Only a fifth of Singapore firms feel ‘very ready’ vs cyberthreats

Nearly all — 54% strongly agree, 45% somewhat agree — business leaders in Singapore agree that cybersecurity is a crucial aspect of ensuring the viability of their businesses, according to a report from NTUC LearningHub.

Key findings from the Industry Insights Report 2023 on Cybersecurity also show that a majority (48% extremely important, 49% somewhat important) of those polled deem it important for their organisation to improve its cybersecurity in view of today’s digital economy. 

However, only one in every five (22%) business leaders say their organisation is extremely prepared to handle a cybersecurity threat.

The report is based on a survey of 200 business leaders and interviews with industry practitioners.

Although the importance of cybersecurity is recognised by many, only 20% of business leaders strongly agree that their organisation’s workforce is clear on the measures to take in the event of a cyberattack. 

In addition, business leaders of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are least likely (12%) to think that their organisation is extremely prepared to handle a cybersecurity threat, as compared to those of large private companies (27%) and multi-national companies (27%).

While nearly all (44% extremely important, 54% somewhat important) of respondents reveal that it is important for all employees to have basic cybersecurity knowledge, nearly a third (30%) reveal that they have not enrolled their employees in any cybersecurity training programmes in the past two years. 

Business leaders working in SMEs (41%) are least likely to have enrolled their employees for cybersecurity training programmes as opposed to business leaders working in large private companies (75%) and MNCs (73%).

The survey also reveals the challenges business leaders face in ensuring cybersecurity within the organisation, with a lack of specialised talent within the organisation (52%) emerging as the top challenge in ensuring cybersecurity. 

This is followed by a lack of resources (such as budget, time, or manpower) to train the workforce (52%), and a lack of basic cybersecurity knowledge among employees (49%).

Anthony Chew, NTUC LearningHub’s chief core skills officer, said that beyond securing their physical infrastructure, equipping all employees with basic cybersecurity knowledge is essential in the fight against cyberattacks. 

Chew said it is imperative to emphasise the importance of cyber awareness and to remain vigilant in safeguarding their organisations. 

“In addition, investing in relevant training is also crucial to ensure that in-house capabilities are well-armed with specialised cybersecurity skill sets to tackle threats and attacks,” he added. “By taking these measures, employees can then work strategically and collaboratively to reduce cyber risks and prevent exploitation.”