US-based cybersecurity company CrowdStrike revealed nearly 80% of business leaders in Thailand view cybersecurity as the top priority in recovering after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conducted between May and June, the 2020 Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) State of Security Report surveyed over 2,000 respondents from Japan and Asia Pacfic, aiming to explore how COVID-19 has impacted their cybersecurity measures.
“The pandemic may have had the biggest impact on the way organisations operate since the introduction of office PCs, said Andrew Littleproud, the Vice President for APJ at CrowdStrike.
CrowdStrike uncovered an increase in electronic crime activity, with an increase of more than 330% since the start of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.
According to the report, 63% of business leaders in Thailand consider cyberattacks to be one of the top threats to their business operations over the next six months. The other two threats are compounding economic conditions (79%) and potential new waves of COVID-19 infections (65%).
However, despite the level of concern, many businesses in Thailand are not equipped for dealing with cyberattacks. The survey found that 30% of businesses have yet to upgrade their IT infrastructure to accommodate remote employees, leaving them exposed to cyberthreats as they work from home.
“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,” added Mr. Littleproud.
25% of respondents in Thailand also stated they have yet to be informed of COVID-19 malware-related attacks, and 14% have not received additional cybersecurity training.
The report continued that remote working will present more cybersecurity challenges in the next 18 months, the top challenges being new regulations surrounding remote work (68%), the costs of compliance (62%) legacy infrastructure (58%), managing a remote workforce (57%) and potential limited budget (56%).
“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. Organisations must therefore update their cybersecurity policies to factor in remote or hybrid working,” continued Mr. Littleproud.
To mitigate the cybersecurity challenges, 86% of local business leaders said they planned on additional security training in the future.
“In the new business normal, it will be vital to implement solutions that can be quickly deployed at scale to detect new threats, adhere to new regulations, and leverage the cloud so they can be easily managed remotely,” recommended Mr. Littleproud.
Elsewhere in Asia Pacific, CloudStrike also found that almost 9 out of 10 business leaders in the Philippines saw cybersecurity as a priority, with 76% of local business leaders seeing the need to raise cybersecurity software investment over the next six months.
“Keeping employees educated on cyberthreats brought about by remote or hybrid working situations and educating them on cyber hygiene are important for minimising exposure,” said Sherif El Nabawi, CrowdStrike’s Vice President of Engineering for Asia Pacific and Japan.
But, the worrying trend of a lack of preparedness continues, as the report found that 37% have not revamped security programs, 22% of local business leaders do not know what to do in the event of a data breach, and 40% have not received additional security training, making organisations vulnerable to new and more sophisticated cyberattacks.
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