SecurityBrief Asia logo
Asia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Singapore firms barely prepared for cyber attacks - what's holding them back?

FYI, this story is more than a year old

Despite its reputation as a hub for smart cities, Singapore's cybersecurity preparedness is only in the early stages, according to a new joint survey by Quann, a managed security service provider, and IDC.

91% of surveyed companies are in the early stages of security preparedness, and many of them have not put key security measures in place.

Boards and senior management may not be taking things seriously: 91% consult security leads, but only 16% take it to the Board.

The board doesn't appear to be taking security seriously either, according to IDC Asia/Pacific's IT Security vice president, Simon Piff.

“Not all C-Suites in Asia are fully conversant with the fundamentals of a robust cyber security strategy and the appropriate investments. Cyber security investments are akin to military spending – we do it in the hope that we would never have to use the tools. They need to understand that this is not a business ROI with immediate, visible returns. However, the consequences of not taking a proactive approach now could lead to legal disputes, customer dissatisfaction, and even loss of jobs and careers at all levels in the organisation.

60% of companies have an incident response plan, and 30% of those actually practice them. Incident response plans are critical to protecting networks and data during attacks.

Quann's managing director Foo Siang-tse, says the findings are worrying but not surprising.

"Many companies are simply not investing enough in IT security, despite the obvious threats.  The lack of investment in security infrastructure, professional services and employee training makes them extremely vulnerable. The recent WannaCry and Petya ransomware incidents are just the tip of the iceberg. Companies need to recognise that having a comprehensive security plan, comprising detection systems, robust processes and equipped individuals are critical in enabling them to detect threats early and mitigate their impact," he says.

Staff training is also weak; 33% of surveyed companies required all staff including CEOs to take part in security awareness training. 49% haven't conducted any form of training whatsoever.

According to the report, 75% do not have a dedicated IT budget and planning process. Most have a security lead, but they are also required to do other duties.

Companies are also skimping on 24/7 protection, with 32% having protection during work hours and 25% during the work week.

56% do not have a Security Operations Centre (SOC) in place. Foo believes there is a place for working with partners to build an effective SOC.

“Companies may consider working with an experienced cyber security partner to design, build and manage a 24/7 on premise Security Operations Center that can quickly detect threats. Another option is to engage a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) that can provide a comprehensive suite of services, including 24/7 monitoring, regular vulnerability assessment and penetration testing and incident response and forensics,” Foo explains.

The survey gained opinions from 150 senior IT professionals from medium-to-large companies in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

The four security preparedness stages are below.

Stage 1 – Basic Defence IT security is perceived as an ancillary function and investments are restricted to the bare minimum. Compliance and governance distract from the day-to-day running of the business. There is limited capability to defend from anything but the most basic form of attack. No crisis response planning has been put in place.

Stage 2 – Tactical Knowledge There is a minimal strategy for IT security and key technological solutions put in place. Whilst IT security is something that the IT team considers as important, the rest of the business consider it an issue only for the IT department. Senior management is lacking in engagement and understanding of critical systems and data.

Stage 3 – Strategic Intent IT security is understood to be a concern for both the business as well as IT, with a dedicated lead. There is a clear delineation of security roles, and a Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) framework in place. While outsourcing is a consideration, it is kept minimal, and most technology and architecture are done in-house.

