Cybersecurity Trends in 2023: Role of CIOs in Cyberspace Security

Senior Manager, Security Practice, Asia Pacific at Lumen Technologies

Many organizations and companies continued to engage in digital transformation in 2022, but this exposed a larger digital surface that was exploited by bad actors. In fact, a third of APAC organizations—59%—experienced numerous cyber incidents in addition to at least one. Malware-ransomware, spyware-phishing, and password assaults were the most prevalent methods utilized for evil purposes among the recognized cyberthreats in the digital world.

In order to improve their cyber resilience, posture, and overall digital defense, organizations have begun giving cybersecurity expenditures top priority. Cybercriminals have not let this deter them from continuing to operate, and some have even developed sophisticated profit-making organizations. Instead, they have continued to improve their strategies, patterns, and procedures. Although data breaches are unavoidable, businesses that adopt a resilience strategy may lessen their frequency, effect, and expense.

In the digital-first era, organizations must be able to switch from a reactive to a proactive zero trust posture due to the constantly evolving threats and vulnerabilities in the cyber ecosystem.

CIO World Asia spoke with Matthew Tan, Senior Manager, Security Practice, Asia Pacific at Lumen Technologies about the useful cybersecurity trends for organisations to take heed of in 2023

Cloud Security Risk

Safeguarding Organizations in the Cloud Security Space

As businesses move towards becoming digital and online enterprises, several businesses have expedited their usage of cloud services. Cloud services are becoming essential to the operation of enterprises.

Although the underlying reasons for data breaches in the cloud are relatively similar to those that occur on-premise, cloud services are more susceptible to human error, incorrect configuration, carelessness, and blunders. Accidental exposure is the primary cause of the majority of data breaches.

By identifying their sensitive assets, categorizing them, limiting access using the principle of least privilege, periodically conducting penetration testing and remediating the findings, enforcing rate limiting on databases, and monitoring for anomalous activities accessing sensitive data and configuration changes, organizations would be required to improve their cyber hygiene and data security posture.

Users must use multi-factor authentication and adhere to regular audits as examples of sound security procedures.

Cloud security will be governed by the SASE framework. Solutions with integrated Zero Trust and CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker) security functions for granular access restrictions throughout the hybrid cloud environment will be very important. Organizations must have a solid basis, clarity on the segmentation of roles and applications, and clearly defined policies if they are to succeed.

Preparing for the Digital Transformation Push

Organizations should choose a digital advocate to offer the essential governance, supervision, and strategic leadership as they continue to enhance their digital infrastructures. It would be ideal if this person had expertise with cybersecurity, had a solid technical basis, and could effectively communicate at the C-level or Board level. Due to the global shortage of IT talent, organizations who lack the resources to recruit a full-time internal advocate or CISO may want to consider upskilling their current IT staff or using outside knowledge to supplement their internal resources.

Gaining Experience in Cloud Security

Businesses can seek the help of reputable security service providers who can provide cybersecurity services to supplement or fill internal resource or skill shortfalls that many are now facing. As part of this partnership, businesses will have access to seasoned professionals who can serve as trusted consultants as they adopt cloud computing, lowering their cloud-related cyber risks. provides a more thorough security control for a unified platform approach and is frequently linked with integrated adjacent security technologies, such as advanced threat prevention, analytics, intelligent automation, and threat intelligence.

Additionally, organizations will always have access to a security expert and resources to constantly strengthen their security posture as their IT infrastructure develops when they collaborate with a reputable and trustworthy MSSP security partner.

Pandemic Scale Ransomware

Keeping up with Ever – Evolving Ransomware Variants

Organizations must analyze and examine their security posture, important assets, and both internal and external security measures in light of the current state of the cyberthreat landscape.

The first stage is for an organization to identify the assets it has, especially the ones that are crucial and need to be protected. It is hard to know what and where the organization’s vulnerabilities and threats are without asset visibility or knowledge of its infrastructure ecosystem.

The key to improving security posture is to identify and neutralize more threats. Thus, with clear understanding of their security infrastructure, organization will find it manageable to protect themselves from evolving ransomware variants.

Mitigating Risks from Ransomware Attacks

Organizations should implement the proper controls or risk management to reduce hazards. The amount of business impact tolerance, or risk appetite, of an organization is frequently the basis for the choice of what level of risk treatment to use. A typical rule of thumb is that an asset’s protection costs shouldn’t be more than its expected loss. Determining the “crown jewels” of your organization, their worth, and what it takes to safeguard them is so vital.

Organizations need to implement protection controls like EDR with a 24×7 Security Operations Centre (SOC) to monitor and manage the EDR , be consistent in their patching and remediating of these vulnerabilities, have the tools and software to continuously scan for critical vulnerabilities, and lastly, make sure that regular cybersecurity awareness trainings are held for users.

DDoS Impact on Business Availability

The Impact of DDoS

The goal of an attacker launching a DDoS assault on an organization’s online digital web services is to stop the service from meeting the organization’s legitimate demands. The organization’s reputation and business would suffer as a result.

Avoiding DDoS

Organizations should implement a proactive security policy that includes mitigation measures in analyzing and scrubbing traffic to their services to filter out attack traffic, even if there is no assurance that future DDoS assaults will not attempt to destroy an organization’s digital services.

Role of CIOs in Cyberspace Security

In their capacity, CIOs plan and lay the foundation for their organization while the company goes through a digital transformation. The position of a CIO is crucial for ensuring that a strong IT and security architecture is aligned with the company’s business objectives, from compliance to risk management. While risk areas within a digital infrastructure are identified, it is also necessary to examine them to make sure that the security framework put in place does not impede the usage of data and applications by consumers and employees alike.

CIOs should explore

  1. Determine the essential information assets of the company and the possible cyber hazards to which these assets are exposed.
  2. Know the rules and regulations that apply to their firm or sector. This was done to make sure they were aware of any requirements for disclosing or discussing their cyber risks to both internal and external parties.
  3. Set up compliance systems for the organization, suitable controls, and baselines for cybersecurity.
  4. To guarantee that supply chain risks are reduced, impose a minimal set of cybersecurity measures on vendors and regularly evaluate them.
  5. Create an incident response strategy to maintain consistency and readiness when responding to cyberattacks as needed.