Data security is an expectation for APAC consumers
- Data security isn’t an afterthought anymore; it is a basic expectation of the Asia Pacific consumers.
- A study showed a jaw-dropping 168% increase in cyberattacks in just a year, between May 2020 to May 2021.
- A survey on APAC consumers found that over 50% are uncomfortable with their collected data.
Asia Pacific (APAC) consumers have plenty of reasons to be concerned about data security. A study showed a jaw-dropping 168% increase in cyberattacks in just a year, between May 2020 to May 2021.
Its not surprising that APAC is vulnerable to a data breach as its diverse economic and geopolitical landscape means the maturity of cybersecurity measures vary.
According to a report from Check Point Research, an APAC organization experiences 1,245 weekly attacks with ransomware, Remote Access Trojan (RAT), banking trojans and info stealers.
It is easy to see why the region is a hotspot for cyberattacks, and its consumers are wary. This is from the lack of government regulation and extended dwell time before the breach is detected, to Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), with China in the lead for the state-sponsored variety.
For example, between June 2019 and March 2021, Chinese APT NAIKON targeted military organizations in Brunei, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam. In October and November last year, hacking group Desorden claimed to have exfiltrated the Centara Hotels & Resorts in Thailand twice and stole more than 400GB of data from its servers.
The group said the data contained personal information on millions of customers worldwide who have stayed in over 70 luxury hotels operated by Central Group, which owns Centara, between 2003 and 2021.
Increasing awareness and cautions towards data security
With COVID-19 variants still impacting the world, online reliance continues to be a part of day-to-day activities from work and socializing to shopping and more. The only difference now is that people are more aware and cautious about data security.
A survey on APAC consumers found that over 50% are uncomfortable with their collected data, with 90% having one or multiple concerns about corporate data practices. Most respondents, 85%, also acted when they disliked the practices – 23% of which chose or switched to an alternative brand with better data practices, and 22% using the brand less or abandoning it altogether. This has relevance in marketing, for instance.
“Consumers are increasingly aware of the importance of privacy and how their personal information gets collected and used for advertising. Privacy of user data is among the top five technology concerns for consumers in India, and in the top three for consumers in Japan,” said Jessica Martin, head of APAC privacy GTM at Google, who offered some strategies for businesses to navigate the changing consumer sentiment. They are:
- Invest in first-party data
- Adopt automation solutions to do more with less data
- Build a privacy-first ecosystem
Even while knowing consumers’ growing apprehensive with data sharing and privacy, a Forrester report found most APAC marketers are unprepared for a cookieless future.
The basic expectation
In collaboration with Campaign Asia-Pacific and World Federation Advertisers, the report also revealed that 59% of the marketers only fulfil the minimum requirements to comply with data privacy regulations. Only 18% believe they are mature regarding their privacy oversight and process. 43% are still relying on third-party cookies in their current marketing practices, and the same amount is concerned about going without cookies.
That makes for a worrying outlook for APAC businesses if they are slow to catch up with the current market mood. As such, data security isn’t an afterthought anymore; it is a basic expectation of the Asia Pacific consumers.