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Thailand’s Cyber Resilience Initiatives

Image credits: mdes.go.th

Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, Minister of Digital Economy and Society, has highlighted the alarming issue of cybercrimes that have recently afflicted society. He acknowledged the severity of the situation, where people have been left devastated due to the scorching impact of online scams perpetrated by call centre gangs.

The rise of online thieves and the activities of call centre gangs have created an unprecedented challenge for law enforcement and security agencies. Over six months, from March 2022 to August 2023, 320,000 cases of cybercrimes have been reported. This figure averages about 600 instances daily, depicting the relentless assault on individuals and organisations.

The financial toll inflicted by these cyber criminals amounts to 43,700 million baht. This translates to an average daily loss of 80 million baht, underscoring the economic consequences of these activities.

It is abundantly clear that conventional approaches to preventing and suppressing cybercrimes are proving insufficient in the face of this growing menace. The traditional methods employed by law enforcement agencies need help to cope with these digital threats. Therefore, it has become imperative to reassess and revamp the existing strategies.

There is a compelling need for a comprehensive policy overhaul in response to this pressing issue. Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong recognises that tackling this multifaceted problem demands a more holistic and innovative approach.

  1. Establish the Anti Online Scam Operation Centre (AOC) as a Stop Service to monitor, prevent, and suppress online theft. They are utilising technology, including an Intelligent Assistant (IA) and a data-driven platform, to collect, analyse, and predict suspicious activities, such as financial transactions and phone usage, with AI technology and data scientists. Collaborate with banks and telecom providers to enhance efficiency and provide quick assistance to citizens.
  2. Create a war room under AOC to swiftly address issues like frozen financial accounts, aiming to resolve them within 1 hour of victim notification. Collaborate with relevant agencies, set KPIs, and establish timelines for bank operations.
  3. Form specialised teams (Special Taskforce) to promptly address financial fraud, online gambling, and other related issues.
  4. Enhance cooperation with major online platforms, urging them to take social responsibility by preventing fraudulent advertisements. Collaborate with mobile companies to identify and block suspicious numbers.
  5. Implement proactive public relations efforts to reach a wider audience and cooperate closely with law enforcement agencies, both domestically and internationally, to apprehend cybercriminal leaders and recover victims’ assets. Advocate for legal amendments to keep pace with evolving technology and online threats.

It involves enhancing cybersecurity measures and raising public awareness and cooperation to create a united front against cyber criminals. Through these concerted efforts, the government aims to stem the tide of cybercrimes and restore a sense of security and trust in the digital realm.

“I believe that swift action is key to problem-solving. Notifications should be resolved within one hour, and the use of Intelligent Assistant technology aids operators with accurate information. The focus is on eradicating online criminal syndicates, particularly in activities like horse racing accounts and horse sims, while leveraging data and comprehensive analysis. This integrated and strategic approach will significantly decrease online crime issues, with the goal of nearly eliminating financial fraud,” concluded Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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