(Singapore, 2 Nov 2023) – The rise of the digital economy in Singapore has led to many organisations embarking on digital transformation and intensifying their efforts in building a robust digital infrastructure. With that, nearly all business leaders agree (54% strongly agree, 45% somewhat agree) that cybersecurity is a crucial aspect of ensuring the viability of their businesses, and a majority deem it important (48% extremely important, 49% somewhat important) for their organisation to improve its cybersecurity in view of today’s digital economy. However, only 1 in 5 business leaders (22%) say their organisation is extremely prepared to handle a cybersecurity threat.

Schools Stay Protected With Cyber Security Updates

Based on the findings from NTUC LearningHub’s recently launched Industry Insights Report 2023 on Cybersecurity, which explores the current landscape of cybersecurity in Singapore, including organisations’ preparedness and the importance of workforce knowledge in cybersecurity. Based on a survey of 200 business leaders and interviews with industry practitioners, the report also uncovers the training gaps, hiring sentiments and in-demand skills in cybersecurity.

Although the importance of cybersecurity is recognised by many, only one in five business leaders (20%) strongly agree that their organisation’s workforce is clear on the measures to take in the event of a cyberattack. In addition, business leaders of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are least likely (12%) to think that their organisation is extremely prepared to handle a cybersecurity threat, as compared to those of large private companies (27%) and multi-national companies (27%).

While nearly all business leaders (44% extremely important, 54% somewhat important) reveal that it is important for all employees to have basic cybersecurity knowledge, nearly a third of business leaders (30%) reveal that they have not enrolled their employees in any cybersecurity training programmes in the past two years. Business leaders working in SMEs (41%) are least likely to have enrolled their employees for cybersecurity training programmes as opposed to business leaders working in large private companies (75%) and MNCs (73%).

The survey also reveals the challenges business leaders face in ensuring cybersecurity within the organisation, with a lack of specialised talent within the organisation (52%) emerging as the top challenge in ensuring cybersecurity. This is followed by a lack of resources (such as budget, time, or manpower) to train the workforce (52%), and a lack of basic cybersecurity knowledge among employees (49%).

Commenting on the report findings, Anthony Chew, NTUC LearningHub’s Chief Core Skills Officer, says, “To combat cyberattacks, companies must go beyond securing their physical infrastructure. Equipping all employees with basic cybersecurity knowledge is essential in this fight, as it is imperative to emphasise the importance of cyber awareness and to remain vigilant in safeguarding their organisations. In addition, investing in relevant training is also crucial to ensure that in-house capabilities are well-armed with specialised cybersecurity skill sets to tackle threats and attacks. By taking these measures, employees can then work strategically and collaboratively to reduce cyber risks and prevent exploitation.”