SecurityBrief Australia logo
Australia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Taking the right cybersecurity precautions in China - Cylance

By Kai Ping Lew
Wed 27 Jun 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by Cylance chief security and trust officer Malcolm Harkins

It’s no secret that China has emerged as an economic powerhouse over the past decade, with The Conference Board estimating that the country’s GDP will surpass the US in 2018.

For many Australian businesses, this is an opportunity for growth.

China is already Australia’s largest import and export trading partner, and President Xi Jinping recently implied that it’s unlikely to slow down any time soon.

However, many organisations know very little about doing business in China – or how the country’s political, cultural and cybersecurity landscape can impact their ability to carry out business.

For any business that plans to carry out work in China – whether choosing to base its entire operations in the country or launching a subsidiary – many challenges can be expected.

Knowing China’s technology restrictions

China’s commitment to cyber sovereignty, reinforced by President Xi Jinping in December 2017, poses a particular challenge for foreign companies.

Tough internet censorship and online data regulations have forced global behemoths such as Facebook and Google (currently banned in China) to consider whether it’s worth accepting China’s terms in order to access its 751 million internet users.

A cybersecurity law introduced in June 2017 requires organisations to store sensitive data domestically.

While the Chinese government has hailed this new law as a boost to privacy protection, it has many foreign businesses rattled due to its broad scope and vague definition.

The law is forcing businesses to re-examine the data that flows in and out of China, which can bring about complex challenges such as disaggregation from global data networks in order to remain compliant.

Businesses are also forced to work within the confines of China’s “Great Firewall”, where many popular cloud-based services such as Dropbox and Google Drive are blocked.

Limiting access to these collaborative tools can have major implications on day-to-day operations for businesses that have global offices or that require frequent interaction with foreign counterparts.

This challenge obliges businesses to think about their corporate culture and the needs of their staff in China.

Do you want to ensure your staff have freedom of expression?

Will you allow them unrestricted internet access through your global corporate network?

And if you do that, what are the implications?

There are many complexities involved in how you provide your employees with internet access, and how you go about doing so under China’s laws and expectations.

Many businesses follow strict cybersecurity rules for employees travelling to China; an increasing number enforce the “no corporate laptop” rule where staff are required to take a burner laptop and phone with them to China, so there’s no real data on the devices.

In some contexts, that’s a useful thing to do.

In other contexts, you could argue – depending on the cultural adherence of your employees – you’re really kidding yourself if think that giving an employee a blank laptop would stop them from logging into a system that you don’t want them to.

In situations like that, you might have to think about different control types, such as restricting the geographic IP addresses that are able to access your business’ critical resources.

The unexpected empathy

One of the key perceived dangers of setting up shop in China is the protection of sensitive information and intellectual property theft.

This danger cannot be more exaggerated.

Local Chinese businesses are in fact just as afraid of information and intellectual property theft as we are.

They are hyper-focused on combatting the growing number of local threats, whether it’s insider activity or malicious groups located in different Chinese provinces.

Having operations in China doesn’t necessarily expose you to more risk.

In essence, attackers can get what they want from you wherever you are today.

But what it does mean is that local employees must be trained to maintain top security hygiene and compliance.

Due to the country’s first-to-file system, it is also recommended that businesses entering China consider registering their trademarks as early as possible.

Dealing with risks upfront

Cyber threats are real.

It’s a cop out for businesses to think they cannot mitigate the risks and then speculate about how or why they have been victimised.

The reality is that a number of nation states do not employ very sophisticated security practices.

A recent Europol report into organised internet crime stated that the boundaries between threats from nation states and cybercriminals are blurring – and the attacks were neither sophisticated nor new, but rather were reused, reintroduced technical attacks.

These results reflect back on organisations and the poor job they’re doing to mitigate their risks against an attack.

Businesses need to put better controls in place so they can effectively and efficiently deal with vulnerabilities and threats, and ultimately make it harder for attackers.

It starts with understanding the risk and cybersecurity framework.

How do you identify the risks?

How do you take actions to mitigate these risks?

Are you doing all the preventative work you can upfront, so that you can lower the risk dynamic as much as possible?

And because you can never fully eliminate the risk, you need to step up your ability to detect, respond and recover from security breaches.

