Cybersecurity funding rising

Cybersecurity funding rising

Seminar highlights need for transparency

The rise of big data analytics and digital transformation, the recent customer data leakage at two major banks and reckless cloud security practices by telecom operators are key factors driving cybersecurity investment in Thailand, say cybersecurity gurus.

"We have seen a dramatic increase of investment in cybersecurity in Thailand this year due to security breaches at the two major banks and cloud security issues in the telecom sector that have continued since the WannaCry ransomware," Jarit Sidhu, head of operations of IDC Thailand, said at a Kaspersky Cyber Insights 2018 seminar.

Attacked organisations should be transparent about how they were affected and clearly explain what they will do next so that customers can trust them.

The rise of digital transformation has driven the growth of big data analytics and artificial intelligence, for which organisations and government agencies need to invest for security protection in every single layer, from database/datalake, algorithms and tools.

Security should be embraced in mobile or endpoint devices, networking routers and applications and blockchain is necessary for trusted data flow and authentication identity.

Banks, retail, government, SMEs are among the top security spenders in the country, Mr Jarit said, adding that in the US a study found that 30% of SMEs cannot survive or recover after being attacked.

He said cybercriminals use military tactics to attack target victims through Advanced Persistent threats, a stealthy and continuous computing hacking process, so business users need to embrace cybersecurity strategies including scanning real-time of suspicion threats rather than protection.

Moreover, everyone in an organisation should be responsible for cybersecurity, not only the IT department.

"The more products and services go digital and Internet of Things devices are connected, the more exposure to attack there is. The business should not only be concerned with prevention, but also how to detect and minimise damages quickly, with proper incident response," Mr Jarit said.

Cybercriminals also see data as money. They sell stolen information in the dark web or underground and there are cybercriminal services such as DDoS (Denial Distributed of Service) and malware as a service.

Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager of Kaspersky Lab Southeast Asia, said that cyber-attacks have increased by 700 times globally since 2006.

Kaspersky ranked Thailand 70th in web-based cyberthreats, while Indonesia was 27th, Malaysia 22nd, Vietnam 25th and the Philippines in ninth place.

Singapore is the lowest in the region at 129th, which is the best.

"Thailand's ranking is seen a positive sign that Thais are more aware of cyber-risks," Mr Yeo said.

Phishing remains a key vulnerability for Thais, as most are still unable to distinguish fake from real. Thais are still unaware of security when they are on mobile platforms, and this potentially threatens work and daily life.

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