Singapore Evaded Cyber Attacks in 2017 by Chance

Person using laptop

Singapore only avoided major online threats in 2017 such as the WannaCry ransomware not because of its cybersecurity abilities, but due to luck, according to Cybersecurity Agency (CSA) CEO David Koh.

A few groups in the Island-state did experience cyber attacks, as WannaCry affected around 250,000 computers during the summer of 2017. However, Koh attributed the country’s luck to two scenarios that allowed Singapore to escape the attacks.

Favourable Circumstances

The first scenario involved most computers in the country having updated operating systems, while the other one related to WannaCry’s specific geographic targets. The situation would have been different if attackers decided to focus on Singapore, according to Koh.

For this reason, the government has made efforts such as the Cybersecurity Bill which would be implemented by 2018 at the earliest. Despite being atop the United Nations’ Global Cybersecurity Index, Koh believes that Singapore’s national cybersecurity strategy will not be enough without better defences. While cyber attacks occur inevitably, organisations and their satellite communication service providers should have full control over their response efforts to withstand such threats, he added.

Mobile Hacking

The private sector also remains accountable for protecting themselves against digital threats. A Nanyang Technological University (NTU) research suggested that a smartphone’s PIN code should have more than four digits.

Hackers can now gain unauthorised access to a phone by collecting data on its sensors to crack the PIN. Aside from a longer PIN, NTU senior research scientist Shivam Bhasin said that you should use other security methods such as two-factor authentication, fingerprint or facial recognition. You can also get the services of an established satellite service provider, which will make it tougher to hack your communication system.

Singapore’s public and private sectors should not leave it to luck when dealing with cyber attacks, since data breaches may cost significant losses. Consider the best cybersecurity strategy that suits your business in Singapore.