The chief security officer can play a role in helping the wider business understand the potential opportunities and offer thoughtful advice to navigate those risks.

The CSO could potentially come up with some scenarios around opportunities and risks in a dynamic fashion – and the business can then revise those risks and opportunities on an annual basis to stay on top of threats.

We don’t have full control of all the variables, but there are many things that we can do within our organisations to manage and mitigate data and security risks.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Examining the future of ransomware threats with Vectra’s CTO
As customers' valuable data move to the cloud, so will ransomware. What is the current landscape and what do we need to know?
Story image
Your tools, your choice: why allow employees to choose their own devices?
Jamf Australia says giving your team the freedom to work with their digital device of choice could help to attract and retain top talent in a tight labour market.
Story image
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
LogRhythm updates SIEM Platform with latest innovations
LogRhythm has announced the launch of version 7.9 of the LogRhythm SIEM Platform and updates to LogRhythm NDR and LogRhythm UEBA.
Story image
Document Management
NZ's FileInvite raises $10M in latest investment round
FileInvite has raised $10 million in Series A investment to fast-forward the extinction of email for requesting and collecting documents online.
Story image
Overcoming hybrid and multi-cloud challenges to drive innovation
Driven by improvements in technology, financial services companies have advanced both internal and external systems and processes, with the likes of digitisation, personalisation and risk management redefining the industry.
Story image
State Library of Victoria
State Library of Victoria entrusts Oracle support and security to Rimini Street
“Our finance team are very happy with the support and security that Rimini Street provides, which keeps our assets and our customers secure."
Story image
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CyberArk
Olly Stimpson joins us today to discuss the importance of MSP programmes and how MSP partners are experiencing success with CyberArk.
Story image
Internet of Things
ManageEngine wins big in IDC MarketScape assessment
ManageEngine's Endpoint Central service has been recognised as a leader by IDC MarketScape in several categories including Internet of Things device deployments and UEM software for SMEs.
Story image
Digital Fingerprint
Decline in counterfeit cherries after digital fingerprinting
Reid Fruits says there’s been a dramatic decline in counterfeit products for its cherries over the past three export seasons to Asia because of digital fingerprinting.
Story image
Barracuda customises training to fit ACSC Essential Eight
Barracuda has announced that its Security Awareness Training now provides a customised training curriculum in line with the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) Essential Eight.
Story image
Digital Transformation
What CISOs think about cyber security, visibility and cloud
Seeking to uncover the minds of CISOs and CIOs across Asia Pacific, my company recently asked Frost & Sullivan to take a snapshot of cloud adoption behaviour in the region.
Story image
How New South Wales state departments achieved cloud migration success
State departments in New South Wales are heading to the cloud to achieve better workflow solutions, and one company is paving the way for their success.
Story image
Zscaler launches co-located data centres in Canberra and Auckland
The investment will offer public and private sector enterprises greater resilience in support of their zero trust cybersecurity posture.
Story image
New study reveals 51% of employees using unauthorised apps
The research shows that 92% of employees and managers in large enterprises want full control over applications, but they don't have it.
Story image
Tech and data’s role in the changing face of compliance
Accenture's study found that 93% of respondents agree or strongly agree new technologies such as AI and cloud make compliance easier.
Story image
Trend Micro
5G network projects driven by improving security and privacy
Trend Micro's new study reveals the prospect of improved security and privacy capabilities are the main motivations behind private 5G wireless network projects.
Story image
Secureworks reveals new information on BRONZE STARLIGHT threat group
New research from Secureworks has uncovered new information on the Chinese threat group BRONZE STARLIGHT and how they are using targeted ransomware to initiate complicated attacks.
Story image
Oracle Cloud
Commvault, Oracle to deliver Metallic Data Management as a Service
"We are excited to partner with Commvault and enable our customers to restore and recover their most mission-critical cloud data."
Story image
Stock security features inadequate in face of rising risk
"Organisations must proactively find ways of identifying unseen vulnerabilities and should take a diligent, holistic approach to cybersecurity."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Juniper study reveals top AI trends in APAC region
Juniper's research shows an increase in enterprise artificial intelligence adoption over the last 12 months is yielding tangible benefits to organisations.
Story image
Without trust, your security team is dead in the water
