INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore's data breach fines are the most brutal in Asia

It enforces fines of up to $1m for non-compliance with data protection rules.

Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong are the top markets that incur the harshest penalties for data breaches as a percentage of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), whilst Japan, India and Thailand are at the bottom of the scale, Dell EMC revealed in a study.

Based on the research, Singapore appears to have the highest amount of financial penalty that can be imposed on corporations, as fines hit $1m for non-compliance with any of its data protection provisions. The study was made before the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) due to be implemented in late May.

However, a previous EY study showed that even if 70% of bosses are expressing increasing concern over data privacy compliance, only 10% of Singapore firms have plans to protect their information by preparing for the GDPR.

Meanwhile, enforcements in the other Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) markets are hugely varied, Dell EMC revealed. “Australia imposes fines of up to AUD1.7m, whilst Hong Kong has HK$1m. Japan and India levy the lowest fines at JPY1m and INR500,000, respectively, for any breaches of data privacy. As more organizations across the region become digitally-driven, this will increasingly become a higher priority,” it added.

Dell EMC noted that security, privacy, and business continuity are top priorities for APJ businesses to minimize risks from penalties. “Key challenges that APJ businesses are facing in order to ensure data regulation are cyber threats such as ransomware, business disruption and increasing competition from new business models,” it said.

Dell EMC Asia Pacific & Japan vice president of speciality sales Dmitri Chen noted that Being data-driven is inevitable for organizations that are transforming digitally, businesses are realizing the opportunity using data effectively offers to transform their products, services and strategies.

“But as they use data to take advantage of new opportunities, there is also a greater risk - the attack surface is expanding and so too are the requirements for how you manage this data. This makes building scalable secure IT environments and optimizing infrastructure an unavoidable requirement for organizations today,” he added. 

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