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Singapore companies among least exposed to cyber threats: poll

Singapore companies among least exposed to cyber threats: poll
With more and more devices moving to the Internet, cybersecurity has become a priority for end user entities across the globe. In this regard, Singapore is doing well, with a majority of listed companies having little or no exposure to cyber threats.
That was according to the latest Cyber Exposure Index (CEI) compiled by the Singapore-based Cyber Intelligence House, which specializes in the detection and monitoring of cyber exposure from the darkweb, deepweb and data breaches.
Cybersecurity has become a hot topic in various industries amid an increasing number of devices moving online, including video surveillance cameras and access control readers, not to mention other IoT sensors and devices. In fact, cybersecurity has been ranked by the U.S.-based Security Industry Association (SIA) as No. 1 of the top 10 megatrends that are expected to shape the security industry in 2019.
Lack of knowledge and carelessness often lead to cyberattacks that carry huge negative consequences. The DDoS attacks of 2016 serves as a good example. As a result, vendors and end users alike across the globe are placing a stronger emphasis on cybersecurity.
In this regard, Singapore is doing well, with 481 out of 677 listed companies showing no identified exposure risks between October 2017 and October 2018, the CEI pointed out. This translates into 70 percent of Singapore listed companies with little or no exposure to cyber threats, compared to the 45 per cent global average across stock market indices in 11 countries, the CEI said.
Also according to the CEI, only 28 or 4 percent of listed companies deemed to be in the high risk category.
On the other end of the spectrum, countries that were found to have the highest risk of cyber exposure were United States, United Kingdom, and Finland, while other markets also covered in the study include Australia, Germany, Italy, Malaysia and South Africa, according to the CEI.
Cyber exposure – the extent of a company’s data already revealed by or to hackers – is the best predictor of the likelihood and intensity of cybercrime against that company in the near to mid-term, according to Cyber Intelligence House. The CEI’s definition of exposure encompasses disclosure of sensitive information, exposed credentials, and hacker group targeting, the agency said.
“Any level of cyber exposure, even if it if poses no immediate danger, can be damaging as it sows the seeds of sabotage. The growing interconnectivity of companies and complex dependency networks is creating expanded attack surfaces and endless virtual entry points that not only increases the threats of data breaches exponentially, but also the magnitude of the impact. It is therefore imperative for companies to know how cyber exposed they are,” said Mikko Niemela, CEO of Cyber Intelligence House.
Models used in the index are developed by an independent CEI research group consisting of security researchers and academic professionals from Singapore Management University, National University of Singapore, INSEAD and Tampere University of Technology, the Cyber Intelligence House said.
According to the Cyber intelligence House, an increasing migration to digitization and the Internet will only make companies’ exposure levels worse, and they must be prepared.
“Mitigating data breaches begins with understanding where the critical information is stored, from where is it leaking and how it is exposed. The Cyber Exposure Index is the first step in this remediation and mitigation process by identifying existing threats and making them transparent to help companies who want to employ a proactive approach to identifying these loopholes within their organizations. It also helps investors compare the risk level between companies to make more informed decisions to grow their investment portfolios,” said Niemela.

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