International insurer Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty SE (AGCS) said that Thailand is the world’s second most at-risk country when it comes to cybercrime. Nearly 20% of cybercrime victims reported losses of US$100,000 and above in 2015.
A further 4% of victims have lost anywhere from US$1m to US$100m, according to Paul Davis, regional chief financial officer Asia for AGCS.
"The local cybercrime rate has risen sharply over the past two years, resulting in a jump from fourth to second place [globally]," he added.
Thailand is among the top 25 targets of malware attacks, with Bangkok a favourite target of hackers in the region. Around 39% of SET-listed Thai firms were victims of fraud in 2015.
According to AGCS data, cybercrime costs the global economy nearly US$445bn annually, with the world’s top ten economies counting for almost half of that amount. China has the highest amount of cybercrime losses in Asia with US$60bn, with India a far-behind second at US$4bn.
Davis stressed that businesses must be ready for a new array of risks which are fast-evolving. These risks are much more than the usual data breaches, privacy issues, business interruption and reputational damage. These new threats include intellectual property theft, cyber extortion, and the chain effects of business interruptions.
Companies must fortify their IT security and inform their employees of cyber security risks, as some security breaches are due to unwitting actions of employees
"We see hackers use phishing to lure internal employees to make loopholes allowing for attacks or data theft,” Davis said.
Davis added that cyber insurance is a good second line of defence against threats, but it is not a replacement for good cyber security measures.
Service-related firms such as telecommunications, banking, and large organisations were among the first to avail of and benefit from cyber insurance.
AGCS sees global cyber insurance premiums growing from US$2bn per annum today to over US$20bn by the next decade