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Kaspersky: 72% of SEA Users Encountered Digital Payment Threat

Cyber-threats have always been a big concern for governments and businesses. Even with various countermeasures in place, as much as 72% from a research group that Kaspersky engaged for its “Mapping a Secure Path for the Future of Digital Payments in APAC” study have faced – at least – one type of digital security issue.

Credit: Kaspersky

That, among other critical discoveries from the October 2021 research report, is the one fact that stood out the most even if it is only the second-highest in terms of data-tracking. The highest recorded data-set is how almost respondents in the research effort – some 97% – are already aware of at least one threat-type.


For Kaspersky, this higher level of awareness could be due to the widespread engagement consumers now have with various e-commerce platforms and digital services providers. Another reason that the Russian information security provider offered is the ongoing efforts from both public and private sectors to improve the overall awareness of cyber-security threats.

Credit: Kaspersky

As for Top 5 issues that Kaspersky uncovered from its comprehensive Southeast Asian study:

  • Data breach (47%)

  • Fake and fraudulent apps (45%)

  • Ransomware (46%)

  • Fake offers and deals (43%)

  • Scams – social engineering (37%) and phishing (25%)

In terms of impacted countries across Southeast Asia – Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines – have experienced the most social engineering scams. These three – 40%, 45% and 42% respectively – reinforce the notion that such scams and related activities are very popular go-to tactics for bad actors.


As for measuring the financial impact from these malicious incidents, based on Kaspersky’s new report, financial losses had been estimated within the US$100 to US$5,000 range. While the value may seem low, there have been a few critical targets. This includes various public utility platforms and digital infrastructure for key government services.

"The adoption of digital payment methods appears to be a double-edged sword, with convenience representing the good benefits and cyber-security risks being the less desirable aspects," said Sandra Lee, Managing Director, Kaspersky Asia Pacific.

Lee: "The adoption of digital payments is a double-edged sword." - Credit: Kaspersky

Notably, more than two in three respondents for the Kaspersky study have confirmed that they are now more vigilant when it comes to cyber-security. They are also more pro-active in avoiding and mitigating any potential threats. This is especially true for those who blame themselves for enabling the threats.


Being more exposed to these digital issues can be directly correlated to a higher level of awareness. While various scams and fake deals are among the most encountered threats, there is a high level of awareness of such malicious acts among those surveyed. These rates – now at 72%, 75%, and 64%, respectively – are expected to grow in the next 6 to 12 months.


“As with any emerging technologies, there is no inherent good or bad characteristic to them; rather, how we use them to achieve beneficial outcomes is determined by how we interact with them. If we are to fully realise the benefits of digital payments, it is important that all stakeholders, including the government, digital payment providers, users, and even cybersecurity firms, work together to build a stable, secure, and future-proof payments ecosystem," added Lee.


With how technologies are being seen as the enabler for both good and bad, it is best to remind potential targets – be it the general public or businesses or governments – that there are best practices to follow to provide some level of mitigation and prevention. Beyond patching operating systems and keeping antivirus solutions updated, it is also good to avoid opening emails and messages from unknown sources.

This mantra is the bread-and-butter for Kaspersky and other data security vendors. However, at press time, the United States of America’s Federal Communications Commission had placed Kaspersky on its National Security Threat List. Kaspersky, in response, noted that this is a political move.

 
  • New report shows 3 in 4 respondents have personally dealt with cyber-threat

  • Other active threats that the report covered include scams, spoofing sites and e-commerce phishing

  • Social engineering scam is one of the top threats for many SEA countries

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