92% of ASEAN Organisations View Cybersecurity as One of the Top Priorities for Business Leaders

At a recent media event, Palo Alto highlighted that the majority of ASEAN organisations (92%) say cybersecurity is one of the top priorities for business executives, based on their latest research.
The report, titled "The State of Cybersecurity in ASEAN," polled 500 corporate representatives from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand on their responses to cybersecurity challenges in 2021 and their outlook for the future.
Cyber Attacks Disrupting ASEAN Organisations
In the face of the pandemic, cybersecurity has climbed to the top of many ASEAN businesses' leadership agendas, with the clear majority (94%) reporting an increase in the frequency of attacks in 2021.
“For Malaysian organisations, in particular, 20% of them are experiencing an up to 50% increase in disruptive cyber attacks in their environment,” said Suk Hua Lim, Country Manager of Palo Alto Networks for Malaysia.


Amongst all industries surveyed, financial services (45%) and fintech (42%) are the industries most concerned about cyber attacks. Of note, malware attacks were identified as a major source of concern.
Remote Working Brings a Whole new set of Cybersecurity Challenges
With the need for remote access by employees working from anywhere becoming a norm, many firms' infrastructure hasn't been designed to cope.
“The shift towards remote working brings new cybersecurity challenges,” said Suk Hua. “[In Malaysia, the most pertinent] is the increase in digital transactions with suppliers and other third parties (58%), the need to procure a wide array of cybersecurity solutions (55%), and unmonitored and unsecured IoT devices connected to corporate networks (58%).”
Cybersecurity Becomes a Top Business Priority
As a result of the rise in cyber attacks and their challenges, 92% of respondents say that cybersecurity should be a top priority for their business leaders today. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (74%) say their leadership has put a greater emphasis on cybersecurity.
With that in mind, leaders are also taking concrete steps to improve their organisation's cybersecurity skills, with 96% of companies claiming to have a specialised in-house IT team in charge of managing cyber threats. Over two-thirds (69%) of respondents said they aim to increase their cybersecurity budgets in 2022, citing the need to deploy next-generation security capabilities (48%); the need to close existing cybersecurity gaps (46%); as well as the need to optimise operations (44%).
It's also worth mentioning that despite being the industries most concerned about cyber attacks, financial services and fintech have the highest levels of confidence in the cybersecurity measures put in place to safeguard them.


This optimism may originate from the fact that business leaders in financial services (79%) and fintech (76%) place a higher priority on cybersecurity than the overall average of 74%. Organisations in financial services (81%) and fintech (75%) have also boosted their cybersecurity spending the most, compared to the average of 68%.
What’s Next for ASEAN Organisations in the Post-COVID World?
As COVID-19 shifts more work and leisure activities to online platforms, ASEAN organisations believe that the most important cybersecurity trend to watch in 2022 will be cyber attacks that compromise our personal safety. This comes as Malaysian companies ramp up their remote workforce (68%), followed by increased investment in mobile apps (58%), cloud adoption (52%), and 5G adoption (39%).
Due to the pandemic's disruption, digital technology has become more integrated into the workplace. As a result, 9 out of 10 (90%) ASEAN businesses are updating their cybersecurity plans to mitigate more cyber attacks.
“In Malaysia, the top two focuses [that organisations should implement are the] adoption of revamping threat detection and correlation systems (50%) and cloud security (49%), followed by securing IoT /OT (44%), identity and access management (43%) and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) strategy (39%),” said Suk Hua.
She also believes that the two focuses are complementary to Malaysia's MyDIGITAL, a national project that represents the government's objectives to convert Malaysia into a digitally-driven, high-income nation and a regional leader in the digital economy.
“In order to effectively partake in Malaysia’s journey of digital transformation, it is imperative for organisations to design and implement an effective and full-proof cybersecurity strategy. It is inspiring to see that Malaysian organisations have confidence in their cybersecurity measures and that they are highly aware of taking the right decisions in protecting the nation from cyber disruptions,” Suk Hua concluded.

You might also like
Most comment
share us your thought

0 Comment Log in or register to post comments