New Survey Shows Increased Online Payment Risks in Asia

A rise in digital payments has dramatically increased bank security risks in Asia, with new research from Kaspersky revealing a 53% increase in digital payment scam cases in Singapore alone in 2021.

The company’s “Mapping a secure path for the future of digital payment in APAC” study found that almost all SEA respondents (97%) were aware of at least one type of threat against payment platforms. electronic payment, while almost three in four (72%) had personally encountered at least one type of threat associated with this technology.

Social engineering scams accounted for more than a quarter of respondents’ reports, with threat actors using entry points via texts or calls (37%), fake websites (27%), fake offers and offers (27%). A quarter said they had explicitly received phishing scams (25%).

Looking at specific regions, Malaysia was the top target for these digital payment threats with 45% of respondents reporting a social engineering scam. The Philippines (42%), Singapore (32%) and Vietnam (38%) follow closely behind. The top risk encountered in Thailand was fake websites (31%), with a slightly lower percentage than the rest.

In terms of financial losses, the amount appears to be mostly capped from less than $100 to $5,000, with a very small proportion of respondents reporting a loss of more than $5,000. The majority of respondents (52%) admitted that the main way they lost money was through bank account and credit card fraud.

Although the threats are still prevalent, there is also a significant increase in knowledge and awareness of digital payment threats in the region. The report found that the spike in awareness may have been caused by increased media coverage of cybersecurity incidents, as well as the combined efforts of governments and private sectors to boost security awareness amid the surge. mobile banking and adoption of e-wallets in the region.

Attitudes are also changing. After being confronted with a cyber incident, more than two in three respondents in the region (67%) said they had become more vigilant, and more than a quarter (32%) were also concerned about recovering their lost money.

“Adopting digital payment methods seems like a double-edged sword, with convenience representing the good benefits and cybersecurity risks being the least desirable aspects,” says Sandra Lee, MD of Kaspersky for APAC.

“On the contrary, we believe it is premature to categorize digital payments in such a binary way. As with all emerging technologies, there are no inherent good or bad characteristics about them; rather, the way how we use them to achieve beneficial results is determined by how we interact with them.”

Lee also says it will take a group effort to continue to secure the digital payment market in the region, with the government and private sectors continuing to collaborate.

“If we are to realize the full benefits of digital payments, it is important that all stakeholders, including government, digital payment providers, users and even cybersecurity companies, work together to build a payments ecosystem. stable, secure and future-proof,” she says.

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Elaine R. Knight