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Friday, 8 July 2016 | MYT 10:00 AM

Thai companies beef up security as malware threats evolve

Increased cyberspending: A man working inside a network room at a company in Bangkok, Thailand. Companies in Thailand experience about 10 malware incidents a month, with medium-sized enterprises heavily targeted. — Reuters

Increased cyberspending: A man working inside a network room at a company in Bangkok, Thailand. Companies in Thailand experience about 10 malware incidents a month, with medium-sized enterprises heavily targeted. — Reuters

Spending on computer security in Thailand is expected to resume double-digit growth this year, fuelled by the growing sophistication of malware threats and development of the digital economy and the national e-payment system, says a security software firm. 

"We saw companies bulking up their cybersecurity spending in the past six months in Thailand, especially the banking sector," said Piyatida Tantrakul, country manager of Trend Micro (Thailand), the local operating unit of the Tokyo-based security software company. 

The boom in financial technology, together with the planned introduction of the national e-payment system, has raised awareness about data protection strategies and solutions, she said. 

The surge follows high-single-digit growth in 2015. No raw figures are available on computer security spending. 

Khongsak Kortrakul, senior manager for technical service at Trend Micro (Thailand), said the growth of malware threats is boosting demand for automated data protection software. 

Some new malware appears to have been custom-built to use the global network known as Swift (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication). 

Kortrakul said hackers are now shifting to a new type of attack on web applications at the application level, rather than servers or operating systems, as such an approach requires less firepower than a network attack. 

Most web applications contain security vulnerabilities that enable attackers to exploit them. 

A new and growing threat is crypto-ransomware, a type of malware that encrypts and locks the victim's files until a ransom is paid. 

Companies in Thailand experience about 10 malware incidents a month, with medium-sized enterprises heavily targeted. 

Kortrakul said automated security protection software is essential for companies to proactively protect their computers from the latest and yet-unknown threats. 

Trend Micro (Thailand) is focusing on medium-sized and large companies with 200-2,000 employees. 

Tantrakul said the company is seeing strong demand for software used to protect data and web applications in the hybrid cloud environment, boosted by soaring adoption of cloud computing across industrial sectors and the growing trend dubbed "bring your own device" (BYOD). 

A hybrid cloud is an integrated cloud service that uses both private and public cloud platforms to perform distinct functions within the same organisation. 

BYOD is an IT policy whereby employees are allowed to use their personal mobile devices to access enterprise data and systems. 

The idea is for organisations to be flexible enough to control connections to an ever-growing variety of devices. 

Trend Micro's target users are in financial services, insurance, education, government agencies and manufacturing. — Bangkok Post/Tribune News Service

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