Most SMEs under digital attack over past year

Most SMEs under digital attack over past year

Some 65% of Thai SMBs surveyed in the latest cybersecurity study by Cisco have suffered cyber incidents in the past 12 months, as opposed to 56% in Asia Pacific. (Reuters photo)
Some 65% of Thai SMBs surveyed in the latest cybersecurity study by Cisco have suffered cyber incidents in the past 12 months, as opposed to 56% in Asia Pacific. (Reuters photo)

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Thailand are vulnerable to cybersecurity threats, with 65% of them suffering from attacks over the past year, while malware and phishing are the top two threats, says Cisco, a global technology company.

"Thai SMEs have increased their pace of digitisation over the past 18 months. The more digital they become, the more attractive a target they are for malicious actors," said Padd Chantaraseno, managing director of Cisco Thailand.

He was speaking during the recent unveiling of "Cybersecurity for SMBs: Asia Pacific Businesses Prepare for Digital Defence" study, which gauged 3,700 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across 14 markets in Asia-Pacific, including Thailand.

The study found 65% of Thai SMEs surveyed said they suffered cyber incidents in the past 12 months, compared to 56% in Asia-Pacific.

Some 91% of the attacks on Thai SMEs came from malware, followed by phishing with 77% and denial of service (DoS) at 65%. A similar pattern was also seen at the regional level, Mr Padd said.

Some 49% of the Thai SMEs surveyed indicated they suffered cyberattacks because their cybersecurity solutions were not effective enough to detect or prevent the attacks.

For the cyberattacked SMEs, 47% said incidents over the past 12 months cost the business US$500,000 or more and 28% said the cost was $1 million or above.

In addition to customer data loss, the cyberattacks made local SMEs lose employee data, emails, intellectual property, financial records and sensitive business information, according to Mr Padd.

Some 56% of attacked companies said the incidents disrupted their operations.

The survey also found 81% of Thai SMEs indicated that downtime of more than one hour could cause severe disruption to their operations.

Some 29% pointed out that downtime of more than a day could lead to the permanent closure of their organisations, Mr Padd said.

According to Mr Padd, 13% of the respondents in Thailand said they were able to detect a cyber incident within an hour and 7% indicated they were able to find a solution to a cyber incident within an hour.

The survey also shows that 89% of local SMEs had increased their investment in cybersecurity since the start of the pandemic.

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