Melbourne, Australia – After a highly competitive pitch, Australian digital ad agency Magic has won the media strategy and media buying remit of security software and hardware company Sophos. 

As it lead the media strategy in Australian office, Magic’s new office in West Hollywood will serve the Sophos account and effectively launch the Alchemy methodology to US market.

Magic’s revolutionary mathematical media-buying methodology Alchemy is also one of the factors of being chosen by Sophos to handle the remits. Alchemy employs statistical datasets, custom mathematical modelling, and direct mathematical findings to power media buying optimisations and planning. 

Jordan Taylor-Bartels, CEO of Magic, said that they are thrilled to be chosen as the agency to manage the media strategies of Sophos, which serves as a testament that their strategies and media methodologies are ahead of traditional network approaches.

Meanwhile, Megan Cabrera, VP of global marketing operations at Sophos, commented, “Magic’s mathematical led media-buying strategy and execution will empower Sophos to understand its customers better and find the most efficient and cutting-edge ways to engage with them. We are excited to see the impact of this partnership on our global marketing strategy.”

Magic is an ad agency that specialises in innovative and data-driven media buying and planning solutions. 

Manila, Philippines – The Philippines has been ranked ninth in the Asia-Pacific region with the most breaches, accounting for around 1.2 million users affected, according to the latest study from cybersecurity company Surfshark.

According to the report, the new statistic was 70.2% less than the previous year. It is estimated that 11 in 1,000 people in the Philippines are affected by a data breach.

On a regional level, Asia amounted to a fourth of all world’s breaches with 74.2M, mostly coming from China, Indonesia and India. Turkey ended up in the 4th place regionally, followed by Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Malaysia. 

In APAC, the IndiHome breach was the biggest in the region in 2022, leaking as many as 12.6M accounts. Another notable breach occurred in China, when a breach of a Chinese adult content site Hjedd resulted in around 11M accounts being leaked. This accounted for around a third of all Chinese accounts leaked in 2022.

Globally, 2022 had 68% less breached users than 2021. While the majority of countries around the world showed improvement, the sharpest victim spikes were spotted in Indonesia (269%), Sri Lanka (204%), Russia (191%), Uzbekistan (73%) and China (45%).

Agneska Sablovskaja, lead researcher at Surfshark, said, “While these numbers remain unsettling, we’re happy to report an immense global decrease of 68% compared to last year. Some countries, including U.S., India and Brazil, managed to improve their situation significantly, while Indonesia, China and Russia experienced the biggest surges in data breaches year-over-year.”

Jakarta, Indonesia – Super app Grab in Indonesia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indonesia’s primary signal intelligence agency, National Cyber ​​and Crypto Agency (BSSN), to increase knowledge and development of human resources related to cybersecurity, especially for driver-partners and Grab merchants. 

The collaboration will hold various trainings and webinars related to cybersecurity literacy and digital economy security at GrabAcademy. It will also see Grab supporting BSSN for educational activities related to cyber security for the Indonesian people to avoid cyber attacks.

Hinsa Siburian, Republic of Indonesia’s head of the National Cyber ​​and Crypto Agency (BSSN), believes that they must have a strategy in carrying out the task of BSSN.

“And specifically for the problem of protecting national vital information infrastructure, Grab is included here, we must protect this so that business processes at Grab run safely and smoothly. If one day there will be a crisis, then we have also prepared how to manage a national cyber crisis,” said Siburian.

Meanwhile, Ridzki Kramadibrata, Grab’s president for Indonesia, shared that the use of technology also needs to be complemented by an understanding of digital literacy, especially for driver-partners and business partners.

“We hope that through collaboration that carries the GrabForGood spirit to bring positive impact from technology, Grab can continue to increase literacy awareness on cybersecurity so that everyone can participate in digital economy activities more safely,” said Kramadibrata.

Bratislava, Slovakia – Global internet security company ESET has unveiled its newest brand positioning centred around the message of ‘Progress. Protected’, which aims to deliver a message of empowering progressive change for society through a fully integrated marketing and communications campaign.

According to the company, said brand positioning was inspired by the insight that while the power of human ideas remains the leading catalyst for the world’s progression today, progress is advanced via the connectivity provided by technology, which needs protecting. 

“Human and technological progress is now more vulnerable than ever to attack, and ESET is positioned to protect the continued advancement of this innovation through the provision of its industry-leading security software and services,” the company said in a press statement.

