Asia-Pacific is one of the leading regional hotspots for cybercrime. It’s been estimated that business revenues lost to cyberattacks was more than $81 billion in 2015, $20 billion more than the total cost of attacks in North America.
The entire region is characterized by top-down initiatives with individual countries thrusting towards the forefront of commerce and economic growth. For example e-commerce sales are growing at an estimated 18% a year in Thailand. Yet a broad lack of awareness and education about the threat of cybercrime is leaving businesses vulnerable to attack. Nearly 90% of Asia-Pacific companies reported some form of cyberattack in 2016.
Payment data specifically, is highly sought after by cybercriminals, yet in Thailand, online payments are the single least trusted payment method in the country altogether. Securing this payment data is critical to the future of e-commerce in the region, and to avoid the knock-on effect of company closures due to financial loss and reputational damage.
The good news is that standards designed to make payments safer exist, they are global and they work. Yet, awareness of these standards, along with the training and expertise to implement and maintain them remain low across the Asia-Pacific region. This is made worse by the high use of unregistered and unsecured technology and processes.
The result is that companies in the region are more susceptible to attacks, and lag behind other parts of the world when it comes to hacker detection and breach response time. Given that we are increasingly under attack from global criminal organizations that focus on where pickings are easiest, it is essential that companies take action immediately.
Asia-Pacific countries continue at pace, driving forward trends in global commerce. In order to optimize economic success, however, the region needs to see much greater investment in cybersecurity process planning and high quality cybersecurity awareness training and education to make doing business safer for all their customers. Effective cybersecurity can only be achieved with properly trained people, the right processes and the correct use of technology.
The PCI Security Standards Council is hosting its annual Asia Pacific Community Meeting in Bangkok at the Intercontinental Hotel on 17-18 May 2017. This event is open to all organizations that accept, process or transmit card based payments. Register to attend the meeting and use it as the springboard for making a difference for your company.
Jeremy King is International Director of PCI Security Standards Council.