Cybersecurity spending to rise

Cybersecurity spending to rise

Fortinet sees 20-30% increase over 2018-19

Witthaya Junghatthakarnsathit: 'In 2019, we will see significant advancement in cybercriminal tools' (Photo supplied)
Witthaya Junghatthakarnsathit: 'In 2019, we will see significant advancement in cybercriminal tools' (Photo supplied)

Thailand's cybersecurity spending is expected to grow 20-30% during 2018-19, driven by faster and more complicated targeted attacks powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and increasing use of the Internet of Things (IoT) in critical infrastructure and cloud security, says US-based cybersecurity firm Fortinet.

"Cybersecurity spending in Thailand will continue to soar because there are new business opportunities where customers require security," said Witthaya Junghatthakarnsathit, senior channel manager of Fortinet Thailand, the local operating unit of the integrated and automated cybersecurity firm.

In 2017, the local cybersecurity market of hardware and software combined was worth US$61 million (2 billion baht). The market is expected to continue growing by 20-30% in 2018-19.

Fortinet expects to grow 20% this year locally, having already achieved 16% growth in the last three quarters.

Banks and enterprises are continuing to invest amid the digital transformation and intense competition to move to digital and mobile channels.

The utility and energy sectors have expanded their cybersecurity investments while making new deployments in operational technology.

Meanwhile, businesses are shifting to invest in cloud-related security solutions, having previously only invested in cloud services.

Mr Witthaya said local firms are still not fully alert to the need to invest in advanced persistent threat protection solutions that can help them prevent unknown threats.

To date, the average IT project's security budget accounts for just 10% of the total budget and mostly consists of basic security firewalls.

"In 2019, we will see significant advancement in cybercriminal tools and services that leverage automation and the precursors to AI," said Wittaya Janmayka, network security architect at Fortinet.

In 2019, Fortinet expects AI fuzzing (the injection of random inputs and commands into applications) and vulnerabilities to grow. Cybercriminals begin to leverage machine learning to study code for vulnerabilities via fuzzing and automated sub-sequence exploitation, so they will be able to accelerate the process of discovering zero-day vulnerabilities, which will lead to an increase in zero-day attacks targeting different programs and platforms.

The spreading numbers and varieties of vulnerabilities and exploits, including the ability to quickly produce zero-day exploits and provide them as a service, will also impact the types and costs of services on the dark web.

"We will see faster attacks in zero-day; hackers might spend less time developing the AI to attack victims," Mr Wittaya said.

Moreover, there will be "poisoning" of machine learning. Hackers target the machine learning process and train those AI-based security devices or systems not to apply patches or update devices.

"Businesses need to integrate security components into a cohesive security that dynamically shares threat information for broader protection and visibility across the network segment from IoT to multi-clouds," Mr Wittaya said.

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