World Economy

ASEAN Firms Face $750b Risk From Cyber Attacks

ASEAN Firms Face $750b Risk From Cyber AttacksASEAN Firms Face $750b Risk From Cyber Attacks

Companies across the ASEAN bloc face a growing risk of cyber attacks, which can expose the region’s top-listed firms to a $750 billion erosion in current market capitalization, a new research commissioned by Cisco revealed Tuesday.

Conducted by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, the research underlines that ASEAN’s growing strategic relevance, driven by economic expansion and ongoing digital adoption, make it a prime target for cyber attacks, VNA reported.

A combination of nascent policy preparedness, absence of a unifying regional governance framework, shortage of skilled talent, underestimation of risk and lack of adequate investment are among the factors contributing to the heightened risk.

The research report, titled “Cyber-Security in ASEAN: An Urgent Call to Action”, emphasizes that cyber-security risk across the bloc will continue to escalate as the bloc gets more digitally interconnected.

ASEAN countries under-spend on cyber security. The region currently spends an average of 0.07% of its collective gross domestic product on cyber security annually. It will need to increase the spending to 0.35-0.61% of GDP between 2017 and 2025 to be in line with the best benchmark.

The research estimates that this translates to $171 billion in collective spending needed across ASEAN countries during the period. Limited sharing of threat intelligence, often because of mistrust and a lack of transparency, will lead to even more porous cyber-defense mechanisms.

Naveen Menon, ASEAN president at Cisco, said: “Digital innovation and adoption are central pillars of economic growth for ASEAN. Its success hinges in large part on the bloc’s ability to combat cyber threats. Cyber security needs to be an integral part of policy discussions at the semi-annual ASEAN Summit, with the aim of developing a unified policy framework for the region.

“The corporate sector also needs to start treating cyber security as a business wide issue that can only be tackled by adopting a risk-centric approach to building resilience, rather than just an IT problem.”

Luong Thi Le Thuy, general director of Cisco Vietnam, said: “Vietnam has fallen to rank 101 among 195 countries in the Global Security Index 2017 compiled by the UN International Telecommunication Union, down 25 places from 2016.”

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