Published on November 16, 2023, 9:04 pm

The findings of the 2021 ISACA-Frost & Sullivan Survey on the Singapore Cybersecurity Landscape are in, and they shed light on some interesting trends. According to the survey, 63% of respondent organizations have increased their adoption of cloud technology during the pandemic compared to previous years. This suggests that businesses have recognized the value and benefits of leveraging cloud solutions in a remote work environment.

While there is a general perception that cybersecurity has improved, senior management remains concerned about cyber risk issues. This indicates that despite progress in cybersecurity measures, there is still work to be done to address potential vulnerabilities and protect against threats.

So, how have things evolved over the past year? To delve deeper into this topic, Steven Sim, President of ISACA Singapore Chapter, and Kenny Yeo, Director of Global Security Advisory at Frost & Sullivan, sat down with Richard Wong, Senior Vice President at Frost & Sullivan and Global Head of Security Advisory. They discussed the key findings of this year’s survey and what they mean for cybersecurity preparedness in 2023.

In terms of collaboration between ISACA Singapore and Frost & Sullivan, Steven Sim explains that it all started when he was invited to be on the judging panel for Frost & Sullivan’s awards back in 2017/2018. This led to discussions about conducting a Singapore-based ISACA membership-wide cybersecurity landscape research. Now in its fourth year, this research has proven valuable for members who use it as a reference for their work plans and budgets.

Speaking about the survey specifications and respondents’ profile, Richard Wong notes that this year’s responses were similar to those from last year. The survey had 134 respondents from large enterprises in Singapore with backgrounds in cybersecurity and audit. These respondents are key decision-makers with a deep understanding of trends, challenges, and issues within the cybersecurity space.

When asked about current trends as Singapore emerges from the pandemic, Steven Sim mentions that the challenges highlighted in the ISACA global surveys and the digital trust survey are reflected in the Singapore survey as well. One key challenge is the increase in software supply chain risk, which has prompted organizations to focus on enhancing their phishing simulation exercises.

In terms of risk level compared to previous years and other markets around the world, Richard Wong emphasizes that Singapore is facing a higher level of risk due to its increasing digitalization. As enterprises expand and more devices become connected, the potential for cyber attacks also rises. In fact, the survey revealed a 2% increase in the number of enterprises at risk compared to last year’s results. It’s worth noting that some organizations may not even be aware they have been breached due to inadequate security testing assessments or monitoring systems.

To address these risks, Steven Sim recommends implementing a strong risk governance framework that goes beyond compliance-based culture. He underscores the importance of identifying potential concentration risks during threat modeling and adopting a resilient by-design approach. This includes reducing MTTD (mean time to detect) compromises and improving MTTR (mean time to respond) for incidents and recovery.

Richard Wong concludes by emphasizing the need for a holistic and continuous approach to cybersecurity. Education plays a vital role in mitigating risks, starting with end users and senior executives who need to be informed about potential threats. Additionally, protecting and monitoring every device at an enterprise level is crucial, along with identifying gaps and developing a roadmap for improvement.

In summary, cybersecurity preparedness remains an ongoing effort for organizations in Singapore. By staying informed about current trends, establishing robust risk governance frameworks, and fostering knowledge-sharing within communities like ISACA and ISAC information-sharing centers, businesses can enhance their cybersecurity measures and effectively respond to potential breaches.

For further insights into these findings and recommendations, you can listen to the PodChats episode featuring Steven Sim from ISACA Singapore Chapter and Richard Wong from Frost & Sullivan. Together, they explore the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in building a resilient cybersecurity landscape for 2023.

Source: ISACA, Frost & Sullivan 2022

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