Cyber attacks spread amid rise of digital economy

Cyber attacks spread amid rise of digital economy

Cybersecurity risks are on the rise following digital transformation and remote work pursued by organisations in the wake of the pandemic, according to Trend Micro, a global cybersecurity company.

In addition, the rise of online food ordering, e-commerce and telehealth has fuelled concerns about data theft.

"Because of the big digitalisation happening, there is a big surge in cybersecurity breaches and big attacks," Nilesh Jain, Trend Micro's vice-president for Southeast Asia and India, said in virtual press briefing. "This causes customer concerns about their cybersecurity posture."

Global funding for startups linked with cybersecurity is now surging.

In the first half of this year, US$9 billion flooded into the sector with 309 deals reached -- more than double the $4.4 billion the industry realised in the same period of 2020.

In the second quarter, another $5.2 billion baht was invested, compared with less than $2 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

The top five data categories prone to be hacked in Thailand are: financial information; business communication (email); consumer data; employee files; and research and development information.

The top five security risks in Thai infrastructure are: cloud computing infrastructure and provider; organisation misalignment and complexity; negligent insiders; shortage of qualified personnel; and network infrastructure from gateway to endpoint.

According to Trend Micro, the top cyberthreat in Thailand is a watering hole attack, where an attacker seeks to compromise a specific group of end users by infecting websites that members of the group are known to visit. The goal is to infect a targeted user's computer and gain access to the network at the target's workplace.

The second cyberthreat is a botnet attack. A botnet is a collection of connected devices that become infected and controlled by malware to benefit cybercriminals.

The third is ransomware in which attackers threaten to publish the victims' personal data or block access until a ransom is paid. The fourth and fifth are phishing and social engineering.

Mr Jain said the top consequence of a cyberattack in Thailand is disruption or damage to critical infrastructure, followed by the loss of intellectual property and the cost of hiring external consultants and experts.

Mr Jain said attackers are focusing more on stealing the financial records of customers, so they target food ordering and payment platforms as well as business-to-customer digital platforms.

He said Southeast Asia is the fastest-growing market for Trend Micro, with revenue in the region surging 37% year-on-year in the first half of this year.

The earnings from the region are expected to rise by 25-30% this year, particularly from Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.

Piyatida Tantrakul, Thailand country manager at Trend Micro, said the threat protection landscape has changed from malware-centric protection to attacker-centric protection. The firm pivots towards a cybersecurity platform, making sure security is provided in a holistic approach.

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