Expert Says Singapore SMEs Are Vulnerable to Potential Malicious Entry and Data Breach
Recently, SingHealth’s IT system was hit by one of the biggest security breaches in the history of the country. According to Kurt Wee, President of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, many of Singapore SMEs (small and medium enterprises) are vulnerable to similar breaches occurring.
SMEs have become prey to a form of malicious software or malware which is known as ransomware. Ransomware denies infected accounts access to their accounts and the data within until the payment of a ransom. SMEs which have been victims are especially those that do not have a form of active defence mechanism in place.
Companies who possess high-value intellectual property, along with large financial databases or even electronic installation contractors and credit card transaction processing firms are the ones which are at risk.
SingHealth’s data breach is one of the most serious breaches of personal data in the history of Singapore, and experts are cautioning SMEs to increase their endpoint security. Endpoint security is a device which connects to the organization’s network (desktops, tablets and servers included).
Mr Wee emphasised that antivirus protection or software of firewalls which SMEs may currently already have are likely not enough. This is because cybersecurity threats will only increase, with digital transformation driving more companies and businesses towards the cloud.
Singapore SMEs that especially rely on these cloud-based sharing platforms are susceptible and vulnerable to data breaches. Further, Mr Wee adds that anything on the Internet is vulnerable to hacking attacks.
The option to delink full Internet access to employees is not a viable option. This is because of the significant overhead cost and loss of productivity. The only good thing about it is it minimizes the possibility of cyber-attacks. Instead, organizations should consider solutions which provide end-to-end security of various platforms. They include web, email or document security at any moment.
Singapore’s financial sector is a prime target because of the large US and European financial institutions having network operations centres in the country.