Cybersecurity threats to cost US$1.75 trillion in Asia-Pacific: Microsoft

Staff Correspondent | Updated at 06:05pm on June 28, 2018

A Frost & Sullivan study commissioned by Microsoft revealed that the potential economic loss across Asia Pacific due to cybersecurity incidents can hit a staggering US$1.745 trillion. This is more than seven percent of the region’s total GDP of US$24.3 trillion.

The study, titled ‘Understanding the Cybersecurity Threat Landscape in Asia Pacific: Securing the Modern Enterprise in a Digital World’, aims to provide business and IT decision makers with insights on the economic cost of cybersecurity breaches in the region and identify the gaps in organizations’ cybersecurity strategies. The study involved a survey of 1,300 business and IT decision makers ranging from mid-sized organisations to large-sized organisations, said a press release. 

The study reveals that more than half of the organizations surveyed have either experienced a cybersecurity incident (25pc) or are not sure if they had one as they have not performed proper forensics or data breach assessment (27pc).

‘As companies embrace the opportunities presented by cloud and mobile computing to connect with customers and optimize operations, they take on new risks,’ said Eric Lam, director, Enterprise Cybersecurity Group, Microsoft Asia. ‘With traditional IT boundaries disappearing the adversaries now have many new targets to attack. Companies face the risk of significant financial loss, damage to customer satisfaction and market reputation—as has been made all too clear by recent high-profile breaches.’

‘Although the direct losses from cybersecurity breaches are most visible, they are but just the tip of the iceberg,’ said Edison Yu, vice president and Asia Pacific Head of Enterprise for Frost & Sullivan. ‘There are many other hidden losses that we have to consider from both the indirect and induced perspectives, and the economic loss for organizations suffering from cybersecurity attacks can be often underestimated.’

In addition to financial losses, cybersecurity incidents are also undermining Asia Pacific organizations’ ability to capture future opportunities in today’s digital economy, with one in six (59pc) respondents stating that their enterprise has put off digital transformation efforts due to the fear of cyber-risks.

‘The ever-changing threat environment is challenging, but there are ways to be more effective using the right blend of modern technology, strategy, and expertise,’ added Eric. ‘Microsoft is empowering businesses in Asia Pacific to take advantage of digital transformation by enabling them to embrace the technology that’s available to them, securely through its secure platform of products and services, combined with unique intelligence and broad industry partnerships.’

The study found artificial intelligence is but one of the many aspects that organisations need to incorporate or adhere to in order to maintain a robust cybersecurity posture. For a cybersecurity practice to be successful, organiszations need to consider people, process and technology, and how each of these contributes to the overall security posture of the organisation.