Hong Kong is increasingly becoming a prime target for cyber threats as financial losses related to cyber crime has risen 680% over the five-year period from 2012-2016, according to statistics from the Hong Kong Police Force.
In addition, PwC said its cyber investigations in the market have increased fivefold between 2016 and 2017.
The number of fraudulent banking websites reported in Hong Kong has surged this year, with over two million Hongkongers thought to have been affected by cybercrime, as reported by International Investment.
“We see a real danger of Hong Kong businesses falling five years behind on cyber defence levels and a lack of readiness to detect and remediate cyber threats,” Kok Tin Gan, PwC Hong Kong cybersecurity and privacy partner said in a statement.
Many local businesses still do not have sufficient cyber defence capabilities and incident response plans in place, putting their data, brand and businesses at risk.
The health department fell victim to a cyber attack in August after three computers in the Infection Control Branch, Clinical Genetic Service and Drug Office were hit by a malicious ransomware that made users unable to access files.
“It is essential for companies to change their perspective on cyber security governance. Cyber-attacks can disrupt operations, destroy consumer trust or kill you silently with intellectual property theft,” PwC Hong Kong Security and Privacy director Felix Kan said.
“In the era of smart devices and digital transactions, a company’s data is more vulnerable to breaches. Businesses must equip themselves with the latest security defenses and – more critically -hire cyber professionals to detect and defend against cyber-crime.”
Financial losses related to technology crime cases have ballooned by a whopping 680% over the five-year period from 2012-2016 as Hong Kong’s wealth and connectivity continues to be a prime target for criminals with malicious cyber agendas.