Fortinet sees security demand in Asean

Fortinet, a global cybersecurity company, aims to increase its subscription-based services in Asean to capture a surge in demand and deal with heightened cyberthreats in the digital world.

“As many businesses are accelerating digital innovation to transform themselves in key growth areas, they could be more exposed to cybersecurity risks,” said Peerapong Jongvibool, vice-president for Southeast Asia and Hong Kong at Fortinet.

“With a surge in remote work and usage of edge and cloud computing, Internet of Things and 5G, we see cyberthreats that could take advantage of them.”

There has been an increase in cyber-attacks on states and business supply chains, with the assaults becoming more sophisticated. For example, a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline in the US in May 2021 forced the disruption of the pipeline network, demonstrating the risk to critical infrastructure from cyber-attacks.

“We see more sophisticated threats and a hike in ransomware attacks,” said Mr Peerapong.

Organisations also lack staff with cybersecurity knowledge and face difficulties in complying with related security regulations, such as the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), he said.

They need to have a security posture by having a cybersecurity platform across endpoints, networks and cloud, said Mr Peerapong. They also need security-driven networking convergence and security via a new network edge, he said.

It is important to embrace “zero trust” approaches as there are many users and devices connected online, said Mr Peerapong.

Priorities for zero trust are “minimising the impact of breaches and intrusion”, followed by securing remote access and ensuring business or mission continuity, he said. Other important elements are to improve user experience and gain flexibility to provide security anywhere.

Mr Peerapong said Fortinet is offering broad, integrated and automated security services, from devices to the cloud, and an open ecosystem to support customers.

Cloud security adoption in Thailand has not been as rapid as in Singapore or Hong Kong, though Thailand is among the top three markets in Asean and above Hong Kong in terms of market size and growth potential, he said.

Domestic demand for security protection is surging due to concerns about data leakage and reputational damage from cybersecurity incidents rather than enforcement of the PDPA, which is scheduled for June.

“We might consider having point of presence in Thailand to reduce latency if the market is large enough,” said Mr Peerapong.

Pakthapa Chatkomes, Thailand country manager for Fortinet, said the company targets growth of 40-50% in the Thai market this year.

The company’s target customers include those in the public sector, telecoms, financial services, industry and entertainment, she said. Fortinet is also looking for clients who want to switch services from other cybersecurity providers.