Stage 4 – Advanced Execution A CISO is designated in the organisation, with clearly defined reporting lines to CEO. There are internal and external applications of IT security policies, and a well-informed workforce that understands the issues. A clear response strategy is in place and fully documented.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Malware
Black Lotus Labs discovers new, multipurpose malware
Black Lotus Labs, the threat intelligence team at Lumen, has discovered a new, rapidly growing, multipurpose malware written in the Go programming language.
Story image
Distributed Denial of Service
Sysdig reveals a loss of $53 for every $1 cryptojackers gain
The 2022 Sysdig Cloud Native Threat Report breaks down supply chain attacks against containers and how geopolitical conflict influences attacker behaviours.
Story image
Firewall
Barracuda accelerates growth in its data protection business
Barracuda cloud-to-cloud backup protects against evolving cyber threats, such as ransomware, and is now transactable in the Azure Marketplace.
Story image
Apple
Jamf shows intent to acquire mobile security firm ZecOps
This acquisition positions Jamf to help IT and security teams strengthen their organisation’s mobile security posture.
Story image
Work from home
Jamf showcases new products to simplify and secure work
At the 13th annual Jamf Nation User Conference, the company shared how its continuous product innovation is helping organisations succeed with Apple.
Story image
Network Management
Fortinet introduces enhanced AIOps across its gateways
FortiAIOps builds on Fortinet's rich history of developing artificial intelligence to deliver actionable network insights for self-optimising management.
Story image
Kaspersky
Cybersecurity loopholes prevalent in South East Asia
In terms of the share of vulnerabilities with publicly available exploits, three countries out of top five are located in Southeast Asia.
Story image
Cloud
How modern IT architectures are moving beyond network visibility
Dealing with multiple cloud providers makes it difficult to identify security threats and performance bottlenecks and troubleshoot issues.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Employees unsure who to go to to report security incident
A new study shows more than 20% of the untrained global workforce do not know who to contact during a security breach.
Story image
IT Training
Six ways to transform your cybersecurity training and influence lasting change
If the goal is to win hearts and minds, formal awareness training can fall short and often doesn’t inspire people to care.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Macroeconomic headwinds driving security up priority list
Current macroeconomic headwinds are driving security up enterprise’s priority list and reshaping the hardware Security Module market.
Story image
Edge Security
Security practices for modernising the “spaghetti” of on-premises IT
Many organisations are wondering how to securely modernise their workload, often made up of a “spaghetti” of on-premises applications and management consoles.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Test your API Security with Infinite API Scanner
The effectiveness of API scanning technology can mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful programming outcomes, and often enterprises and IT leaders struggle to get it right.
Story image
Enterprise
Delinea shares the importance of PAM, partners and security for modern enterprise
Identity-based security is becoming a crucial tool for modern enterprises as they continue to adapt to different working environments.
Story image
Malware
Cybereason delivers nation-state level of protection to enterprises
Cybereason has announced new advancements in Cybereason NGAV that deliver nation-state level protection for organisations of all sizes.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Kaspersky updates endpoint detection and response solution
"One of the goals was to make all the solutions capabilities accessible for all types of our users, even those who are making their first steps in EDR."
Story image
Cybersecurity
Best practices for industrial cyber resilience
Operational technology (OT) security is gaining more attention than ever before, but sufficient understanding of what it takes to prevent breaches is still lacking amongst many organisations.
Story image
Cloud Security
75% of AU companies had cloud security incident in past year
According to new Venafi research, complexity is due to increase, as companies plan to host more applications in the cloud.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Ordr improves security and management of connected devices
It has implemented more than 80 integrations within the Ordr Data Lake while adding security enhancements to accelerate zero trust segmentation.
Story image
Mobile Device Management
How to easily scale your mobile workforce and devices for the peak shopping season
Retailers are under constant pressure to streamline processes and become more efficient while looking for ways to improve customer satisfaction levels.
Story image
Ransomware
Delinea updates DevOps security, remote access more seamless
New enhancements include development support on the most recent Mac computers and improved secrets' management usability through automation.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Ransomware attacks continue to increase, report finds
Nearly a quarter of businesses have suffered a ransomware attack, with a fifth occurring in the past 12 months.
Story image
Virtual Private Network
95% of organisation rely on VPN as threats continue - report
There is a growing number of VPN-specific security threats and a need for Zero Trust security architecture in enterprise-level organisations.
Story image
Cybersecurity
StackHawk launches deeper API security test coverage
Expansion of test coverage includes custom scan discovery, custom test scripts and custom test data for REST APIs.
Story image
Phishing
Vectra Protect team finds Microsoft Teams vulnerability
The Vectra Protect team identified a post-exploitation opportunity in August, allowing malicious actors to steal valid user credentials from Microsoft Teams.
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Varonis adds secrets discovery to data classification
The data security firm announces enhancements that detect and remediate overexposed private keys, encryption certificates, API keys, and authentication tokens.
Story image
Secure Code Warrior
Secure Code Warrior announces Coding Labs innovation
Coding Labs mechanisms allow developers to move from learning to applying secure coding knowledge more efficiently, leading to fewer code vulnerabilities.
Aws Marketplace
Learn how to implement a backup and recovery plan for a new generation of Kubernetes-based modern applications
Link image
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from SearchInform
Val Novoselova joins us today to to discuss new trends in the information security space, and how SearchInform is adapting to some of the new trends we are seeing.
Story image
Malware
Kaspersky uncovers new malicious malware NullMixer
Kaspersky researchers have uncovered a new malware stealing users credentials, address, credit card data, cryptocurrencies, and accounts.
Story image
Malware
Decrease in malware volume, but surge in encrypted malware
The Q2 Internet Security Report found office exploits continue to spread more than any other category of malware.
Story image
Malware
SonicWall threat report mid-year update highlights significant threat variance
The 2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report mid-year update from SonicWall gives an in-depth insight into many of the current trends across the threat landscape.
Story image
Ransomware
Commvault unveils early warning system, Metallic ThreatWise
A first among data protection vendors, the new cyber deception service detects and contains ransomware threats.
Story image
Threat intelligence
Trellix advances threat intelligence with new research centre
Trellix has announced the establishment of the Trellix Advanced Research Center to advance global threat intelligence.
Story image
Legacy
Trellix enables greater cyber resiliency with extended XDR platform
"Legacy SIEM technology has failed to modernise security operations. We are confident Trellix XDR fills this critical gap.”
Story image
Cybersecurity
De-risking the innovation cycle – a modern, real-time approach to security
Many organisations see cybersecurity as an inhibitor of innovation, with burdensome protection measures standing in the way of progress and speed.
Story image
Data Protection
Cloudflare brings Data Localisation Suite to more APAC businesses
This allows any business in these countries to service their data locally while benefiting from the speed, security, and scalability of Cloudflare’s global network.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid cloud security driving need for deep observability
Gigamon is bringing application and network-level intelligence together to help network, security, and cloud IT operations teams eliminate security blind spots.
AWS Marketplace
Whitepaper: A practical guide for mitigating risk in today’s modern applications
Link image
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Enterprises yet to fully commit to cybersecurity - CompTIA
“Digital transformation driven by cloud and mobile adoption requires a new strategic approach to cybersecurity, but this poses significant challenges."