How Singapore’s SMEs Deal with Cyber Security Issues

How Singapore’s SMEs Deal with Cyber Security Issues

Over the last year, 2 in 5 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore have experienced a cyber attack, with 56% of these incidents leading to user data ending up in the hands of hackers, a report by TechWire Asia stated. Meanwhile, 1 in 2 small businesses in Asia Pacific also had a cyber attack in the past year, according to Cisco’s Cybersecurity for SMBs: Asia Pacific Businesses Prepare for Digital Defense. Despite having protected their system with improved cybersecurity, SMEs continue to face cyber attacks on a various scale. This underlines the urgent need to have adequate cyber security in place to protect their company.

Statistics on Singapore’s Cyber Security Issues

Research by TechWire Asia suggested that SMEs in Singapore are more aware about cyber security concerns, with 67% saying businesses are more cautious about the issue now than they were a year ago. A majority of SMEs (77%) realize they are vulnerable to cyber attacks, but they are not just silent about it. Organizations are taking deliberate measures to strengthen their security, such as conducting simulations. Despite these severe repercussions for businesses, only 8% of Singaporeans claimed they can detect a cyber attack within an hour. The percentage of people who can resolve a cyber issue within one hour is considerably smaller, which is only 5%.

Major Issues: Phishing and malware cyber attacks

According to another TechWire research, malware and phishing are prevalent threats that companies encounter. Malware attacks ranked first, affecting 79%of SMEs in Singapore, followed by phishing, with 70% reporting such attacks in the previous year. These attacks have led to serious revenue loss for SMEs. 9 out of 10 Singaporean SMEs report that downtime of more than an hour causes severe operational disturbance.. 

Insights from Cisco Singapore

Singapore’s SMEs have significantly digitalized during the last 18 months. This is prompted by the need to leverage technology in order to thrive in this challenging economy. As a result, there is a crucial need for SMEs to ensure they have solutions and strategies to safeguard their cybersecurity. While it is unclear how the shift would impact SMEs, Andy Lee, Managing Director, Cisco, Singapore, and Brunei, reckons how most businesses are now well prepared to cope with security challenges. Andy believes that the former remote working situations would have provided companies with experience to be better prepared handling this policy again. However, Andy believes that SMEs must continue to implement the strongest security protocols and oversee their remote working employees.

Investing in Cyber Security Enhancement

About 80% of SMEs in Singapore have expanded their investments in cyber security since the beginning of the pandemic. These investments spread across areas such as cyber security solutions, compliance or monitoring, IT experts, training, and insurance. This indicates an awareness among small businesses regarding the necessity for a comprehensive and integrated strategy in creating a strong cyber position. In Asia Pacific, 81% of SMEs performed planning and/or simulations for potential cybersecurity events in the past year, and the majority had a 81%  of cyber response and 82% of recovery strategies in place. 

Finally, SMEs need to come up with a strong cyber security system to secure their business. Remote workers are most likely at risk of exposure to cyber attacks. Therefore, they need to understand the danger of such digital assault to their jobs and organization at large.

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