KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – March 26, 2020 – Malaysia’s thriving digital economy and the recent surge in workforce mobility across the region are exposing businesses to an increasingly ‘perfect storm’ for cyber-attacks, according to the Deloitte Cyber Smart: Enabling APAC businesses report, commissioned by VMware, a leading innovator in enterprise software. Analyzing cyber exposure, preparedness and economic opportunity across 12 economies in Asia Pacific (APAC), the report found that there is opportunity to grow GDP by US$145 billion for the entire region over the next 10 years if enterprises adopt an intrinsic security approach that ensures business continuity while driving greater adoption of new technologies .
According to other reports, cybersecurity expenditure in Southeast Asia was estimated at US$1.9 billion in 2017 and is projected to grow to US$5.5 billion by 2025. Yet, cyber-attacks remain a key threat to organizations in the region. Further, almost half of the businesses in APAC experienced security attacks in the past 12 months . A study noted that 63 percent of organizations suffered from business disruption due to a security breach .
Companies are paying the price too, with the report  indicating effects of cyberattacks are becoming more expensive – large organizations with more than 500 employees in APAC may stand to lose as much as US$30 million in the event of a cyber breach; for mid-sized organizations with 250 – 500 employees, the cost is at least US$96,000.
“As the digital economy continues to grow in each country, so too does the exposure to cyberattacks. Being appropriately prepared can mitigate the risks to organizations and minimize the potential costs of an attack. Based on what we have seen in the region, businesses with an established cyber security strategy in place have confidence to invest in new technologies which can lead to higher levels of capital investment and productivity growth,” said Duncan Hewett, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Asia Pacific and Japan at VMware.
“The challenge for policy makers is to build a comprehensive legislative framework and environment that protects businesses from cybersecurity risks whilst allowing them to innovate and maximize the potential of digital technologies. We see interest from government, business owners, and vertical experts in building a cyber smart Asia Pacific that we estimate can unlock as much as 0.7 percent or US$145 billion additional GDP growth for the region over the next ten years ,” said John O’Mahony, Partner and lead author of the research from Deloitte Access Economics in Australia.
VMware-Deloitte Cyber Smart Index 2020 
The VMware-Deloitte Cyber Smart Index 2020 examines the level of cyber risk exposure faced by countries in the region, and the degree of cyber preparedness. Focusing on the inherent exposure to cyberattacks, the Index looks at the size of attack surface, the frequency of attack and value that is at risk.
Within the preparedness measure, the Index looks beyond legal and policy environment to examine what businesses can do to be better prepared for the growing cyber risks. Key findings include:
The role of governments
Cyber security executives currently spend 7 percent of their time on regulatory and compliance, and twice the amount of time on cyber monitoring and operations . A safer and low risk cyber environment can help to redirect their attention to more critical cyber domains. Governments across the region have a range of tools to help organizations better prepare for cyber threats and get their digitalization projects back on track:
Intrinsic security, a must-have for a progressive society
A secure digital economy is a joint responsibility between private and public sectors. For enterprises, this means that the traditional approach of bolted on security is no longer enough, especially when applications are now deployed across multiple clouds and accessed from many different devices across various locations.
“The unprecedented demand for a mobile workforce set against the backdrop of Malaysia’s fastgrowing digital economy marks a key turning point for organizations in the region. In this new paradigm, organizations must make security intrinsic to the enterprise to enable business continuity and success,” said Devan Parinpanayagam, Country Manager, VMware Malaysia. “To this end, VMware is delivering intrinsic security that covers all the critical control points of the modern enterprise, making security more automated, proactive and pervasive. This helps safeguard organizations from threats and disruptions, giving them the confidence to drive their business forward into the digital future.”
By making security intrinsic, organizations will be able to shrink the attack surface, instead of chasing threats, gaining an advantage over potential attackers. This is also in line with VMware’s intrinsic security vision which harnesses VMware technology that resides in the infrastructure stack to deliver security across any app, on any cloud and through any device. With intrinsic security, VMware can reduce the risk to critical applications, sensitive data, and users by shrinking the attack surface across clouds, data centers, end users, and the enterprise edge, allowing organizations to put in place more effective cyber security strategies to support their growth in the region’s fast-expanding digital economy.
For more information about the report, click here or visit: Link
About VMware-Deloitte’s Cyber Smart: Enabling APAC businesses report
Deloitte’s Cyber Exposure and Preparedness Indexes have been created by Deloitte Access Economics. In the exposure index, there are two pillars and six sub-pillars, consisting of 20 unique measures. In the preparedness index there are two pillars and seven sub-pillars, consisting of 23 unique measures. To create this index, Deloitte has drawn on the subjective judgement and experience of cyber experts at the company. Countries assessed include Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. Please refer to the Technical Appendix within the report for further information.
VMware software powers the world’s complex digital infrastructure. The company’s cloud, networking and security, and digital workspace offerings provide a dynamic and efficient digital foundation to customers globally, aided by an extensive ecosystem of partners. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is committed to being a force for good, from its breakthrough innovations to its global impact. For more information, please visit https://www.vmware.com/company.html.
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