Asia is twice as likely as other regions to experience cyber crime, according to some commentators. It’s not surprising. There are more corporate targets, more connected and compromised consumers, and more capable criminals in the region.
More corporate targets
Asian economies are growing rapidly and, for countries like Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia, this growth is forecast to continue. The sheer number of banks and financial service organisations, e-commerce operators and manufacturers holding valuable information has risen, and their connection to the worldwide economy has strengthened through the internet.
More individual targets and less caution on the web
Until recently, the number of internet users in Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Cambodia was a small fraction of the total population. Economic development and the proliferation of mobiles and tablets has seen those numbers boom. Everyday, hundreds of millions of people across the region connect to the internet.
Many of these new consumers are still learning about online security. The protection of passwords, safe use of public WiFi, the knowledge of phishing scams and safe web-browsing are all still relatively new concepts to the average consumer, and particularly to those new to the web. Many of these consumers have recently acquired credit cards, further heightening the potential for loss. Many are employees, downloading apps and browsing ads on the same hardware that they connect to their work.
Criminals look at the individuals and organisations in Asia and clearly see a bigger, easier prize.
Better capability of cyber criminals and continued enforcement challenges
Cyber criminals across the world have become increasingly competent at monetising malware and phishing for information that can be leveraged. Asia is no exception in this regard. Asia has always been a prominent location for criminals.
At the same time, many Asian nations face enforcement challenges. Its difficult to martial resources for enforcement, and corruption has always been a barrier to making the best use of the limited resources available. The lack of regional frameworks further complicates the resolution of an increasingly trans-national problem.
Why should Asian businesses take this seriously?
Your company undoubtedly holds valuable information and corporate documents, and uses passwords, applications and networks that are all vulnerable. With the rapid rise of mobile technology in the hands of your employees, business in the region faces a clear and present danger. Recent reports by Checkpoint show that 42% of surveyed organisations suffered mobile cyber security incidents requiring $250,000 USD to remediate.
Cyber-crime is serious and relevant to anyone operating in Asia. SMCS Risk works with Gold-Lock, bring leading cyber expertise into the South East Asian region.