SG workers indicate that confidential corporate information is at risk

More than half (58% ) of Singapore workers indicate that work confidential information is at risk, thus highlighting the need for organizations to enforce data security measures, according to the results of a study released by LogRhythm.

The study  also revealed that 52% of the respondents reported ‘security events’ in the last few years. Security events could be a breach, virus attack or unauthorized access of information.

In the same study, 21% of Singaporean workers admitted to looking at documents they shouldn’t be while at work while 14% admitted to having accessed or taken confidential documents without proper authority.

“It is worrying to see such a high percentage of workers indicating that they believe information security is at risk,” said Bill Taylor-Mountford, Vice-President Asia-Pacific and Japan for LogRhythm. “This goes to show that organizations and individuals need to take a proactive approach when it comes to addressing data security, and not take a reactive stand.

Financial loss growing

Taylor-Mountford  emphasized that organizations cannot underestimate the danger of cyber crimes anymore as financial loss due to cyber crime is growing and it is now estimated that it costs Singapore an estimated S$1.25 billion annually.

“However, we must say that Singapore is indeed tackling the problem seriously with the National Cyber Security Masterplan 2018, an infocomm security masterplan that provides the strategy to guide Singapore’s efforts to enhance cyber security for public, private and people sectors,” adds Taylor-Mountford.

While workers indicate that they are accessing documents without proper authorization, 73% of managers in Singapore indicate that their company is serious about security of information. This is higher than Hong Kong (60%) and Australia (59%).

However, the study also revealed that 41% of Singapore workers are also more likely to keep their passwords in an unsecure place, thus reflecting a disparity in views between that of higher management and their workers.

“Information security needs to be a coordination between the organisation and its people. Think of the organization as the castle, and the information as the treasure. It is no use to have the best walls and moats around the castle but your guards leave the key to the side door outside the castle," notes Taylor-Mountford.

The study reveals that 94% believe that the greatest threats to data security are employee related.

"It is not easy to detect internal threats so organizations need tools that will help them reduce the

time to detect such threats and manage the threat before it can cause further damage,” adds Taylor-Mountford. "It is important that organizations are constantly educating and reminding employees of data or information security as 44% say that they don’t even think about it."

Password hygiene

In the same study, 73% of Singaporean workers also indicated that they had changed passwords within the last six months. This puts the nation ahead of Hong Kong (56%) and on par with Australia (73%). Singapore workers also change their passwords more frequently with 69% changing their passwords at least once a year. In Hong Kong and Australia, only 56% and 59% respectively do so once a year.

Another interesting finding is that only 1% of passwords are automatically changed and generated by company security in Singapore.

"While we try to educate the importance of password hygiene to workers, it will help if the organizations have systems in place to ‘force’ the change. With Singapore being one of Asia’s superpower, the nation’s prominence would make it even more attractive to hackers. Therefore, it

is imperative that organizations and their workers vigilantly monitor for signs of compromised credentials to avoid data security breaches.”