of attack, which transcends diplomatic posturing and other counter measures such as trade embargos. It has given rise to cyber warfare. To inflict damage, hostile nations perpetrate denial-of-service (DOS) attacks, and other form of assaults that can harm national security and progress.

Earlier in July, a dispute involving the South China Sea intensified after an international tribunal said that China’s claims to economic and historic rights in most of the territorial waters have no legal basis. The verdict angered Beijing. It said that the tribunal has no legal jurisdiction in the case, fueling concerns that mighty China may take tougher actions. Well nothing of that sort really happened but it sparked off hostility between China and other South East Asian nations.

The ongoing tussle took no time to spill over into cyberspace though. Japan Times citing a Finnish cybersecurity firm, F-Secure, reported that government organizations and private businesses of several South East Asian countries saw a sharp spike in cyberattacks, possibly originating from China. The cybersecurity firm said that using malicious software, malefactors tried to get hold of sensitive information from the Philippines and other targets. A major unidentified international law firm that presided the case, the Philippines Department of Justice, and the organizers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit were some of the targets, the report showed.

Information systems that form a large pool of sensitive information are now increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks. As business and government operations become gradually digitized, DOS attacks, and theft of sensitive data will become more rampant.

In this backdrop, organizations must reinforce their cybersecurity. Deploying Secured Configuration solutions and Identity and Access Control Management can significantly cut and control risks emanating from cyberspace

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