As part of the brand positioning, ESET has released a series of short films directed by Academy Award nominated documentary filmmaker Hubert Davies, in which leaders in science, education, innovation, and space exploration discuss progress from their specialist point of view.

As part of the brand films, it will feature bespoke illustrations created by four top-class artists: John Tomac, Jun Cen, Marcellus Hall and Bruno Mangyoku. They will be reacted to in the films with famous personalities such as famous NASA astronaut Chris Hadfield, cultural anthropologist Dr. Mimi Ito, marine biologist Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, and science author Steven Johnson.

For Richard Marko, CEO of ESET, the new brand positioning is a way for them to demonstrate ESET’s investment and passion for progress through technology. In addition, the company places great importance on the technology, research and corporate responsibility initiatives that they pursue with colleagues, customers, partners and the communities in which they operate.

“The world continues to move forward at pace. When ESET was founded, the Internet was in its infancy. Now technology is part of everything we do and is central to the continued advancement of our society. Most of the time, technology does just what it is supposed to, but to ensure continued progress in the digital age, we need someone to question what’s going on in the background. I believe that is an important task for our company, as to protect technology means to protect progress itself,” Marko explained.

This new brand proposition will be supported with a fully integrated campaign which will be executed throughout 2022. With digital, video, print and Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising, ESET will celebrate progress within technology by spotlighting a number of fascinating thought leaders across a range of fields.

Singapore – Global security intelligence company LogRhythm has unveiled its new brand identity, which is designed to represent its commitment to helping security operations centres (SOCs) close workforce gaps, increase knowledge of new attacks and techniques, and navigate an ever-changing threat landscape with confidence. 

LogRhythm, which has a presence in Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, and Malaysia within APAC, brings together the complete technology to improve security posture. It combines a comprehensive and flexible security operations platform, technology partnerships, and advisory services.

The new logo recognises LogRhythm’s value, which is not rooted in technology alone, but is both analogue and digital; a mix of people, expertise, and know-how that allows the company to best apply technology to customers’ most pressing security concerns and challenges. It also connotes being in rhythm with the company’s customers, colleagues, and partners. Moreover, the wave signals LogRhythm’s commitment to adapting to the ever-changing threat horizon to keep customers protected in the face of uncertainty.

Cindy Zhou, LogRhythm’s chief marketing officer, shared that LogRhythm gives customers the upper hand by proactively identifying threats and the technology to defend against them.

“The people who work at LogRhythm are cyber advisory and technology allies to our customers. This brand identity supports our new technology offerings coming in 2022 that align with the mission we have always had, to ensure our customers are ready to defend against today’s top threats,” said Zhou.

LogRhythm said that the rebrand is the first of many changes to come in 2022, including a fresh visual look, an upcoming cloud-native platform, and a new outlook that reflects the company’s vision and evolution.

New York, USA – Cybersecurity company HUMAN, formerly known as White Ops, has announced a US$100m growth funding round led by WestCap with additional investment from NightDragon and other current investors to support the company in its next phase of growth.

For Tamer Hassan, co-founder and CEO of HUMAN, said funding will help expand their leadership position as a cybersecurity firm to build a more secure and more human internet.

“HUMAN plays to win through collective protection by verifying the humanity of 15 trillion interactions per week, enabling us to defeat attackers–changing the odds to the side of the good,” Hassan said.

Some of HUMAN’s efforts to solve enterprise-wide pain points include its product offerings MediaGuard for Ad Security that protects digital media and advertising from fraud and abuse, BotGuard for Applications that protects sites and applications from digital fraud and abuse, and BotGuard for Growth Marketing that protects digital marketing investments from fraud and abuse.

Some of the cybersecurity endeavors HUMAN had executed include taking down PARETO—a sophisticated CTV botnet—in cooperation with Roku and Google and disrupting botnet 3ve, bringing together the FBI, Google, Facebook and many others in the industry.

Meanwhile, Dave DeWalt, founder and managing director at NightDragon and vice chairman of the board of HUMAN, commented that since they have engaged with HUMAN over the past year, they have proven to the industry that they are best positioned to stop these cybersecurity threats by stopping attacks at the source.

“Through our experience in engaging with hundreds of enterprises and their cybersecurity teams, we know that automated attacks on applications and websites creating fraud and abuse is a critical point of risk to every enterprise,” DeWalt concluded.

