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As industry processes around the world become more digitized, businesses find themselves increasingly prone to vicious cyberattacks. In May, a ransomware attack named WannaCry infected software in over 150 countries, upsetting procedures in the technology, finance, healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, and communications industries. Although a security patch for WannaCry was issued and installed in several systems, it wasn't enough to prevent a separate ransomware attack called Petya, which spread in June and affected thousands of machines in over 65 countries. Virtual epidemics such as these, which have become quite frequent over the past year, can prove devastating to international business, causing technological destruction, operation disruption, and widespread theft of money and intellectual property.

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In this high-tech century, news about hackers breaking into corporate information systems is not surprising anymore. Rather, it has become a common administrative issue for businesses and requires special attention from the board of directors, since cyber-security breaches can result in significant business losses if not handled properly. This blog post will review the recent findings from the World Economic Forum and McKinsey and provide the approaches that company leaders can follow to reduce cyber risks.

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Ernst & Young, a Big Four accounting firm, conducted a fraud survey across the Asia-Pacific region, finding that there is a large disconnect between company policies, enforcement, and execution that is obstructing efforts to diminish fraud. The survey consisted of 600 senior level executives from companies in countries including, Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam.