The future of cyber security in Southeast Asia

The digital world we have all adopted as part of our everyday lives is a fluid one and with it so too is how we must interact online. Whether it’s simple emails, corporate engagements or general leisure we have all willingly chosen to store a lot of our personal data on the internet. Surely that has brought us all a lot of luxuries and efficiencies but it has also exposed us to various threats.

Cyber security is a critical part of the world we live in. As our world becomes increasingly more digitized in the years ahead cyber security will take on a more important for individuals, companies and governments alike. There are many layers of protection that all of these stakeholders can and should take in the fight against cybercriminals.

Let’s explore what we can expect in the years ahead as our fight against those cybercriminals matures.   

Consumer will demand simplicity

Consumers want and need simplicity. Cyber security is a complex problem but the layers of protection available to users must be straight forward in order to ensure adoption. Push notifications instead of pin codes and biometric recognition (ie: facial, fingerprint, voice) are frictionless methods of authenticating a user that lowers the barrier to entry for consumers to engage in a cyber security strategy.

Service providers cannot rely on the traditional SMS and Voice pin codes as standalone solutions. Security loopholes aside, consumers need frictionless solutions. We’re already seeing progress on this front with security solutions that are more user friendly like the Twizo Messaging Clients solution that allows for authentication to take place via LINE, Telegram and Facebook with more chat platforms on the way. Simple push notifications bringing a “reject / approve” function to the user as opposed to flipping through multiple screens and passcodes.

Flexibility and Choice

One size does not fit all! The needs and preferences of a particular enterprise and consumer do not necessarily match the next batch of users. It is the responsibility of authentication service providers to offer their partners as much flexibility as possible in terms of how these partners can adopt a cyber security strategy.  

Relying only on the traditional 2FA solutions prohibits enterprises from scaling their cyber security strategies and anything that prohibits scalability in the fight against cyber criminals will ultimately lead to data breaches as well as consumer hesitation.

Multi-Factor Authentication

A single authentication dependent on a single device is no longer enough. Cybercriminals are continuing to develop their strategies and so its important for authentication service providers to stay ahead of the game.

A platform that offers a variety of different ways to authenticate a user that can work independently or in conjunction with one another will offer enterprises and consumers a higher chance of minimizing their potential victimization.

Implementation of new technologies

SMS and Voice pin codes are the traditional solutions but far from the full extent of authentication options. Biometrics via voice recognition such as the Twizo Bio Voice solution which allows for users to say their password outloud after being prompted via a phone call,  pin codes via messaging clients and ground breaking research around sonic vibrations are some of the latest examples of innovation in the authentication space.  

Industry Education will improve significantly

Governments and service providers alike are contributing to the education of both enterprises and consumers when it comes to cyber security. There are multiple layers of protection that all stakeholders must take when it comes to protecting ourselves online and we can absolutely expect governments and service providers to take a more active role in highlighting the multi-pronged approach needed in the cyber battle.

Too many enterprises and consumers alike view Two Factor Authentication (2FA) as an unrealistic component in the cyber security battle and this is being addressed through industry education. There is no singular method of protecting ourselves online except for disconnecting from the internet which is obviously unrealistic in today’s world. What is realistic though is adding as many layers of protection between ourselves and the cyber criminals, 2FA being one of the viable methods in doing so. It is up to governments and service providers to contribute to that change in perspective amongst enterprises and consumers. We are starting to see efforts of those sorts being made on a government level in South East Asia and across APAC which we anticipate will continue in the years ahead.

Government level initiatives such as the new European Union GDPR efforts are indicative of a global effort around data protection.

Cyber security is a real world concern that we all face and it is the responsibility of all of us to protect ourselves online. Thankfully there are service providers out there who are making 2FA simple to engage with through easy integration options, extensive authentication solutions, free and paid platforms and scalability flexibility. Ultimately having a safer online experience with our data secured correctly is in all of our benefit and so be sure to select the right partner for your needs.   

Only by bringing down the barrier to entry will we see wider adoption of cyber security strategies with 2FA serving as a key component.

Eric Dadoun is the CCO of Twizo and nurtures keen interest in startups, telecom and other businesses in general