APAC Businesses Need to Give DNS More Tender Loving Care

The US is undoubtedly home to some of the world’s most valuable tech companies and is worthy of wearing the tech crown. However, the Asia Pacific region (APAC) is often seen as the fastest growing tech market in the world, and some of its innovations and investments are becoming large enough to make even the US goliaths tremble. The APAC market is expected to grow at 6% this year according to Forrester, with India taking the lead. The region is home to Samsung, Tencent, Tata, Baidu, Fujitsu, and Alibaba, to name but a few.

EfficientIP’s fourth consecutive global study researching the rise in Domain Name System (DNS) threats and its impact on businesses, has revealed that DNS continues to be a weak spot for APAC businesses. In the past year, APAC organizations have been badly hit by network attacks, and the costs have increased more than any other region.

APAC businesses aware DNS should be a security priority

APAC organizations recognize the need and importance of protecting DNS. Forty percent of organizations in APAC region are prioritizing DNS analysis for data protection, which is more than their North American (37%) and European (36%) peers. In IT-savvy countries like India, nearly half (47%) believe analyzing DNS transactions is crucial for data protection, compared to Australia at 30%.

APAC businesses’ concerns over DNS are reflected in the number of network attacks they suffered. Although the APAC region on average has suffered the least number of DNS-based malware attacks at 34%, they have been subjected to the highest number of DNS Tunneling attacks (24%) and DNS DDoS attacks (23%) across the world.

We could surmise that as APAC businesses become more knowledgeable and discerning when it comes to DNS, so have hackers, evolving their attacks beyond simple malware.

Singapore was the most affected by DNS DDoS attacks with 29% of businesses suffering from such attacks, closely followed by India (27%). India bore the brunt of the DNS attacks in the region, as it was subjected to the most DNS Tunneling attacks, with 28% of businesses affected. India has also been hit harder than the rest of the region when it comes to phishing attacks, with 45% of Indian companies having been subjected to those. This number greatly surpasses the regional average of 38%.

Network attacks making a dent on the bottom line and service delivery

Besides the great number of DNS attacks within the region, APAC had the highest increase in the average cost per attack in the past twelve months, leaping by a hefty 74% from 2017, to reach a significant $639,000 this year. DNS attacks are costing Singaporean companies the most at $710,000, a substantial 85% increase from 2017. More importantly, more companies listed loss of business as a consequence of an attack in APAC (31%) than anywhere else, vastly exceeding the global average of 22%.

However, monetary loss is not the only negative impact of DNS attacks that can be felt through the whole APAC region.

DNS attacks have also led to cloud service downtime, impacting APAC the most at 46%. A shocking 61% of Indian organizations suffered cloud service downtime due to DNS attacks, largely exceeding the global average of 40%. Data theft is another worrying issue, reaching 31%. While this might be lower than the global average of 33%, many APAC organizations still have the obligation to comply to GDPR and existing local regulations such as the Asia-Pacific Data Protection Law and the Personal Data Protection Act in Singapore. Non compliance to regulations regulations like these can have very detrimental consequences for businesses ranging from hefty fines to important brand damage.

Actions are being taken to keep data confidential, but DNS needs more protection

In view of these attacks and the significant impact they’re having on APAC businesses, protecting the DNS is being highly recognized as a weak point that needs to become a priority in any cyber security or network efficiency strategy.

Interestingly, only 16% of Singaporean companies plan to invest in firewalls to protect their data, compared to 44% preferring to use DNS analysis. Although firewalls can be effective, alone they are not enough to combat modern attacks like those targeting DNS. Therefore, it is encouraging to see businesses are starting to invest in additional, specific technologies to secure DNS, which is crucial for securing their networks.

Network security underpins the future success of APAC businesses. DNS is critical to ensure business continuity and those who are neglectful will pay a heavy price. APAC organizations in general are not the least prepared compared to their European and North American counterparts. However, DNS continues to be a weak spot. It is encouraging to see DNS is starting to receive the attention it needs, but more care is required to protect businesses and ultimately accelerate APAC’s growth.

Want to learn how to ensure business continuity and data confidentiality?

Download the full 2018 DNS Threat Report.