Singaporeans subjected to the same cyber risks as during the peak of the pandemic.
Decision makers in Singapore believe that their organisations are more susceptible to cyber-attacks during COVID-19 but are insufficiently prepared.
Cybersecurity firm, CrowdStrike’s latest research showed Singapore businesses will be subjected to the same cybersecurity risks as during the peak of the pandemic.
According to the firm, there is a greater transition to working from home in Singapore, as compared to other developed economies.
About 90 percent of respondents in Singapore are now working remotely more often or about the same as before, with almost three-quarters (74 per cent) working remotely more often as a direct result of the pandemic
The report found the percentage of respondents in Singapore working remotely more often as a direct result of the pandemic is the highest of all countries included in the research, suggesting that a greater transition is being made in Singapore, as compared to counterparts like Australia (59 per cent) and Japan (40 per cent).
An enforced mix of company and personal devices for work in Singapore creates a range of cybersecurity challenges and risks 70 per cent of respondents in Singapore reported that they are now using their personal devices, including laptops and mobile devices, to complete work.
While 97 per cent of respondents in Singapore reported that they are now using a mix of company and personal devices to complete work.
According to CrowdStrike’s report, with risks ranging from unpatched devices to insecure networks, it is therefore unsurprising that 56 per cent of respondents in Singapore who use a device to work from home believe that these devices are only “somewhat secure” against advanced cyber-threats, with a further 12 per cent saying that the devices they use to work from home are “not very secure” or “not secure at all”
There is insufficient training on the risks associated with working from home, especially among small businesses, despite the belief that serious cyber-attacks are more likely during the pandemic o Almost half (49 per cent) of respondents in Singapore believe that their companies are more likely to experience a serious cyber-attack during the COVID-19 pandemic than they did previously (i.e. before the COVID-19 outbreak).
However, 40 per cent of respondents in Singapore say their employer has not given them extra training on the cybersecurity risks associated with working from home.
Small businesses (defined as companies with up to 100 employees) are at even greater risk, with 61 per cent saying that their employer has not given them extra training on the cybersecurity risks associated with working from home.
Sherif El Nabawi vice president Engineering AP/J at CrowdStrike said the research findings reinforce that having a remote workforce continues to be a new frontier for most organisations.
“This is especially true in Singapore, where almost three-quarters of our local research respondents are working remotely more often as a direct result of the pandemic,” he said. “The percentage of respondents in Singapore working remotely more often as a direct result of the pandemic is also the highest of all countries surveyed, suggesting that a greater transition is being made here, as compared to counterparts like Australia (59 per cent) and Japan (40 per cent).”
According to El Nabawi unresolved cybersecurity risks from the initial shift to remote work will be carried forward and continue to present more opportunities for cyber adversaries, especially as the country starts to reopen in early June.
“With 97 percent of respondents in Singapore reporting that they are now using a mix of company and personal devices to complete work, there are the increased risks associated with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), including the possibility of an individual’s compromised personal device jeopardising their employer’s corporate network,” he said.
Keeping employees educated and aware of the threats brought about by remote working situations and educating them on cyber hygiene is important for minimising exposure, said El Nabawi. This is especially so as 40 per cent of respondents in Singapore said that their employer has not given them extra training on the cybersecurity risks associated with working from home.
“We also recommend that organisations remain well-prepared, with crisis management and incident response plans that can be readily executed remotely at a moment’s notice and include effective remote collaboration tool,” he said.
Having advanced endpoint detection and response cybersecurity technology is crucial, so organisations’ cybersecurity teams can centrally and remotely isolate and remediate any threats that emerge from a particular employee’s devices or personal network, well before the threat can break out of its initial beachhead and proceed to infect other users or systems throughout the entire network.”
The CrowdStrike Work Security Index surveyed 4,048 senior decision-makers in Australia, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, and the US. Conducted by YouGov on behalf of CrowdStrike from 14 to 26 April 2020