Singapore – Life insurance company Prudential in Singapore has partnered with Ngee Ann Polytechnic and ST Engineering to equip small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the knowledge and resources on how to go digital in a safe and secure manner.

The initiatives include a digital commerce playbook launched in collaboration with Ngee Ann Polytechnic in September 2021 to help SMEs kickstart their digital journey. Said playbook was developed together with students from the Ngee Ann Poly School of Business & Accountancy who specialize in business digitalization. 

Meanwhile, with ST Engineering, Prudential is offering training to improve SMEs’ cybersecurity awareness so they can better safeguard their business.

For Goh Theng Kiat, chief customer officer at Prudential Singapore, digitalization is important for businesses to better engage their employees and customers, as well as optimize processes.

“SMEs recognize that going digital is not just about being future-ready but a matter of survival in the current pandemic. To support SMEs through this challenging time, we are collaborating with different industry players to empower them with knowledge, experience and tools, to accelerate their digital transformation so they can stay relevant to their customers,” Goh said.

Meanwhile, Goh Eng Choon, president of cyber at ST Engineering, commented, “The collaboration between ST Engineering and Prudential will empower the SMEs, equipping them with the knowledge and resources to elevate their cybersecurity readiness. We draw upon our deep cybersecurity competencies to provide robust and latest technologies, solutions and services to enhance their cyber resilience.”

In October 2020, the company launched the SME Skills Accelerator programme to equip SMEs with the skills and resources to grow and innovate, upskill their employees, and improve employee retention. It is a collaboration between Prudential and SkillsFuture Singapore, under the SkillsFuture Queen Bee partnership.

Singapore – Despite 57% of internet users in Malaysia experiencing a personal data breach or knowing someone who had, 93% of the respondents admit to practicing poor online habits, including sharing, recycling and using guessable passwords. The findings are part of Google’s latest digital responsibility study conducted across APAC.

The study found that 80% of respondents in Malaysia use the same passwords for multiple sites, with 45% of the respondents admitting to recycling passwords for up to 10 unique sites. Among these password recyclers, 40% say they do so in fear of forgetting new passwords, while 41% say it is simply convenient to use the same ones.

“We know from past research that people who have had their data exposed by a breach are 10 times more likely to be hijacked. When we share, recycle and use guessable passwords we put our personal information, including payment data, at exponential risk,” said Chuah Jia Wen, industry head of CPG and retail at Google Malaysia.

Furthermore, 51% of local respondents confessed to using guessable passwords, spanning the most easily crackable combinations from significant dates and significant others to pet names and even postal codes. Worse still, 25% of the respondents admit to saving their passwords in the ‘Notes’ app of their mobile phones, most of which are not encrypted by default.

In regards to security in online transactions, 60% of the respondents admit to making purchases on pages without the secure symbol on the page’s hyperlink. Notable too is that 70% of respondents who save financial information online also share passwords with friends and family, putting themselves at greater risk of a personal data breach with passwords used across multiple devices.

Despite these online security lapses, 64% of respondents say that they are likely to adopt two-factor authentication (2FA), even if it is not mandatory. Meanwhile, 80% of respondents also say that in the face of a potential data breach, they will choose to change their password immediately. Interestingly, 33% of those who would not change their passwords immediately are believed to be acting out of caution, citing that the breach notification could well be a scam on its own.

“It is clear from our findings that internet users in Malaysia desire to get better at managing their digital health. The challenge, however, lies in the gap between knowledge and action, and key to plugging this gap is access to tools that can adequately equip people with both security and convenience,” Chuah stated.

She added, “That’s why we focus on providing easy to use tools to help people take charge of their online safety, and we strongly encourage everyone to take full advantage of them especially in this year-end season, where the need to safeguard against holiday hacking is more crucial than ever before.”

Singapore – The onset of the global pandemic has pushed former brick-and-mortar businesses to the digital realm, and with this,small and medium businesses (SMBs) saw the need to implement their own cybersecurity measures, as well as setting their own digitalization roadmap, 

According to new insights from global technology company Cisco, about 94% of SMBs in the APAC region have implemented at least some sort of cybersecurity measure, while 90% revealed that they have also implemented a digitalization roadmap for their business to follow.

In terms of the implementation of the said roadmaps, 65% of APAC SMBs have implemented them, while 50% have deployed them.

