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Southeast Asian SMEs being the top target of cyber attacks

20/03/2019
Southeast Asian SMEs being the top target of cyber attacks

The lack of network security makes small and medium enterprises (SME) become the primary victims of cyber attacks. In particular, with the rapid growth of the internet, cyber attacks are more than a concern for Southeast Asian SMEs.

According to the statistics, in the last 3 years, Southeast Asia online economic sector has about 350 million users and worth up to 72 billion USD, this is evaluated as higher than the total GDP of 100 countries.

However, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) don’t often attach special importance to information technology and usually prepare a low budget for this compared to other multinational corporations. Ernst&Young predicts that SMEs may account for 95% of all businesses in Southeast Asia.

"It is unlikely that someone will ever attack small business like us, if any, there will be any big losses” – Said a representative of a small iron and steel business in Ho Chi Minh City. In addition, many businesses are self-assured that if being attacked, they definitely can aware of this. Therefore, none of the investment needing to make. This thought of the SMEs makes such a great opportunity for cybercriminals to infiltrate into computer via security loopholes, as well as set a path for large-scale attacks.


Mandiant (a security company in the USA) reported that in 2016, more than 80% of hackers aimed to attack Asian organizations due to insufficient security barriers. Until 2018, Sonic Wall, a network security company, stated that the number of malware attacks increased 4 times in Asia only.

The highlight was the data leakage of Cathay Pacific Airlines in November 2018, with 9.4 million passengers personal information was leaked and more than 400 expired credit cards were exposed. At the same time, Marriott's global hotel chain had more than 500 of its customers’ information been stolen through a network vulnerability that wasn't detected within four years.

Even the leading financial and economic centers of Asia, Singapore, and Hong Kong make great efforts to prevent cyber attacks. Only between January and September 2018, Hong Kong lost nearly 280 million USD and experienced more than 9,000 cyber attacks. Singapore alone, with approximately 5,500 cyber security incidents, led to a total loss of $ 95 million in 2017.

Cyber attacks have made a disastrous impact on businesses, causing the SMEs to lose international prestige and resources after each attack. Currently, several solutions are being analyzed, including deploying artificial intelligence applications and cloud computing, helps to limit the invasion caused by hackers. Therefore, small and medium enterprises, especially SMEs in Southeast Asia need to focus on information security strategies to minimize unnecessary loss when a cyber security problem is happening at a more rapid rate.

Source: ICTnews.

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