Cyber Security for Small Businesses in Singapore

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Cyber Security for Small Businesses in Singapore
Cyber Security for Small Businesses in Singapore
Cyber Security for Small Businesses in Singapore
Cyber Security for Small Businesses in Singapore
Cyber Security for Small Businesses in Singapore

Cyber Security for Small Businesses has now become essential due to various reasons squirming around online. The Internet has given the best facility to all of us for sharing information with each other while maintaining a safe distance from the other side.

Moreover, it has also allowed hackers to do what they want with your online resources and data with a few techniques that ethical hackers also use. However, if you want to ensure your safety as a small business owner, you can read this article which has been specially designed to cover all the parts of safety instructions for the student/ user acquiring knowledge about cyber security solutions. Then what are we wasting our time on? Let’s move forward!

Cyber Security Best Practices for Businesses

  1. Employee Training and Awareness:
  • Inform staff members on best procedures and cybersecurity dangers.
  • Hold regular training sessions and offer materials to help people stay current on current dangers.
  1. Strong Password Policies:
  • Enforce the need for complicated passwords.
  • Encourage staff members to create special passwords for each account and consider putting a password manager in place.
  1. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):
  • Access to crucial systems and accounts should require an MFA.
  • This increases security even in the event that passwords are stolen.
  1. Regular Software Updates and Patch Management:
  • Update all programs, operating systems, and applications with the most recent security fixes.
  • To automate this procedure, put a patch management system in place.
  1. Firewalls and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS):
  • To keep an eye on and manage both incoming and outgoing network traffic, use firewalls.
  • Install IDS to find and notify you of unusual network activity.
  1. Data Encryption:
  • Sensitive data should be encrypted both in transit and at rest.
  • Utilize safe protocols like HTTPS, and consider data storage encryption options.
  1. Backup and Disaster Recovery:
  • Back up important data and systems on a regular basis.
  • To maintain business continuity in the event of a cyberattack or data breach, create a disaster recovery strategy.
  1. Access Control and Least Privilege:
  • Only those requiring access should have access to sensitive data and systems.
  • Use the least privilege concept to limit users to only the tasks required for their responsibilities.
  1. Network Segmentation:
  • Segment your network to isolate important systems and prevent lateral attacker movement.
  • Use firewall rules and VLANs to regulate traffic between segments.
  1. Incident Response Plan:
  • Create an incident response strategy that describes what to do during a security occurrence.
  • Ensure that workers are familiar with this plan and their responsibilities.

Cyber Security Companies for Small Business

Following are the Top 5 reputed Cyber Security Companies for Small Businesses in Singapore that offer the best cybersecurity solutions to clients at the first meet.

S.No. Companies
1. IT Block Pte. Ltd.
2. Win-Pro Consultancy Pte Ltd
3. Connectivity Global
4. Apvera
5. Craw Cyber Security Pte Ltd

Small Business Cyber Security Checklist

  1. Data Protection,

The most vital tool for data protection is encryption, to start. Small companies ought to:

  • All sensitive data should be classified and encrypted with security.
  • Encrypt data as it is in transit and at rest across all network resources.
  • Incorporate Data Loss Prevention (DLP) techniques with encryption. These solutions monitor crucial data and prevent unwanted users from attempting data exfiltration.

Measures to put in place include:

  • Using access constraints to implement the least privilege concept.
  • Reducing the number of accounts with admin rights.
  • Using tools for network segmentation.
  1. Threat Reduction,

Small firms should use solutions that are both cost-efficient and effective in order to combat cyber threats.

  • Employee emails are nearly unreadable to outsiders thanks to email encryption and threat scanning software. They also check incoming attachments for viruses by scanning them. The technology blocks dubious emails, drastically lowering the danger of falling victim to phishing.
  • Incoming and outgoing network traffic is monitored by malware scanners. Systems for preventing intrusion look for recognized dangers on purpose. Select tools that are frequently updated to block the most pertinent attack vectors.
  • Access requests from outside the network are filtered by firewalls. At the network’s edge, a firewall that is correctly configured applies stringent access controls. This establishes a primary barrier that keeps out users who lack the necessary credentials.
  1. Incident Response,

When an attack occurs, incident response plans go into effect and often include the following steps:

  • Detecting and containing threats
  • Safeguarding important data
  • Elimination and reduction of threats
  • Functionality of the system is restored
  • Damage to the network or loss of data integrity mapping
  • Improving the security posture by conducting an audit of the incident response procedure.
  1. Backups,

Backups of important workloads and data should be mandated by the SMB cybersecurity plan before any assaults occur.

  • Not all data needs to be kept on file. Sort databases and tasks into categories based on importance.
  • In the event of a ransomware attack, network and website functioning must be restored using backup data.
  • Select a cloud backup partner that securely protects your files and offers quick access to business data when required.

Strong data retention guidelines go beyond routine backups. These regulations document:

  • How long does the business keep user or customer information?
  • Where vital company data is located?
  • Techniques for securely deleting saved data.
  1. Engaging with Cybersecurity Experts,

SMBs typically lack the funds necessary to recruit an IT security staff. However, when defending their networks, companies still want access to the most recent threat intelligence and guidance. As an alternative, consulting with cybersecurity experts is a wise move.