Part of the growing trend of APAC SMBs realizing these digital strategies are fears over cybersecurity flaws in their business systems, with 56% of business respondents admitting that they have fallen victim to one of the many cybersecurity threats such as email phishing and malware attack, which clocked at 85% of the threats most of these businesses experienced.

With these fears in hand, about 62% of respondents have said that a cyber incident had disrupted their operations and 61% noting that it resulted in a loss of revenue. In addition, 57% saw a loss of trust with customers, while 66% said that a cyber incident affected the company’s reputation negatively.

“It is not a surprise that three quarters of SMBs said they are more concerned about cybersecurity today than they were 12 months ago. This is significant. But it is also encouraging because it demonstrates increased levels of awareness of cyber risk among SMBs,” Cisco said in their report.

As the large number of APAC SMB respondents have noted the consequences of cyber attacks, more and more of these institutions are now setting aside investment and budget for their cybersecurity and digitalization measures, with 63% of SMBs in the APAC region spend at least 4% of annual revenue on cybersecurity on average, with 30% of businesses spending at least 6% of their annual revenue, and 9% spending over 10%.

In terms of challenges, SMBs said keeping pace with continually evolving technologies and security requirements (77%); keeping pace with constantly evolving cyber threats (76%); challenges with engaging employees around responsibilities (75%); too much complexity in the industry (75%); and the ability to recruit (73%) are the top barriers they face to increasing cybersecurity resilience.

“The growing maturity in SMBs’ understanding of cybersecurity is perhaps best highlighted by the fact that they are looking at preparedness holistically. However, even with investments in solutions, talent, and training, SMBs do find themselves at the wrong end of a cyber attack. It’s just the nature of the industry,” Cisco explained.

The report added, “With a growing understanding of the potential impacts of a cyber incident on business, and increased legal implications, SMBs are turning towards cybersecurity insurance as a key investment area. This provides them with a cover to cushion the financial impact any such incident might have on their business.”

Tel Aviv, Israel – Global in-game advertising platform Anzu and cybersecurity company HUMAN, formerly White Ops, have announced a new partnership, with the objective of safeguarding the in-game advertising space by detecting invalid traffic (IVT), general invalid traffic (GIVT), and sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT) among Anzu’s programmatic gaming inventory across mobile and PC.

By leveraging HUMAN’s pre-bid and post-bid solutions, MediaGuard, Anzu ensures that campaigns run across its inventory retain low fraud levels, allowing them to continue to harbor a safe space where both advertisers and publishers can feel confident working together to effectively reach gamers around the world.

Part of the inspiration between the partnership can be traced back to the fact that losses due to ad fraud are expected to continue to cost the industry billions of dollars each year, and sophisticated bots pose a significantly increasing threat to the gaming world.

For Itamar Benedy, co-founder and CEO at Anzu, he states that the company remains committed to making advertising in games better and putting ad quality at the heart of everything they do, adding that they aim at bringing in digital standards in-game and partnering with the industry leaders that advertisers know and trust.

“We continue to partner with the world’s brand safety, transparency, measurement, and data privacy leaders to ensure our clients can measure media value across channels and build their media strategy accordingly. This new partnership with HUMAN will take our commitment to create a brand-safe, fraud-free ecosystem to the next level,” Benedy stated.

Furthermore, said partnership ensures that customers and partners will be protected from emerging forms of in-game SIVT-background ad activity, hidden ads, misrepresentation/spoofing, measurement manipulation and more, while guaranteeing always-on filtering and measurement across the platform.

“Anzu ensures gamers can play without interruption while enabling brands to enter into a trusted marketplace that is native, creative and dynamically updateable. This forward-looking partnership with HUMAN will strengthen our ability to fight sophisticated cybercrime while ensuring a seamless user experience across the advanced in-game advertising platform,” says Tamer Hassan, co-founder and CEO at HUMAN.

HUMAN achieves the scale of ad verification through its continued expansion in cybersecurity, now offering a suite of products to protect the complete digital customer journey: BotGuard for Applications, BotGuard for Growth Marketing and MediaGuard. With new partners and enterprises now able to leverage one of its products, Human Verification Engine™, comes an even deeper understanding of the cybercrime landscape, enabling HUMAN to adapt continuously, staying ahead of adversaries and offering their clients collective protection against threat models they have yet to encounter.