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Guest View: Technology ties bind New Zealand and Thailand

Karen Campbell, NZ Trade Commissioner to Thailand | June 20, 2014
Business leaders from New Zealand and Thailand are looking closely at a fundamental change in the world that has arrived with the monetisation of big data and related technological advances.

There is a growing focus on New Zealand technology and what it can deliver for Thailand and the greater ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) region, particularly in the area of health information technology.

Thailand has a population of 67.09 million people and its ICT sector has an 18% share of GDP, US$365.6 billion. While the government has a stated goal of having 80% of the population able to access broadband by 2015, broadband penetration per household is currently low, at 22.7%2.

Where the real opportunity exists is in mobile - with 117% penetration - and with a Facebook population of over 18 million, one of the highest rates of penetration in the world. Smartphone adoption in Thailand is now at 31%3.

Chaiyakorn Apiwathanokul, the CEO of S-Generation Company Limited, set the scene at the roundtable discussion. Mr Apiwathanokul is one of the most prominent leaders in the cybersecurity industry in Thailand and the ASEAN. Previously, he was Chief Security Officer (CSO) at the largest petroleum and petrochemical group of companies in Thailand and he is also on the security sub-commission of the Electronic Transaction Commission.

In his presentation, Mr Apiwathanokul showed how the rise in the number of smartphones and tablets in Thailand has brought with it a corresponding rise in the number of e-victims. The situation is made worse by low awareness of security issues among citizens and companies, despite many organisations moving to cloud computing.

Mr Apiwathanokul pointed out that the capability of anti-cybercrime is still in question and that forensic investigation in the "cloud environment" is a challenge. In order to enjoy the benefits of new technologies citizens and consumers may have to share personal information such as age, gender, location so they must have confidence they can do so in a secure environment.

Wynyard Group CEO Craig Richardson leads a New Zealand firm that provides crime analytics software which can identify participants in every part of the chain - from those committing crime to those supporting or enabling it to the proceeds being used to commit more crime and acts of terrorism.

Wynyard Group operates in multiple jurisdictions and in the Asia region has 19 deployments in nine countries, including Thailand.

Drug trafficking and cross-border prevention is a critical law enforcement issue in South East Asia. Governments in the region consider the issue a top priority, and are seeking tools to help address the problem and fight crime.

Mr Richardson pointed out that because mobile devices are used by criminal networks to organise their activities, they leave digital footprints. Increasingly, law enforcement agencies are using Wynyard's technology to track criminal behaviour patterns and build a picture of how a criminal network operates.


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