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Investment in IT and cybersecurity soars in Thailand

While the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in Thailand enacting tight budgets, investment in IT and cybersecurity systems continues to grow.

This growth is driven by accelerated digital transformations and changes in cyber-attack patterns, according to a global cybersecurity service provider.

The firm’s Country Director for Thailand and Indochina stated that Thailand’s IT and cybersecurity spending is expected to continue to grow, even though businesses face limited budgets as they pivot towards digital transformation.

Firms’ priorities are technology to support employees working in flexible locations, the application of cloud services for scalability and the reduction of upfront investment, as well as cost savings.

Businesses could save costs by optimising existing systems and equipment to reduce maintenance costs.

The Country Director said the need for cloud security is underscored by the rise of cloud applications.

The government, for example, developed a contract-tracing app, Thai Chana, on the cloud for scalability.

The adoption of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), a security framework for enabling secure and fast cloud use, is gathering pace to support remote work.

The first half of 2020 saw that cybersecurity spending predominantly concerned elements stipulated under the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), including e-signatures.

The PDPA was scheduled to take full effect in May 2020 after a one-year grace period. However, the government agreed to postpone the enforcement of most chapters of the legislation by another year to give the public and private sectors more time to get prepared as they cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cloud services in Thailand are forecast to grow by 29% from 2018 to 2025, with the market value projected to reach 31.5 billion baht by 2025, based on the Digital Economy Promotion Agency’s forecast.

Cloud-native security (70%) was reported as the most commonly adopted cybersecurity solution in Thailand. Familiar tools such as anti-malware and antivirus software (61%) are still popular in the country, but software-defined wide area networks (60%) and SaaS application security (42%) have likewise become widely adopted.

As Thailand becomes the first-mover for 5G in ASEAN, 28% of the surveyed companies in Thailand have already ventured into 5G security for the Internet of Things (IoT).

75% of the surveyed companies in Thailand increased their cybersecurity budget from 2019 to 2020.

The survey is part of the firm’s recently released “State of Cybersecurity in ASEAN” report, which surveyed 400 respondents in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines, 100 from each, during 6 to 10 February 2020.

Some 40% of the surveyed companies in Thailand reported allocating over half of their IT budget to cybersecurity.

This mainly stemmed from the sophistication of threats (75%), the need to upgrade existing frameworks to incorporate automation (69%) and the ability to deal with the growing volume of attacks (68%).

The firm is providing cybersecurity services for business customers with deferred payment to the year’s end, as firms are facing difficult times, as well as offering a leasing programme.

The Southeast Asia manager for Thailand and Indochina at the firm stated that ransomware is likely to continue as a threat, and social engineering is still a matter of concern as attackers aim to steal user accounts or credentials.

Cyber-attacks will also shift to IoT devices in line with the 5G roll-out.

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