BT Global Services' Kevin Taylor on Cybersecurity and the High Stakes and Costs of Business Today

FY Teng

Faced with the need to balance user demands against security controls, many organisations lack the understanding and internal resources to implement an effective security strategy for mobile solutions. Based on BT's cybersecurity research, one of the top strategies that IT leaders from Singapore would like to undertake in order to protect their organisation from cyberthreats is to overhaul the existing infrastructure and equip it with security features from the ground up.

We believe that in the year ahead, organisations will increasingly see the need for the right network access strategies and policies in place to secure their environment. BT Assure Managed Cloud is an example of a secure web gateway that can provide real-time protection for web traffic, supporting all different work styles and corporate connectivity requirements.

In your opinion, how far would educating senior executives/decision makers in Singapore go in driving not just a greater appreciation for the importance of cybersecurity across their enterprises and industry, but also in making them better prepared to counter the various security threats that face their businesses?
In Singapore, IT decision makers definitely see the value of training in cybersecurity, with at least one-third of them believing that in an ideal world, they will train all staff on cybersecurity best practices. Eighty percent of Singapore I.T leaders have plans in place to train all staff in cybersecurity best practices. More specifically, 40 percent of organisations are currently providing training to senior decision makers and executives, and another 50 percent have such training plans in the pipeline.

We believe that IT security training will go a long way in preparing an organisation and its leaders to respond to emerging threats. Implementing cybersecurity training is a less disruptive and more feasible measure in the short term than a complete overhaul of the infrastructure and networks. Technology support staff well-trained in cybersecurity will also be able to identify and address issues faster and more efficiently-reducing overall business downtime resulting from cybersecurity incidents.

How seriously do you think business leaders today should consider the risks of terrorism hurting their organisations?
Only 24 percent of Singaporean IT decision makers feel that terrorism will pose significantly more risk in the next 12 months, while 64 percent feel that there will be no change in the severity of risk posed by terrorism. In contrast, there is more attention on hacktivism and malicious insider threats, with a greater percentage (more than half) believing that these threats will increase in severity over the next year.

The urgency to protect enterprises from hacktivism and insider threats is definitely greater, especially with the steady stream of high profile hacks and infocomm-related failures over the past few months in Singapore. For example, 2013 saw a series of cyberattacks initiated by hacktivist organisation Anonymous, and government websites were hacked into by individuals desiring to make a statement. Organisations are now well aware they face well organised adversaries who are increasingly sophisticated and this intensifies the need for organisations to safeguard their assets and data.

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