Cybersecurity readiness for critical information infrastructure (CII) needs to be improved to guard against cyberwarfare and support the country's ranking in the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI), say the Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry and National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA).
"Cybersecurity is increasingly important because it is close to people's lives and a crucial global trend as digital connects many dimensions. Any activities related to digital could increase the risk of a cyber-attack," said DES Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn.
He was speaking yesterday at a seminar entitled "Thailand and Cybersecurity 2022" held by the media firm Matichon Group.
Thailand has ushered in the Cybersecurity Act and NCSA, which can respond to such incidents effectively, he said.
The finance and banking sector in Thailand has a strong cybersecurity defence as its system can be well protected from the threats, Mr Chaiwut said.
"Cyberthreats pose risks to the country's economy, national security and society. Cyberwarfare is also pursued to target other conflicting countries," said Gen Prachya Chalermwat, secretary-general of NCSA.
Gen Prachya said many developed countries have built their cybersecurity capability while Thailand, a small country, needs to get prepared for the protection of CII as cyber-attacks on CII would "cause economic damage, affect people's safety and erode trust in digital transactions".
Cybersecurity failure ranks seventh in terms of the risks that pose the greatest concern worldwide this year, according to the World Economic Forum's "Global Risks Report 2022".
Gen Prachya said finance, government sectors as well as the SCADA electricity system are likely to be the prime targets if Thailand comes into conflict with other nations.
Last year, malware was the leading approach used for cyber-attacks in Thailand, accounting for 42%, followed by phishing at 16.3%, Trojan and backdoor at 16.1%, and cybercrime at 15.4%, according to the Thailand Computer Emergency Response Team.
Citing cybersecurity firm Trend Micro, Gen Prachya said Thailand ranked fifth in terms of detected victims of botnet connections in the world in the first half of 2021.
According to Interpol, Thailand was in third place in Asean for ransomware detections from January to September 2020, behind Indonesia and Vietnam, he said.
Gp Capt Amorn Chomchoey, deputy secretary-general of NCSA, stressed cybersecurity is part of the backbone for the country's digital economy.
"We have laws and technical capability with human development in this field. It is expected Thailand can move up from 5th place in Asean for the GCI in 2020 to be in the top 3 in the future," Gp Capt Amorn said, noting the country did not have the Cybersecurity Act and NCSA in 2020.
He said 41 subordinate laws of the act have been formulated and another 14 will be completed by this year.
The NCSA will hold talks with the Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Ministry to usher in cybersecurity courses at bachelor's degree level. It will also raise public awareness about the risks in dealing with digital transactions, said Gp Capt Amorn.