January 28, 2021

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Cyber Security Agency of Singapore reports high concern and awareness of cyber attacks

The Cyber Security Agency (CSA) conducted a nationwide study which found that there is complacency towards cyber-security incidents, despite there being a prevalence of them and there is high awareness of the risks it comes with.

The study measured the public awareness and adoption of cyber hygiene practices. It also looked at the attitudes and behaviours towards it.

This study was released in the third edition of the annual Cybersecurity Public Awareness Survey. About 48 per cent of the 1,105 respondents said that they had experienced at least one cybersecurity incident.

Along with high awareness, there was also a high-level concern for cyber incidents. Most of the respondents did not expect to become victims of such incidents.

Encounters of online pop-up advertisements were experienced by a third of the respondents. Such advertisements pose potential risks for cyberattacks.

Data leakage

Leakage of data by a company was experienced by 15 per cent of the respondents.

The respondents had listed phishing e-mail, infected by ransomware and the illegal controlling of a computer or device by hackers as some of the other cyber incidents experienced.

Installing of security applications

The survey also pointed out the many areas of improvement that are required. While personal mobile devices are largely used for online transactions, only a small percentage had security applications installed into their mobile devices.

There was a 9% per cent increase in the number of respondents who used their mobile phones for online transactions. In contrast, there was an 8% drop in the number of respondents who had security applications installed into their devices.

2FA adoption

There was a 10-percentage point increase in the enabling of 2FA for all online accounts. 2FA acts as another wall of protection for online accounts such as SingPass.

Users will require a code which is sent to their mobile phones or generated by the token for accessing the website.

Using a secure password

The study also covered other areas such as identifying a strong password. Only a third could identify a strong password while respondents above the ages of 55 years old were most unlikely to be able to.

Software updates

Majority of respondents updated their software, with only 50% immediately updating it when notified by their device.

Mr David Koh, Chief Executive at CSA re-iterated the results of the study- Singaporeans have high concerns for cyber-attacks but they also believe that they won’t be victims of it.

He added that while cyber threats and attacks will always be prevalent in the digital age and that it is expected to rise in the years to come, no one is completely safe from them.

“We need to improve our cyber hygiene so that we do not lose our hard-earned money and our precious data to cybercriminals,” he said.

CSA has also announced that it will be launching its Go Safe Online 2019 campaign in September. The campaign will be set towards raising awareness of the personal consequences of cyber-attacks and the measures to be adopted by users to protect themselves.

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