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    Cyber security – a growing concern for Singapore SMEs

    As the vulnerability of companies to cyber security breaches continues to rise, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) has partnered with Beazley – a global specialist insurer - to understand how Singapore SMEs are dealing with this growing risk, along with the role that cyber insurance can play.

    Beazley’s Survey on the Perception of Cyber Security Risk, conducted between October and November 2016, found that cyber security is one of the biggest concerns to local SMEs and that focus is increasing. While cyber security is a major issue for SMEs, only a minority have confidence that they are adequately protected.

    Specifically the survey found, of the 76 SMEs that responded:

    1. Only 40% think that their company is adequately protected against cyber security risks.
    2. 75% said that cyber security has increased in importance for their business over the last three years. None said that the importance of cyber security had decreased over the period.
    3. 81% believed that cyber security will increase in importance for their business over the next two years.
    4. A quarter reported that they have experienced an attempted or actual data breach or cyber-attack in the last 12 months and nearly a fifth were unsure if they had.
    5. Protecting their reputation and ensuring data and information is not compromised were the two most important concerns to SMEs, both related to cyber security. These were ranked higher than protecting revenues and securing new customers.
    6. Anti-virus software was the most common measure employed by companies to help manage cyber security risks, with 88% of respondents having this type of protection. 63% of respondents said their company has a plan of action for responding to a loss of data and have conducted staff training on the subject respectively.
    7. 56% of companies reported that they had spent less than $20,000 on cyber security in 2015 whilst only 8% had spent more than $50,000. However, 63% of companies expect to increase their budget for cyber security in 2017.
    8. Respondents stated that they are most likely go to IT professionals for more information on how to protect their company against cyber security risks (57% for both IT consultants and their own IT department). The next most likely sources stated were internet search engines and regulators (both 39%).

    The research was conducted in response to SBF’s concern that information on Singapore SMEs’ understanding of cyber security and associated risk mitigation was not readily available. Coinciding with SBF’s National Security Conference held in November 2016, the survey complements SBF’s initiatives to increase companies’ awareness of cyber-threats and promotion of ISO 27001: Information Security Management Systems. These are all part of SBF’s larger aim to raise the resilience of Singapore companies.

    To find out more about how the Singapore Business Federation is assisting Singapore companies, please contact:
    bcm@sbf.org.sg  

    To find out more about Beazley and data breach / cyber security insurance please contact:
    Gavin Hayes
    gavin.hayes@beazley.com  
    +65 6597 2630

    Note: The survey was conducted in October and November 2016 and is based on a sample of 76 SMEs.