As Cambodia’s economy continues to grow at a fast pace and more financial institutions are expanding into the digital space, it is time for companies to tighten their IT security to prevent their data from being stolen by hackers.
Marith Khin, NTT Communications, deputy director for Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, warned that the DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack in early November where several major Internet service providers (ISPs) were victims and overall, the Internet speed in the Kingdom was also impacted could recur if steps are not taken to improve network and IT security in the Kingdom.
He said the DDOS attack was clearly a wakeup call for companies to face the reality of cyber threats in the country.
On November 6, a spokesman for the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Khov Makara, confirmed the ministry received information on the DDoS attack over the weekend and that the Information Security Department’s experts were working with the ISPs in Cambodia to resolve the problem, reported local media.
“(The) DDoS is an attack on data traffic, not espionage,” he was quoted as saying.
Marith shared: “The local market is growing and this is a warning, we need to protect our data from hackers and corporate companies need to improve their IT security.
“If these attacks continue, the data will be lost to hackers who will sell it to others. It can have economic and financial implications.”
It stands to reason that if cyber attacks continue, it could also stifle Cambodia’s digital transformation ambition which the Kingdom hopes to achieve by 2030 – to empower society with more digital tools.
Marith said while there is a growing awareness about cyber security among companies operating in Cambodia, the level of IT security needs to be enhanced, and companies should invest in this area.
Often banks and government offices become target for cyber criminals.
“Most corporate companies understand security threats and the necessary measures are put in place. Banks for instance, have annual audits and pen tests (penetration tests) two or three times a year but it has to be drilled deep down, with constant and consistent monitoring of security,” said Marith.
He said the IT sector has evolved significantly and the local industry needs to be ready to embrace new challenges, including developing human resources to support the IT business.
“Cambodia lacks ICT experts, we need to focus more on developing our human resources.
“Instead of spending more on capex (capital expenditure), companies should invest more in opex (operating expenditure),” he added.