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Human error a ‘leading cause’ of cyber threats, says BDO leader

He mentioned the need for greater collaboration between government, businesses, and individuals for better data privacy and security.

Currently leading the Cyber Security & DFIR unit for BDO Advisory, Cecil Su spearheads various engagement teams on diversified advisory, adversarial security testing, threat intelligence and threat hunting projects across vertical industries. His area of focus is in cybersecurity research and security testing.

He has also been involved in a variety of security assurance services helping clients go beyond compliance, government regulations and corporate initiatives, resulting in better cyber protection of their critical information assets.

Besides his role in BDO, Su is also one of the fellow members of the Association of Information Security Professionals (AiSP) and AiSP Validated Information Security Professional, one of the Subject Matter Expert for WorldSkills Singapore for Cybersecurity, contributor to the OWASP Testing Guides v3 and v4, a CREST Asia Advisory council member besides being a co-lead of the OWASP Singapore Chapter.

Some of the biggest issues and challenges surrounding data security and privacy in Singapore at the moment, according to him, include increasing cyber threats and data breaches, inadequate privacy protection, lack of understanding of data privacy laws and regulations, and challenges with data consent. 

“Regularly training employees on the latest security best practices and educating them about the risks associated with specific types of attacks can help to minimise the risk of a breach,” Su said.

As one of the esteemed judges for this year’s SBR Technology Excellence Awards, the BDO leader shared his thoughts on the transformation of the technology industry in the past year, including the opportunities and challenges present, as well as the contributions that tech companies can provide for Singapore’s growth. 

How has the Singapore technology landscape evolved in the past year? Are there any trends to watch out for?

The Singapore technology landscape has evolved significantly in the past year, with an increased focus on digital transformation. This has enabled businesses to move operations online, which has become even more important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and 5G are some of the key trends to watch out for in the Singapore technology landscape. AI is being used to automate processes, improve customer service, and develop new products and services. Cloud computing is enabling businesses to move operations online, whilst 5G is allowing for faster data speeds and improved connectivity. Additionally, the implementation of open banking is expected to revolutionise the banking and finance sector.

From your perspective as a leader at BDO, how can technology and digitisation in Singapore further improve or support the banking and finance sector?

Technology and digitisation can play a key role in improving the banking and finance sector in Singapore by increasing efficiency, offering greater customer convenience, and reducing costs. Digital tools such as mobile banking, AI, blockchain, and the Internet of Things can be used to automate processes and simplify customer interactions. Additionally, digital tools such as voice and facial recognition can be used to improve security and reduce fraud. Finally, companies can use analytics and big data to gain deeper insights into customer behaviour and preferences in order to better serve their needs.

What are some of the biggest issues or challenges surrounding data security and privacy in Singapore at the moment?

Some of the biggest issues and challenges surrounding data security and privacy in Singapore at the moment include increasing cyber threats and data breaches, inadequate privacy protection, lack of understanding of data privacy laws and regulations, and challenges with data consent. Human error remains one of the leading causes of cyber breaches. Regularly training employees on the latest security best practices and educating them about the risks associated with specific types of attacks can help to minimise the risk of a breach. Additionally, there is a need for greater transparency and understanding of data collection, use, and sharing, as well as the need for improved security measures to protect personal data. Finally, there is also a need for increased collaboration between government, businesses, and individuals in order to ensure data privacy and security.

How can tech companies today contribute to the growth of Singapore’s tech business ecosystem?

Tech companies today can contribute to the growth of Singapore’s tech business ecosystem by investing in talent development, offering mentorship and support, collaborating with other tech companies, and participating in industry-related events. Additionally, tech companies can contribute to the growth of the ecosystem by investing in research and development, providing access to capital, and offering innovative solutions to address the needs of the market. Moreover, tech companies can also help to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship by creating incubators and accelerators for start-ups to test and develop their ideas and products.

As a judge for this year’s SBR Technology Excellence Awards, what innovations or key factors are you looking for in this year’s entries?

For the Singapore Business Review Technology Excellence Awards in 2023, key factors that I am expecting include an increased focus on the impact of technology on the real estate sector, greater emphasis on sustainability and environmental impact, and the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to innovate and automate processes. Additionally, I hope to see more emphasis to be placed on acknowledging technological achievements in the fields of finance, healthcare, and education. Finally, I hope from the candidates that there will be a greater focus on the use of emerging technologies such as blockchain, augmented reality, and virtual reality to improve customer service and increase efficiency.

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