INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Cyberattacks could cost Hong Kong nearly $250b annually

Mobile payment apps are expected to be the next high-value target.

Cyberattacks on a massive scale could easily wipe out about 10% of Hong Kong’s GDP or around $249.6b annually within the next few years, according to a study commissioned by Microsoft.

Although half (52%) of firms polled in Hong Kong admitted to conducting regular security checks, almost a fifth (23%) revealed that they had gone through cybersecurity incidents whilst 25% admitted that they were unsure whether they had done proper data breach assessments.

“As companies embrace the opportunities presented by cloud and mobile computing to connect with customers, they take on new risks,” Microsoft Asia chief cybersecurity officer Michael Montoya was quoted in South China Morning Post.

Also read: High-paying jobs open in cybersecurity and mobile development

Organisations with more than 500 employees may suffer an average loss of US$24.9m. The losses companies could rack up take into account financial writedowns like ransom money and stock price changes as well as indirect losses like reputational damage, Microsoft added.

Attacks are expected to rise as Hong Kong grows increasingly more connected with greater adoption of Internet of Things technology. “Mobile payment apps will be attackers’ new targets as Hongkongers embrace the technology,” HKCERT centre manager Leung Siu-cheong told SCMP.

Also read: Hong Kongers spend more than a fourth of their day online

The study, carried out by consultancy Frost & Sullivan, surveyed over a thousand business and IT executives in the Asia-Pacific region.

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