According to the Cisco study Cybersecurity for SMBs: Asia Pacific Businesses Prepare for Digital Defense, SMBs in Singapore are more worried about cybersecurity risks and challenges, but are also taking a planned approach to understand and improve their cybersecurity posture through strategic initiatives.
According to the study, 72% of SMBs in Singapore have completed scenario planning and/or simulations for potential cybersecurity incidents in the past 12 months, and the majority have cyber response (78%) and recovery plans (81%) in place.
Eighty-two percent of respondents who completed scenario planning and/or simulations uncovered weak points or issues in their cyber defenses. Of those that identified weaknesses, 94% said they had the right technologies in place, but not enough employees with the right skills to leverage them. A similar number found that they had too many technologies and struggled to integrate them together.
SMBs are also increasingly aware of where their biggest cyber threats come from. The research highlighted that phishing (45% ranked #1) is seen as the top threat by SMBs in Singapore. Other top threats to overall security include unsecured laptops (22% ranked #1), targeted attacks by malicious actors (15% ranked #1) and use of personal devices (11% ranked #1).
The good news is there are generally strong levels of investment by SMBs in cybersecurity. Across the board, 80% of SMBs in Singapore have increased their investment in cybersecurity since the start of the pandemic. These investments are well distributed across areas such as cybersecurity solutions, compliance or monitoring, talent, training, and insurance, suggesting a strong understanding of the need for a multi-faceted and integrated approach to building a strong cyber posture.
“Cybersecurity is evolving rapidly. This is being driven by trends like the expanding attack surface, move to multi-cloud, rise of hybrid work, as well as new security requirements and regulations,” said Kerry Singleton, Managing Director, Cybersecurity, Asia Pacific, Japan, China, Cisco.
“As they embark on their digitalization journeys, SMBs have a unique opportunity to lay the right foundation for their security posture and build their business on a strong foundation of trust,”
The report highlights five recommendations that organizations of all sizes can employ to improve their cybersecurity posture given the ever-changing landscape. They are:
- having frequent discussions with senior leaders and all stakeholders,
- taking a simplified, integrated approach to cybersecurity,
- staying prepared through conducting real-world simulations,
- training and educating employees, and
- working with the right technology partner.