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Majority of Singapore firms are still ill-prepared to deal with cyber threats: Cisco

Nurdianah Md Nur
Nurdianah Md Nur • 2 min read
Majority of Singapore firms are still ill-prepared to deal with cyber threats: Cisco
They are struggling with point solution overload, the influx of unsecured and unmanaged devices, and lack of cybersecurity talent. Photo: Unsplash
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Companies in Singapore have misplaced confidence in their ability to navigate the threat landscape. Although 81% believe their current infrastructure could defend against a cyberattack, Cisco’s 2024 Cybersecurity Readiness Index reveals that only one per cent are on the “mature” level of readiness to be resilient against modern cybersecurity risks.

Nearly three-quarters (71%) of organisations in Singapore are in the "beginner" or "formative" stages of readiness. One of the reasons is the point solution overload. Respondents admitted that having multiple point solutions slowed down their team’s ability to detect, respond and recover from incidents. This raises significant concerns as 69% of organisations have deployed 10 or more point solutions in their security stacks, while 27% said they have 30 or more.

Unsecure and unmanaged devices also add complexity. The majority (85%) of companies say their employees access company platforms from unmanaged devices, with 44% spending at least one-fifth of their time logged onto company networks from unmanaged devices. Additionally, 33% report that their employees hop between at least six networks a week.

Besides that, the talent gap is preventing organisations’ progress to further strengthen their cybersecurity posture. Forty-three per cent of companies say they had more than 10 roles related to cybersecurity unfilled in their organisation at the time of the survey.

“Businesses in Singapore need to adopt a multi-pronged platform approach to their cyber resilience, from investing in protective cybersecurity measures to leveraging generative AI to enhance their security programmes and bridging the cybersecurity talent gap to establish a baseline of readiness across their organisation,” says Bee Kheng Tay, president of Cisco Asean.

The good news is that respondents expect to increase their cybersecurity budget (99%) and upgrade their IT infrastructure (46%) in the next 12 months. They plan to upgrade existing solutions (66%), deploy new solutions (54%), and invest in AI-driven technologies (58%).  

See also: Majority of Singaporean firms hit by ransomware sought law enforcement for help: survey

The 2024 Cybersecurity Readiness Index assesses the readiness of companies on five key pillars: Identity intelligence, network resilience, machine trustworthiness, cloud reinforcement, and AI fortification. More than 8,000 private sector security and business leaders across 30 global markets were asked to indicate which of these solutions and capabilities they had deployed and the stage of deployment. Companies were then classified into four stages of increasing readiness: Beginner, Formative, Progressive and Mature.

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