Study finds Singapore companies are the slowest in reacting to security breaches

The human factor is still the biggest risk.
PHOTO: Pexels

An Infoblox study of 100 local companies found that despite being among the highest to be targeted by cyberattacks, Singapore businesses have the slowest times when it comes to responding to security breaches.

This was despite Singapore companies seeing higher rates of security incidents and breaches compared to other countries. A majority (65 per cent) of Singapore respondents experienced six or more IT security incidents, compared to just 21 per cent of global peers.

And unfortunately for these local companies, many of these cyberattacks (73 per cent) resulted in a breach.

But that raised even more issues.

The study found that less than half (49 per cent) of them were able to respond to a threat within 24 hours, compared to 70 per cent of their global peers.

A lack of threat intelligence capabilities due to poor network visibility (32 per cent) and shortage of IT security skills (32 per cent) was quoted as a contributing factor.

But Lise Feng, Director at Infoblox, said that the slow rate of response could be due to company protocols for what happens when a security incident comes to light.

She added that investigations could be slowed down if a security incident goes undetected for a prolonged period, which would point to a need for better detection capabilities.

Among those that suffered a breach, respondents reported that the most likely culprits were a cloud infrastructure or application (45 per cent), an IoT device or network (42 per cent), or remote, employee-owned endpoint (32 per cent).

Always the human factor

Despite numerous reminders and security briefings, Singapore employees were still falling prey to phishing attacks with phishing attacks accounted for 68 per cent of breaches reported in the past 12 months in Singapore, followed by ransomware (59 per cent) and APTs (57 per cent).

According to Feng, these findings suggest Singaporean organisations are struggling more than their counterparts to secure remote work.

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"While there are no silver bullets in security, more proactive detection as described earlier, and remediation will help. That 69 per cent expect their budgets to increase in 2022 spells an opportunity for organisations to invest in DDI and DNS security," she added.

Alvin Rodrigues, Field Chief Security Officer, Asia Pacific, Infoblox said: "With Singapore's high rate of security breaches and slow response rates, cloud-first networks and corresponding security controls have gone from nice-to-have features to business mainstays.

"To address the spike in cyberattacks, security teams are turning to DNS security and zero trust models like SASE for a more proactive approach to protecting corporate data and remote devices."

And this falls in line with the direction of security spending Singapore companies have been making. A large majority of respondents (73 per cent) in Singapore reported an increase in IT security budgets in 2021, and 69 per cent expect their budgets to increase in 2022.

Spending and resources have been going towards cloud, data, and network protections. Popular purchase options for on-premises investments include DNS security (28 per cent) and network security (26 per cent). Data encryption (37 per cent) and cloud access security brokers (36 per cent) are the most popular cloud-based investments.

This article was first published in Hardware Zone.