Nearly eight in 10 business leaders in Thailand see cybersecurity as a top priority in the recovery from the pandemic, according to a survey by US cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike.
The latest CrowdStrike 2020 APJ State of Cybersecurity Report states organisations in Thailand expect increased technology budgets to support escalated digital transformation.
Among business leaders in Thailand who believe there should be more investment in remote working, 79% list the enhancement of cybersecurity measures as a top priority. Despite a grim economic outlook, 79% of local business leaders expect technology budgets to increase.
Some 39% of local business leaders surveyed said the pandemic accelerated their move to cloud solutions, while 90% say Covid-19 has changed the way they interact or deliver products and services to customers.
These results indicate a strong shift and rapid investment in transformation projects that move from traditional on-premises security solutions to next generation cloud-native solutions as organisations look to protect today's distributed workforce and digitally driven business models.
Some 68% of local business leaders believe their organisations should increase investment in cybersecurity software over the next six months.
CrowdStrike observed an increase in electronic crime activity -- up by more than 330% since the start of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.
"The pandemic may have had the biggest impact on the way organisations operate since the introduction of office PCs. The reaction of business leaders has been impressive, but the speed and size of change to a remote workforce has led to some inevitable gaps, particularly in the cybersecurity of organisations," said Sherif el-Nabawi, vice-president of engineering at CrowdStrike.
"Our research findings show respondents understand these gaps and expect to address them during business recovery, going beyond 'good enough' security measures to ensure their employees remain secure against sophisticated threat activity, regardless of where they are located."
The report found 63% of business leaders in Thailand consider cyber-attacks to be among the top three threats to their business over the next six months, even more so than current trade tensions and climate change. With the top two concerns across the board being economic conditions (79%) and new waves of infections (65%), cybersecurity remains business-critical.
The top cybersecurity challenges expected in the next 18 months include new regulation (68%), costs of compliance (62%) and legacy infrastructure (58%), with remote workforce (57%) and limited budgets (56%) ranking not far behind.
While most organisations in Thailand have changed their IT environments to accommodate remote workers, 30% still have not changed their security programs because of Covid-19, potentially exposing their organisations to cyber-risks from new and more sophisticated attacks.
As a result of working from home, 81% of local business leaders are concerned about a potential cyber-attack on their organisation in the next six months.
Forced to adapt and implement remote working arrangements due to public health concerns, 87% of local business leaders acknowledge having a distributed workforce is a practical option moving forward. They have come to believe it is possible for a workforce to collaborate and work together regardless of where they are.
Some 53% of respondents in Thailand have personal mobile devices connected to their organisations' IT infrastructure when working from home, which means an individual's compromised personal device could jeopardise their employer's corporate network.
Employee education and communications are key to a successful cybersecurity strategy, yet 25% of local respondents have not received communications about Covid-19 themed malware and 14% have not received additional security training. Moving forward, 86% of local business leaders say they plan on additional security training in the future.
As organisations in Thailand look to the new normal, 67% of local business leaders believe their organisations should invest more in building a remote work environment.
"Remote work is expected to continue for some time and we might not even return to the past of having employees in the office for the entire workweek," said Mr Nabawi. "Organisations must therefore update their cybersecurity policies to factor in remote or hybrid working."