The rise of cyberattacks has increased the need for sound security that works across any type of business, but with any change, buy-in is essential. Airwallex explains why.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Eight top DevSecOps trends to support IT innovation in 2022
The use of DevSecOps practices is growing, as it is increasingly seen as the best way to produce high-quality and secure code. So what are the current trends?
Story image
Delinea’s Joseph Carson recognised with OnCon Icon Award
Delinea chief security scientist and advisory CISO Joseph Carson has been recognised as a Top 50 Information Security Professional in the 2022 OnCon Icon Awards.
Story image
Gartner's top recommendations for security leaders
"Leaders now recognise that major disruption is only one crisis away. We can’t control it, but we can evolve our thinking, philosophy, program and architecture.”
Story image
Document Management
Regaining digital trust and enhancing digitisation in Australian Government agencies
Having a digitised ecosystem of documents, tools and data can help bolster security, improve workflow and ultimately create better services.
Story image
FIDO Alliance releases guidelines for optimising UX with FIDO Security Keys
The new guidelines aim to accelerate multi-factor authentication deployment and adoption with FIDO security keys.
Story image
HP Inc
Firmware attacks significant threat in age of hybrid work
Changing workforce dynamics are creating new challenges for IT teams around firmware security, according to new research.
Story image
Adobe study finds lack of digital trust and utilisation in Australian Government agencies
New research commissioned by Adobe has revealed a significant lack of digital trust within Australian Government departments, along with the continued underutilisation of key digital processes.
Story image
WatchGuard Technologies
Ransomware volume doubled 2021 total by end of Q1 2022
Ransomware detections in the first quarter of this year doubled the total volume reported for 2021, according to a new report. 
PwC's Consulting Business and PwC's Indigenous Consulting are proud to play an important role in helping Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience build IMAGI-NATION, a free online university for marginalised communities around the world.
Link image
Story image
Ping Identity appoints Deloitte Australia as a partner
Ping Identity has appointed Deloitte Australia as a Consulting Technology Partner, uniting its offerings with the company's consulting services.
Story image
Registrations for the W.Media Sydney Cloud and Datacenter Convention 2022 now open
Are you a C-Level executive looking to enhance your knowledge in the cloud and data center space in order to get the best results for your company?
Story image
Jamf introduces new content filtering solution for education providers
Jamf has announced the launch of Jamf Safe Internet, a new offering that looks to deliver a safe online experience to students while offering better management options for admins.
Story image
Zero trust security adoption rises 27% in just two years
A survey of WAN managers has revealed that multi-factor authentication and single sign-on are the top zero trust features implemented.
WSLHD and PwC’s Consulting Business came together to solve through the challenges of COVID-19. A model of care was developed to the NSW Health Agency for Clinical Innovation guidelines with new technology platforms and an entirely new workforce.
Link image
Story image
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CrowdStrike
Scott Jarkoff joins us today to discuss current trends in the cyber threat landscape, and the reporting work CrowdStrike is doing to prevent further cyber harm.
Story image
Email threats spike 101%, remains a top attack vector
"Each year we see innovation in the threat landscape, but each year email remains a major threat to organisations."
Story image
Cyber Criminal
Identity and access: the fight is on
Blue team defenders are used to protecting our data, applications, and users with access controls and other security mechanisms, which is why attacks like this are especially challenging when they target identity and access control systems.
Story image
Progress launches latest version of network visibility solution
In Flowmon 12 network solution, Progress has expanded its support for public cloud provider flow log monitoring and launched new features.
Story image
Businesses unprepared to defend against ransomware attacks
Ransomware attacks continue to impact organisations worldwide with high costs, but businesses are still largely unprepared.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Bitdefender, Cohesity, Fortinet & MODIFI
We round up all job appointments from June 27-30, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Security driving customer identity & access management adoption
"CIAM allows businesses to embed a secure identity layer into their consumer and SaaS applications, facilitating secure, seamless end user experiences."
Story image
Colt launches new SASE Gateway solution with Versa
Colt Technology Services’ customers now have access to an integrated full SASE solution that brings together SD WAN and SSE features.
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Five ways your ERP is letting you down and why it's time for a change
Wiise explains while moving to a new system may seem daunting, the truth is that legacy systems could be holding your business back.