How S’pore Firms Can Curb Cyber Threats From Remote Working

The pandemic has accelerated the transition to remote working for businesses around the world.

What was once “nice to have” for employees and businesses has become a “must have” almost overnight, Cisco, chief IT officer, said in the report on the future of secure remote working.

According to the same report released by Cisco that surveyed 21 markets and nearly 3,200 companies, 62% of respondents had more than half of their workforce working from home.

Report on the future of secure remote working
Image Credit: Report on the Future of Secure Remote Working

Singapore has made the biggest shift to remote working in Asia Pacific, ranking second in the world, with 77% of organizations here having more than half of their workforce working remotely.

However, a large number of organizations here (48%) do not have up-to-date cybersecurity strategies or solutions to cover all the vulnerabilities related to full-time remote work.

Increase in cyber threats and alerts in S’pore

Globally, companies have seen an increase in cybersecurity threats or alerts during the pandemic, as malicious actors attempt to take advantage of potential security gaps, with users accessing the corporate network and networks remotely. cloud applications.

For Singapore, 64% of businesses saw a 25% or more increase in cyber threats and alerts.

That’s slightly higher than regional and global averages, suggesting that as a nation we need to step up our cybersecurity efforts.

Report on the future of secure remote working
Image Credit: Report on the Future of Secure Remote Working

Additionally, the top three cybersecurity challenges we face here are maintaining control and enforcement policies (58%), secure access (56%), and data privacy (52%).

Too many solutions to manage, lack of education and awareness

57% of organizations in Singapore said having too many tools or solutions to manage was the biggest challenge in strengthening cybersecurity protocols for remote working, followed by a lack of education and employee awareness (55%).

That said, ongoing training and better security that are simple, easy to use, and work together are needed.

Endpoints represent a growing challenge for businesses to protect, as users connect from their home Wi-Fi network or use their personal devices to connect to corporate applications.

More than one in two respondents said personal devices (56%) and laptops / desktops (54%) were a challenge to protect in a remote environment, followed by customer information and cloud applications, both at 44%.

Work from home
Image Credit: Unsplash

With companies planning to let their employees continue to work from home even after the pandemic, they must prioritize and invest in cybersecurity.

The good news is that 76% of organizations in Singapore have indicated that the COVID-19 situation will increase their future investments in cybersecurity.

This is a positive finding compared to the regional average of 70% and the world average of 66%.

Image Credit: Report on the Future of Secure Remote Working

Additionally, as a result of the switch to remote work, 66% of businesses here have increased their VPN capacity, 63% have implemented multi-factor authentication, and 60% have implemented endpoint protection.

High-level cybersecurity loses its effectiveness in recent months

With a high internet adoption rate, Singapore faces the highest cybersecurity risk in Asia-Pacific. Fortunately, he is also the most prepared to deal with cybersecurity in terms of policies and preparedness.

Digital transformation opens up new entry points to the network, such as cloud, social and mobile, resulting in heightened and diverse risks.

reddoorz, grab, shopback, razer
Image Credit: Agoda / KrAsia / Slashgear

Since 2017, cyberattacks have been on the rise in Singapore, with violations by Sephora, AXA Insurance, Uber and the Red Cross, as well as the HIV data leak in Singapore and security alerts to the Ministry of Defense and the military. Singapore armies.

In recent months, several companies in Singapore, such as Grab, ShopBack, Razer and RedDoorz, have recently been the target of data breaches.

This highlights the need to strengthen our cybersecurity strategies.

What’s new and next: prioritizing cybersecurity

As remote working becomes the future of working, this would likely involve adopting a variety of solutions ranging from collaboration to file sharing and networking.

Therefore, it is essential to ensure that security is integrated
in all computer tools.

In addition, facilitating remote working with the right protocols and policies is a given.

It seems obvious but worthy of comment that when your HR team or your finance team, for example, is suddenly forced to work remotely, the protections and access given to them as part of the day-to-day responsibilities within the corporate network. enterprise must be replicated for a remote environment. at
support business continuity.

– Cisco Report on the Future of Secure Remote Working

The acceleration of remote working caught most of us off guard.

Cyber ​​security
Image Credit: Unsplash

For many of us, we are working remotely for the first time and some companies just weren’t prepared for the sudden transition, although there has been talk for years of a hybrid workplace, which addresses both office and remote employees.

Many employees were learning and changing their work habits in real time. This makes education and awareness more crucial.

Security awareness training became more important than ever, as malicious actors recognized this potential learning gap and continued to find new ways to capitalize on unsuspecting people.

– Cisco Report on the Future of Secure Remote Working

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

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Jothi Venkat

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