No consensus in approach to defending cyber threats in Singapore

Anuradha Shukla

Disagreement
Credit: GraphicStock

Boardroom executives and IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) are at odds in their approach to defending against cyber threats, according to a new research published by cyber defence experts, BAE Systems.

The 30 board directors and 120 IT leaders polled in Singapore believed that the other party is responsible for managing the response to a cyber-attack.

Two-thirds of C-Suite respondents say their IT teams and staff more broadly are responsible in the event of a breach, whereas 39 percent of ITDMs think this is the case.

Meanwhile, 57 percent of ITDMs think senior management and leaders should shoulder the blame of a breach, as compared to less than a quarter (24 percent) of C-Suite respondents.

The research also indicated that the board level directors' estimated cost of a successful attack was S16.5 million lower than that of their IT colleagues.

"This research confirms the importance that business leaders place on cyber security in their organisations," said Alex Taverner, BAE Systems commercial head of Cyber in the Asia-Pacific. "However, it also shows an interesting disparity between the views of C-Suite respondents and those of IT Decision Makers. Each group's understanding of the nature of cyber threats, and of the way they translate into business and technological risks, can be very different."

Expected cyber-attacks
More than three quarters (76 percent) of the C-Suite respondents in Singapore found cyber-security to be the most significant business challenge.

Seventy-seven percent of IT Decision Makers also expect to be targeted by a cyber-attack in the next 12 months, with the majority of both groups reporting that they expect the frequency and severity of attacks to increase.

As such, 48 percent of boardroom respondents plan to devote more time and resource to cyber security.

"Perhaps most worryingly for Singapore, only two percent of IT Decision makers are confident their company has the skills they need to deal with a cyber attack. This is an area where industry and Government must work together to close the skills gap and lift Singapore's cyber security capability and capacity," said Gundeep Sandhu, Asia-Pacific head of Cyber Solutions in the Asia-Pacific.