Taiwanese enterprises have come under mounting threat of targeted attacks on their computer networks, said FireEye Inc, a cybersecurity software maker.
The firm on Thursday cited data from last year placing Taiwan in third place, behind South Korea and Hong Kong, in terms of 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 US company, said at a press conference in Taipei that due to Taiwan’s position within an intense geopolitical rivalry between major powers and its technology 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 cyberintrusion 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 last year saw a 26 percent upsurge from the previous quarter. For the whole of last year, Taiwanese businesses experienced a quarterly increase of 6.6 percent of overall APT attacks, according to the FireEye study.
Cole said that APT activities made their first appearance well before last year, but many enterprises were not aware of the rampant cyberattacks until last year.
Companies have managed to reduce the amount of time it takes them to detect a cyberattack, Cole said, adding that it took an average of 243 days before organizations realized hackers had infiltrated their network in 2012, but it took 229 days in 2013 and 205 days last year.
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 last year, compared with 33 percent in 2013 and 37 percent in 2012.
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