Fortinet competing to provide cybersecurity for Thai banks

With Thailand making serious strides towards creating a digital economy United States-based cybersecurity firm Fortinet is striving to capture a bigger bite of the Thai cybersecurity market, particularly among the Kingdom’s banks and telecoms companies, as recent security breaches have Thai firms seeking additional defenses for their cyber operations.

“Cyber attacks have become the number one threat to many Thai businesses because their systems are accessible and vulnerable,’’ said Prathan Phongthiproek, Cyber Security Manager at KPMG in Thailand. “In the past two or three years we’ve seen an increasing number of cyber attacks, including those using ransom-ware, and so the issue is gaining in importance.”

Thailand is the fifth-largest market for cybersecurity in Southeast Asia, according to Global research firm Frost & Sullivan, but Thai spending on cybersecurity has lagged behind many other countries in the region. Fortinet executives believe that makes Thailand a potentially high-growth marketplace for cybersecurity solutions. Thai firms spent an estimated $68 million on cybersecurity in 2017, the company said.

Chanvith Iddhivadhana, Fortinet’s Thailand country manager, said that many Thai firms have created what he calls a “Frankenstructure” of cybersecurity, a play on the term Frankenstein’s monster. As companies expand their cyber-defenses to different departments with different functions and needs, they source different security products from different firms. This patchwork is often difficult to manage and not always effective, he said.

He believes Fortinet can excel in the Thai market by offering customized and comprehensive cybersecurity solutions to replace those patchworks. He refers to these solutions as a ‘fabric’ woven from different security products into a tightly knit platform.

The fabric can include between 30 and 100 of the leading cybersecurity products favored by corporate customers in Thailand and around the world. Among them are products from IBM Security, McAfee, Micro Focus and NEC Corporation.

“With the cybercrime landscape becoming increasingly complex, collaboration between cybersecurity leaders is more important than ever,” Rich Telljohann, IBM Security’s director of business and corporate development, told the Bangkok Post.

“The creation of open API ecosystems like Fortinet’s Fabric-Ready Partner program makes it easier for cybersecurity teams to create a more seamless line of cybersecurity defense,” he added.

Before 2015, large cybersecurity providers like Fortinet and Cisco were losing market share to small niche players. But that has changed during the past three years. More firms have been searching for comprehensive solutions, and the five largest security vendors should increase their share to 40 percent of the market, translating to an average growth rate of 20-30 percent, according to Morgan Stanley.