Singapore organisations urged to step up cyber security following cyber attacks on Ukraine

SingCert warned organisations to be on the lookout for ransomware attacks, which are one of the most common attacks. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Organisations here have been urged to strengthen their cyber security following warnings of increased cyberthreats globally arising from recent cyber attacks on Ukraine following the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

In a post on its website on Sunday (Feb 27), the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team (SingCert) advised companies to strengthen their cyber security, vigilance and online defences to protect themselves from cyber attacks such as Web defacement, distributed denial of service (DDoS) and ransomware. DDoS attacks swamp targets with traffic and disable their IT systems.

"While there have not been reports of any threats to Singapore organisations in relation to the events in and around Ukraine, organisations are advised to take active steps," said SingCert.

Among other measures, it advised companies to:

  • Secure their systems and network infrastructure by ensuring that multi-factor authentication is required for all remote, privileged and administrative access
  • Update systems, applications and software to the latest version and download the latest security patches
  • Disable all ports and protocols that are not essential for business purposes

To detect intrusions quickly, SingCert suggested that companies enable user access logging and consider using a Security Information and Event Management appliance to monitor logs and maintain visibility even after the logging-on periods.

Companies should also review both active directory sign-in logs and audit logs for unusual activity, as well as closely monitor network traffic for suspicious communications or data transmissions.

SingCert also warned organisations to be on the lookout for ransomware attacks, which are one of the most common attacks.

It said companies should prepare incident response and business continuity plans by backing up data regularly and ensuring that backups are isolated from network connections, establishing and validating an incident response and management plan, and ensuring that critical business functions remain operable if the network becomes unavailable.

Mr Tony Jarvis, director of enterprise security for Asia-Pacific and Japan at cyber-defence company Darktrace, told The Straits Times: "We have entered a new complex era of cyberthreats. Relying on traditional cyber-security methods such as 'checks' or security tools based on rules and signatures from historical attacks is no longer enough."

He added that organisations are increasingly turning to methods involving artificial intelligence, which are able to interrupt complex treats more quickly.

Singapore organisations that have been affected by cyber attacks or have evidence of suspicious activities on their networks can report them here.

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