Fortinet forecasts sharp rise in Thai spending on cybersecurity

Thailand’s spending on cybersecurity will rise by as much as 30 percent in 2019, United States-based security firm Fortinet forecast last week, driven by the growth of digital business and increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks, as U.S.-based Supernap International predicted strong growth for the data center and storage business in the Kingdom.

“Cybersecurity spending in Thailand will continue to soar because there are new business opportunities where customers require security,” said Witthaya Junghatthakarnsathit, senior channel manager and network security architect at Fortinet Thailand.

In 2017, spending on cybersecurity hardware and software in the Kingdom was an estimated $61 million. Witthaya said his company expects 20 percent growth in sales this year and even higher growth next year. Banks, energy companies and public utilities are all devoting more resources to beefing up their cyber-defenses and seeking more advanced security capabilities.

Also, more companies are offering or using cloud-based services, and those companies are in the market for cloud-based security solutions, he said. He added that cyber-criminals are continually devising new ways to try and undermine security.

“In 2019, we will see significant advancement in cybercriminal tools and services that leverage automation and the precursors to AI (artificial intelligence),” Witthaya said. “We will see faster attacks.”

Cybercriminals have already begun using machine learning and AI to create programs that analyze security codes and systems and find vulnerabilities where they can be penetrated, he said. They are becoming faster and more dangerous every day.

System security aside, Thailand’s digital expansion is also producing rapid growth in demand for data storage facilities, according to Sunita Bottse, managing director of Supernap Thailand, a subsidiary of Supernap International of the United States.

Sunita said that data production in the Kingdom has been forecast to multiply by four times over the next three years. Passion for social media among Thai netizens coupled with the growth of e-commerce, social commerce, and mobile commerce platforms have resulted in a massive increase in personal and other data in cyberspace. That data needs secure storage facilities to meet regulatory, privacy and other legal requirements.

Supernap Thailand’s data center at Hemaraj Industrial Estate 2 in Chon Buri province is one of the most secure facilities in the region, and the company is planning on investing another $300 million to expand its data center operations in Thailand.