Cyberthreats are expected to cause roughly 772 billion baht's worth of damage per day to victims around the world this year, of which 85 million baht per day would be realised in Thailand, according to the Stock Exchange of Thailand's (SET) Research Department.
At the beginning of 2023, Thailand had 21 million internet users, representing 85.3% of the total population. This is higher than the global average of 64.4%.
Thai people spend an average of seven hours per day on the internet, falling within the top 10 globally in terms of internet usage.
Thai people also tend to conduct online transactions via their smartphone which lets them quickly explore cyberspace. But as cyberthreats intensify, this is like opening the back door to cybercriminals if they are not sufficiently cautious when conducting such transactions, according to the department.
The damage from cyberthreats worldwide continues to increase. It is estimated that in 2023 the damage would reach up to US$8 trillion, leading agencies around the world to recognise the urgency of addressing cyberthreats.
This aligns with a survey from last year's World Economic Forum which revealed that 95% of corporate leaders agree that cybersecurity is a priority. Indeed, cybersecurity should be considered as part of an organisational risk management strategy.
In Thailand, the threat of cybercrime is certainly on the rise. When considering online complaints about cybercrime threats over a one-year period, it was found that there were 218,210 cases with total damage valued at 31.5 billion baht, or 85 million baht per day.
Most of this damage was conducted at a personal level in cases related to scams via call centre gangs.
Lawsuits related to making online purchases of goods or services but not receiving them, loan shark applications, Ponzi schemes and investment fraud are also on the rise.
As for the damage at the organisational or agency level, according to a report by the National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA), 551 cyberthreat incidents took place between Oct 1, 2021 and Sept 30, 2022, of which two in three cases were attacks by hacking the websites of government agencies and other important agencies.
Most of those attacked were educational and public health agencies. Private companies were also affected. Examples would be situations in which access to information or work systems is obstructed, or situations that result in data leakage. In some cases, it takes a long time to fix the problem, resulting in a wide-ranging impact.
The SET advises all sectors to be aware of cyberthreats and work together to prevent them. Be aware of the fact that there is no investment that generates an exaggerated return, the department said.
Investors are recommended to check information directly with the relevant authorities. Be alert, do not rush to invest or make a transaction without first observing sufficient caution. These steps would help reduce the chance of falling victim to a cyberthreat, it added.