Security: Why does Southeast Asia lag behind?

A look at how Southeast Asia is lagging behind in Asia’s cybersecurity posture

Cybersecurity investment in Asia, and specifically in Southeast Asia, is dangerously lagging behind. That’s according to a report published in January by consulting firm AT Kearney. The study delved into the state of cybersecurity policy and money trails throughout the region and found a patchwork of rules and initiatives that could be putting enterprises in Southeast Asia at risk.

Specifically, the report calls on nations in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) intergovernmental group to boost its cybersecurity spending – to around $170 billion in total – as the world’s digital economy shows no signs of slowing down and ASEAN businesses are in danger of losing $750 billion in market capitalization as a result. ASEAN is made up of ten members: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia.


Why is ASEAN at risk?

“You have quite a wide variation in terms of where these countries are in their digital journey so that’s why the numbers you see in terms of under investment [are so different],” says Gareth Pereira, a principal at AT Kearney.

Singapore’s systematic approach to technology is impressive but not easily replicable elsewhere. What can other cities learn from Singapore’s extensive tech initiatives?

“There’s a wide disparity and that’s partly the reason why you see this region lagging behind.”

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