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Companies in Singapore concerned about inadequate cybersecurity

1/12/2015 by Sharon Shahzad


A new survey has shown that 80% of organisations in Singapore think their current cybersecurity structure is inadequate. Many said the technology failed to meet their company’s requirements, increasing the risk of being attacked and resulting in officials lacking confidence that they would be able to detect sophisticated cyber-breaches.

The newest data was revealed in the EY Global Information Security Survey. Information was collated from 1,755 firms in 67 nations, of which 35 were from Singapore. As part of the annual survey it was also found that many businesses in Singapore felt their IT budget was not large enough; in fact, 56% of respondents from the state said they need up to 50% more funds if they are to properly tackle cybersecurity in line with their organisation’s needs. It was also noted that 68% of respondents felt the lack of budget was the key reason many of their cybersecurity systems have fallen behind and are not adequate to deal with today’s risks.

Speaking about the need to provide adequate budgets, EY Advisory’s Asia-Pacific cybersecurity leader, Paul O’Rourke, said between 6% and 8% of an organisation’s IT budget should be set aside for tackling online crime and defences. “I think a lot of organisations have put more into cybersecurity, but I think it's a never-ending issue for organisations, that is they have to keep investing at the same level. And particularly for smaller companies they need to put more money into this area,” Mr O’Rourke said, before adding: “Ironically a lot of it is not about buying technology now, it's about investing in people, investing in culture, education and awareness, so a lot of areas that don’t require a large-scale investment are probably the most successful areas in addressing this issue.”

The EY survey also sought to gain information on the attacks themselves. Criminal syndicates and hacktivists were cited as the two most common issues by organisations in Singapore; in addition, concern for both inadvertent and malicious employee-led attacks was mentioned by four in ten of those questioned. There was also concern that the last 12 months has seen a rise in risk exposure. This is due to a number of factors, including outdated cybersecurity software, malware, and untrained and unaware employees.

Mr Gerry Chng, EY’s Singapore and ASEAN information security leader, added that although innovation in the digital sector has increased the number of strategies firms can take to deal with cybercrime, it has also opened new opportunities for criminals to take advantage of.

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Montash is headquartered in Old Street, London, in the heart of the technology hub. Montash has completed assignments in over 30 countries and has appointed technical professionals from board level to senior and mid management in permanent and contract roles.

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