Almost 3 in 4 or 72% of the respondents using e-payment platforms had a close encounter with cyberthreats, according to the recent report by cybersecurity solutions firm Kaspersky.
In its report “Mapping a secure path for the future of digital payments in APAC,” Kaspersky found 97% of respondents in Southeast Asia (SEA) were aware of at least one type of threat against e-payment platforms. Kaspersky attributes the high level of awareness to the rising cases of cyber attacks.
“The adoption of digital payment methods appears to be a double-edged sword, with convenience representing the good benefits and cybersecurity risks being the less desirable aspects of it,” said Sandra Lee, managing director for the Asia Pacific at Kaspersky. “On the contrary, we believe that categorizing digital payments in such binary ways is premature. As with any emerging technologies, there is no inherent good or bad characteristic to them; rather, how we use them to achieve beneficial outcomes is determined by how we interact with them.”
About 37% of the respondents said cybercriminals resorted to social engineering scams using texts and calls.
Social engineering scams are the top encountered threat for most SEA countries, including Indonesia (40%), Malaysia (45%), The Philippines (42%), Singapore (32%), and Vietnam (38%). The only exception is Thailand where its top encountered risk is fake websites (31%).
Other types of e-payment cyberthreats respondents encountered were through fake websites (27%), fake offers and deals (27%), and a quarter reported receiving phishing scams (25%).
Majority of respondents (52%) admitted that they lost money due to bank account and credit card fraud. In this group, 23% lost less than $100, 13% lost between $101 and $500, while 48% indicated that they did not lose any money from this threat.
Account hacked because of a data breach (47%), fake and fraudulent apps (45%), ransomware (45%), and fake offers and deals (43%) are also listed as the top 5 threats resulting in financial loss in SEA.
At the same time, the impact of a cyber threat when it comes to digital payments does not just impose a financial burden on consumers, but also affects them from a psychological perspective.
After encountering a cyber incident, more than 2 in 3 respondents from the region (67%) said that they became more vigilant. More than a quarter (32%) were also anxious about recovering their lost money.
“If we are to fully realize the benefits of digital payments, it is important that all stakeholders, including the government, digital payment providers, users, and even cybersecurity firms, work together to build stable, secure, and future-proof payments ecosystem,” Lee said.
To help digital payment users in SEA embrace technologies securely, Kaspersky experts suggest the following:
- Do not readily share private or confidential information online, especially when it comes to requests for your financial information and payment details.
- Use your own computer and internet connection when making payments online.
- Don’t share your passwords, PIN numbers, or one-time passwords (OTPs) with family or friends.
Adopting a holistic solution of security products and practical steps can minimize the risk of falling victim to threats and keep financial information safe. Utilize reliable security solutions for comprehensive protection from a wide range of threats, such as Kaspersky Internet Security, Kaspersky Fraud Prevention, and the use of Kaspersky Safe Money to help check the authenticity of websites of banks, payment systems, and online stores you visit, as well as establish a secure connection.