Singapore is One of the World's Tech Leaders, Yet its Companies Are Struggling to Fight Cyberattacks

Nine in 10 firms have suffered a cyber-security breach in the past 12 months

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Cyberattacks are any company’s worst nightmare. Loss of consumer data is perhaps the biggest impact of these online attacks. The country that has had an adverse impact because of severe data breach is Singapore.

A Global Threat Report, released by cyber-security firm Carbon Black, exposes the hostile environment that faces Singaporean businesses and underlines the fact that in today’s digital landscape, breaches are all but inevitable.

“If you’re a business operating in Singapore, you’re highly likely to be among the astounding 96 per cent of surveyed companies that said they suffered a cyber-security breach in the past 12 months. In fact, our research shows that you have probably been breached multiple times, as cybercriminals ramp up the volume and sophistication of attacks, backed by the $1 trillion global dark/underground economy,” the report states.

The Rise of Cyber-attacks

In the research, 92 per cent of surveyed Singaporean businesses reported an increase in cyber-attacks – with 35 per cent of businesses having seen more than a 51 per cent increase in attack volumes.

Interestingly, ransomware attacks again topped the list (28 per cent)  of most prolific cyber-attacks. Malware accounted for a quarter of all attacks, while it was interesting to see that Google Drive (cloud data breach) accounted for 11 per cent. Seven per cent of respondents had experienced crypto-jacking attacks whilst 6 per cent had been subject to destructive attacks like a wiper or the attack just deletes the file on the way out, underlining the diversity of the threat environment.

When asked what they thought was the most effective and destructive type of cybercrime, 26 per cent said ‘watering hole’ attacks, where a website is compromised and pushes malware to visitors. Destructive wiper attacks was in second position with 18 per cent of respondents citing them as the most destructive method. On the other hand, 14 per cent respondents said island hopping, where attackers carry out the technique by not going straight to the target company.

Primary Cause of Data Breaches

The report indicated that the ransomware attacks were reported as the primary cause of successful breaches in 26 per cent of organisations. Third party application breaches and phishing attacks jointly shared second position, with 14 per cent each. Process weakness was a problem in 12 per cent of breaches. This was followed by web application attacks with 9 per cent.

Ransomware attacks were the most common cause of reported breaches in Financial Services organizations (50%), while Manufacturing and Engineering companies saw most successful attacks come via third party application and ransomware (both 23%).  IT teams with 10-20 staff reported being predominantly affected by ransomware attacks (32%). While nearly one-third (31%) of those organisations with less than 10 in their IT team admitted to third party application attacks.