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Phishing emerges as top cyber threat to Singapore organisations

Kareyst Lin | Oct. 6, 2016
Users’ disregard for strong password practices pushes organisations to implement advanced authentication solutions, according to PwC's report.


With the advent of more sophisticated phishing methods, 42 percent of executives in Singapore reported that their organisations experienced phishing attacks in the past 12 months. 

This makes phishing the most pervasive cybersecurity and privacy threat faced by organisations in the country, as well as Asia Pacific (45 percent) and globally (42 percent).

This is according to the Global State of Information Security Survey 2017, released on 5 October 2016 by PwC in conjunction with tech publications CIO and CISO. It examines how executives are adopting technology and collaborative approaches to cybersecurity and privacy to manage threats and achieve competitive advantage.

"New phishing methods put users at greater risk of being invaded by malware," said Tan Shong Ye, information technology (IT) Risk Assurance Leader, PwC Singapore. "Well disguised phishing attacks do not necessarily bring users to a suspicious site, but may also direct users to legitimate sites that have been hacked."

"Organisations must continue to invest in employee training, and help them recognise phishing attacks to mitigate the risk of malware," he added.

Advanced authentications on the rise in light of users' disregard for strong password practices
In Singapore as well as worldwide, users' disregard for strong password practices is one reason organisations are turning to advanced authentication technologies. These technologies add an extra layer of security as well as improve truth among customers and business partners.

The top advanced authentications Singapore currently have in place include: hardware (70 percent) and software (57 percent) tokens, and multifactor authentication (55 percent).

"One notable use of multifactor authentication in Singapore is the introduction of the two-step verification of 2FA for all government portals," added Jimmy Sng, Cybersecurity Leader, PwC South East Asian Consulting.

He also said that, "as we move toward more tamper-resistant methods of authentication, biometrics will rise with 40 percent of respondents in Singapore reflecting that it is a top priority in the next 12 months. [It] will not emerge as a standalone, but as a new safeguard to be assimilated into multifactor authentication." 


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