72% of Asia Pacific senior executives identify cyber-security as most important factor for their future plans
Survey involved more than 550 accountants and business leaders from different sectors across Asia Pacific
AN increased reliance on the Internet for business and finance activity is fueling fears of exposure to cyber-attacks on companies in the Asia Pacific region, according to a new report by the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA (Institute of Management Accountants).
Two-thirds of senior executives in the region and 70% of finance professionals identified cyber security as a driver for change in the future, the ACCA said in a statement.
This is second only to concerns of rising fuel and energy costs among Asia Pacific businesses in the short term, with 72% of senior executives identifying it as the most important factor for their future plans in the ‘Drivers of Change in Asia-Pacific’ report.
“Looking into the immediate future, it appears that science and technology are among the top three drivers of change in the Asia Pacific region,” said Jennifer Lopez, head of ACCA Malaysia (pic).
“This is not surprising given that the Asia Pacific region has been one of the fastest to adopt new technology compared to the global average.
“As we become more reliant on computers, the continued digitization of financial services has opened up individuals and organizations to threats from cyberspace, and new forms of cyber-terrorism, cybercrime and cyber-fraud will continue to emerge.
“Needless to say, this makes a strong case to improve security policies on a government and corporate level,” she said.
However, compared to respondents in Hong Kong and China, Malaysian executives were less concerned with cyber-security challenges for business, which ranked fourth. The report revealed that the ease of Internet access for the general population is viewed as the third critical driver that is expected to play a role in the immediate future in Malaysia.
The second highest concern for Malaysians was the increased cost and accessibility of higher education. Additionally, Malaysian respondents were more sensitive to rises in fuel and energy costs than other respondents across the region (click chart to enlarge).
This survey is part of a wider global report, involving more than 550 accountants and business leaders from different sectors across Asia Pacific markets, including Malaysia, China and Hong Kong, who offered their insights into future drivers for change.
The report ‘Drivers for change in Asia Pacific’ can be downloaded here.
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