Evidence from the United States and Europe shows that the most serious cybersecurity threats generally come from international crime syndicates exploiting transnational vulnerabilities, a reality that can significantly impact businesses in Singapore, due to its diverse markets.
Knowledge is power
Intelligence is a crucial component of any solid cybersecurity strategy. It is a rat race between cybersecurity professionals and cybercriminals. For the defense to win, the next generation of analytics must be able to respond to the next generation of threats.
If planned and implemented correctly, end-to-end analytics capabilities will become a key business differentiator for companies. Leading businesses will not only understand cybersecurity risks better than their competitors, but they will also actually be able to predict threats and adapt their defenses before security systems and protocols are even compromised.
Despite these exciting advancements, experts agree that technological innovations cannot effectively address current cybersecurity challenges if key players do not work together within an ecosystem of shared interests and efforts.
Education is paramount
Although coordinated cybersecurity responses may not yet be the norm in Asia Pacific, some nations have started implementing the policies, frameworks, and regulations that will bring key players together and provide greater resilience against cyber attacks.
In Singapore, for example, The Ministry of Communications and Information's Addendum to the President's Address detailed the various initiatives that will strengthen the national cybersecurity strategy. According to the plan, the share of the government's annual IT budget devoted to cybersecurity will increase to at least 8 percent; a Cyber Security Bill will consolidate the Cyber Security Agency's powers to secure critical infrastructures; and cybersecurity start-ups and entrepreneurs will receive financial and material support from the government.
Most importantly, the plan includes a provision to support the growth of cybersecurity talent and manpower, a key area that affects the cybersecurity industry in two significant ways.
According to another panelist at our roundtable, a major lack of home-grown cybersecurity specialists is hindering the sector's ability to grow. Even more worrying is the shortage of experts who can help address cyber threats beyond implementing reactive solutions.
Furthermore, the human factor remains the weakest link, regardless of the sophistication of the cybersecurity system organisation uses. The reality is that most data breaches come from employees being prone to errors, negligence, and indiscretions. The most expensive security systems in the market do not change the fact that ultimately, an attack can make its way through by way of the employees, whether maliciously or not. Cybersecurity policies clearly communicated to staff, together with adequate training, will help mitigate this risk.
Therefore, it is very important for the industry to place a great emphasis on education, training, and awareness to help build a genuinely collaborative cybersecurity community.
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