Singapore is most prepared but also most exposed to cyber risks

Singapore is the most prepared country in Asia Pacific, scoring consistently high across all measures of preparedness, with sound legal and organisational awareness despite being the most exposed country in the region, the VMware-Deloitte Cyber Smart Index 2020 shows.

Focusing on the inherent exposure to cyberattacks, the Index looks at the size of attack surface, the frequency of attack and value that is at risk. 

Within the preparedness measure, the Index looks beyond legal and policy environment to examine what businesses can do to be better prepared for the growing cyber risks.

The report also covers Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Also, the report found that there is opportunity to grow GDP by US$145 billion for the entire region over the next 10 years if enterprises adopt an intrinsic security approach that ensures business continuity while driving greater adoption of new technologies. 

Companies are paying the price too, with large organisations of more than 500 employees in potentially losing as much as $30 million in the event of a cyber breach. For mid-sized organisations with 250-500 employees, the cost is at least $96,000. 

“Based on what we have seen in the region, businesses with an established cyber security strategy in place have confidence to invest in new technologies which can lead to higher levels of capital investment and productivity growth,” said Duncan Hewett, general manager of APAC and Japan at VMware. 

John O’Mahony, partner and lead author of the research from Deloitte Access Economics in Australia, said the challenge for policy makers is to build a comprehensive legislative framework and environment that protects businesses from cybersecurity risks whilst allowing them to innovate and maximise the potential of digital technologies.

“We see interest from government, business owners, and vertical experts in building a cyber smart Asia Pacific that we estimate can unlock as much as 0.7% or $145 billion additional GDP growth for the region over the next ten years,” said O’Mahony. 

Further, the report argues that a secure digital economy is a joint responsibility between private and public sectors. For enterprises, this means that the traditional approach of bolted on security is no longer enough, especially when applications are now deployed across multiple clouds and accessed from many different devices across various locations.