AGCS: Thailand second worst for cybercrime

AGCS: Thailand second worst for cybercrime

The Technology Crime Suppression Division and a web developer have jointly opened a new website called cleanweb-Thailand.com to compile and share information about internet scam artists. (Bangkok Post file photo)
The Technology Crime Suppression Division and a web developer have jointly opened a new website called cleanweb-Thailand.com to compile and share information about internet scam artists. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Nearly 20% of Thailand's cybercrime victims reported losses of over US$100,000 in 2015, making the country the world's number two target for computer crime, said Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty SE (AGCS).

Furthermore, 4% of the country's cybercrime victims reported losses of between $1 million and $100 million last year, said Paul Davis, ‎regional chief financial officer Asia for AGCS, the specialty insurance service arm of Germany's Allianz SE.

"The local cybercrime rate has risen sharply over the past two years, resulting in a jump from fourth to second place [globally]," he said.

Thailand is one of the world's top 25 targets for malware attacks, while Bangkok is a prime mark for hackers in Asia-Pacific.

"Some 39% of SET-listed companies in Thailand were victims of fraud in 2015, with the damage to businesses ranging from external hacking to internal employee fraud," said Mr Davis.

He cited AGCS's cyber report, which shows that cybercrime cost the global economy around $445 billion a year, with the world's largest 10 economies accounting for half of the total.

China leads Asia with $60 billion, while India is a distant second at $4 billion.

Mr Davis said businesses must prepare for a new generation of risks which are fast evolving, moving beyond the established threats of data breaches, privacy issues and reputational damage to operational damage, business interruption and even potentially catastrophic losses.

The future threats will come from the theft of intellectual property, extortion and the effects of business interruption, instead of cyberattacks resulting in operational or technical failures.

Mr Davis said companies need to improve their IT security and train their internal employees to be aware of cybersecurity risks, as such employees often unknowingly contribute to security breaches.

"We see hackers use phishing to lure internal employees to make loopholes allowing for attacks or data theft", he said.

Mr Davis added cyber insurance is no replacement for robust IT security, but it creates a second line of defence to mitigate the impact of cyber incidents.

To capitalise on demand for cyber insurance, he said AGCS offers Allianz Cyber Protect service, covering both IT incidents resulting from cybercrime as well as those caused by human error in office and production information systems.

"The coverage can be tailored to each client. We have the highest protection limits in the industry at €100 million (4 billion baht)," Mr Davis said.

Service-related companies such as telecommunications, banking and large organisations have been among the early adopters of cyber insurance.

AGCS forecasts that cyber insurance premiums will grow globally from $2 billion per annum today to more than $20 billion over the next decade, a compound annual growth rate of 20%, said Mr Davis.

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