SINGAPORE (Nov 21): Despite its reputation as one of the most connected countries globally, Singapore’s listed companies are among the least exposed to cyber threats, according to findings from Cyber Intelligence House’s latest Cyber Exposure Index (CEI).

The proprietary global scoring system evaluates exposure of listed companies according to signs of disclosure of sensitive information, leaked credentials, and hacker-group activity.

This is done by aggregating data on more than 6,000 listed companies collected from publicly available sources and from data breaches – and ranking them according to the number of findings and the risk that such findings represent, divided by the companies’ total number of employees.

The CEI’s latest results found that 70% of Singapore-listed companies have little or no exposure to cyber threats, which is significantly higher than the global average of 45% across the stock market indices of 11 other countries around the world.

Within the city state, 481 out of 677 listed companies showed no identified exposure risks between Oct 2017 and Oct 2018.

Only 28 companies or 4% were deemed to be in the high-risk category, making Singapore among the top three countries with the lowest average exposure score after Hong Kong and Indonesia, ranked second and first, respectively.  

On the other hand, the US was found to have the highest average exposure score, followed by the UK and Finland.

Going forward, Cyber Intelligence House says it expects to see a “dramatic increase” in the exposure levels across most companies across most industries, given the accelerating pace of digital transformation across the world.

“The growing interconnectivity of companies and complex dependency networks is creating expanded attack surfaces and endless virtual entry points that not only increases the threats of data breaches exponentially, but also the magnitude of the impact,” says Mikko Niemela, CEO of Cyber Intelligence House.

“It is therefore imperative for companies to know how cyber exposed they are… Mitigating data breaches begins with understanding where the critical information is stored, from where is it leaking and how it is exposed,” he adds.