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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Almost 3 in 5 Singapore SMEs faced a cyber threat in 2018

The incidents were mainly due to system malfunctions and human error.

Almost three in five or 56% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore experienced a cyber incident in 2018, according to a survey conducted by insurance provider Chubb.

The survey which looked at the cyber preparedness of SMEs in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. The respondents comprised of board-level executives (77%) and senior managers or directors below board level (23%) from SMEs between two to 249 employees in industries including professional services, manufacturing, technology and media and communications.

Also read: MAS launches $30m cybersecurity capabilities grant

The findings showed that of the SMEs that faced a cyber error or attack in the last 12 months, almost all attributed the incidents to internal factors. This included system malfunctions or technical faults (22%), human error which caused business interruption or data loss (20%) and data loss through system malfunctions (16%).

Amidst this, the survey revealed that most Singapore SMEs are confident in their ability to overcome a cyber breach following an incident, with over half or 55% of respondents citing they can contain a breach within 12 hours.

“This seeming overconfidence is contradicted by 66% believing they are not aware of all the cyber threats they face and 32% of SMEs who experienced cyber incidents not knowing which data files were affected,” Chubb revealed.

Whilst cyber incidents make 62% of SMEs more aware of their vulnerability to such threats, only 44% made efforts to increase their security measures following a breach whilst 22% took no action at all.

“Many SMEs believe they are too small to be targeted by cyber criminals or that internal issues will not greatly impact them,” Chubb Asia Pacific’s cyber underwriting manager Andrew Taylor said in a statement. “They think they are too small to fail. However, our own claims data highlights numerous small business compromises that are decimating the cash flow of small businesses.” 

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