Businesses can hire security firms to assess and evaluate their current security systems.

  1. 2FA or Multi-Factor Authentication,

For any crucial assets, use MFA. MFA demands extra identity elements in addition to passwords. This could involve smartphone scanning, one-time passcodes, or biometric information. The purpose is to increase security and make it more difficult to access sensitive data.

For some network behaviors, such as using SaaS collaboration tools or sending emails, MFA or 2FA is not recommended. Use them only in systems that really matter. By doing this, high-value assets are protected while ensuring a seamless user experience.

  1. Education,

Small business employees could have good intentions. Good intentions, however, are useless without access to clear security standards and training. Employees must understand secure network resource access practices and how to thwart unnecessary cyber-attacks.

Educate personnel about the perils of phishing and emphasize the consequences of receiving unsolicited email attachments. Phishing for businesses is getting more and more complex. Every network user has to know how to spot harmful messages.

Staff training on safe access control usage is also beneficial.

  1. Remote Access,

The issue is that insecure remote access is a possibility. Clear security policies are required for remote access in small businesses. Security precautions must consist of the following:

  • Virtual private networks or safe remote access software are used for user access.
  • Refusal of access from public WiFi networks with weak security.
  • Supply by automated means of updated DLP or antivirus software to remote workstations.
  • All remote work gadgets must receive central approval.
  • Adaptive access controls and IP allowlists can be used to prohibit unauthorized devices.
  • Password security and anti-phishing awareness training.
  • Reporting of lost gadgets is required. automated revocation of access privileges for users whose devices have been stolen.
  1. Strong Passwords,

When protecting crucial resources, it is crucial to enforce a robust password policy.

  • Make the use of strong passwords a key component of your security training practices.
  • Impose strict password requirements that mix upper- and lower-case letters with non-alphanumeric characters.
  • Make password changes necessary. To prevent credential theft, users should change their passwords at least once every three months.
  • To automate password management, use a safe password manager. Make this accessible to all users of the network.
  1. Regular Software & Systems Updates

Cybercriminals frequently utilize unpatched software exploits to hack into small business networks. Delays make your network vulnerable to assault, which causes data breaches before you can react.

  • Updates for all network software and hardware should be automated. Servers, routers, and hardware firewalls (if you use them) are all included in this.
  • At the very least once a year, check software updates. Any patches that the automated distribution systems missed apply.
  • Consult threat databases frequently to be informed of new attacks. Always keep an eye out for SaaS service and on-premises application exploits.

Top Cyber Security Attacks on Small Business

  1. Cyber Attack #1: Consumer Association of Singapore Email Hacked
The Singaporean consumer watchdog Consumer Association of Singapore (Case) had its mail system hacked in October 2022. More than 5,000 customers received phishing emails from two Case addresses, “[email protected]” and “[email protected],” instructing them to complete financial transactions in order to get monetary compensation for their complaints.

As a result of at least 10 victims falling for the phishing emails, the attack resulted in overall losses of at least $225,000. The two mailboxes were largely utilized by the association to correspond with clients who filed complaints and those whose cases were elevated to mediation.

In response to the hack, Case urged customers to report suspicious activity to the police and the anti-scam hotline and to refrain from disclosing personal or financial information. Additionally, it altered its email accounts and suspended the impacted mailboxes.

This incident shows how important it is for people to prioritize their own cybersecurity protections for their money, such as two-factor authentication for their banking accounts. It also emphasizes the necessity for increased cybersecurity awareness, including the capability to recognize phishing emails and the capability to cross-reference doubtful links with reliable sources.

  1. Cyber Attack #2: National University of Singapore Society Hacked
The National University of Singapore Society (NUSS) experienced a data breach in November 2021 that exposed the private information of 1,355 members using the website’s online form function.

Names, NRIC numbers, and contact details were among the personal data that was disclosed. A website infiltration from an unidentified individual or group was the reason for the data leak.

Once the breach was found, NUSS promptly alerted the affected members and the authorities, warning them to look for potential scams or phishing efforts utilizing their personal information.

Additionally, they hired cybersecurity professionals to look into the breach and put in place more security measures to stop it from happening again. Although the impact of this cyber attack was less severe than high-profile data breaches like the MINDEF or SingHealth attacks, it serves as a warning that hackers do not only target major corporations.

No matter how small, businesses must be dedicated to cybersecurity best practices and take online privacy and security seriously in order to safeguard customer information.

  1. Cyber Attack #3: AXA Insurance Data Breach
5,400 Singapore-based AXA Insurance clients’ personal information was taken in June 2020 due to a hack on AXA Insurance’s Health Portal. Email addresses, phone numbers, and birthdates were among the leaked data.

AXA Insurance assured clients and the media that no financial information was exposed even though they notified the breach to PDPC and the police. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has requested AXA to start a detailed analysis of their IT security and close any weaknesses in control.

Personal information about clients may be exposed, resulting in fraud or identity theft. Hackers might theoretically pose as AXA or any other business entity using customer information to further dupe victims into disclosing their banking identities and passwords.

The incident damaged AXA Insurance’s reputation and made customers doubt its capacity to preserve their data.

  1. Cyber Attack #4: SingHealth Data Breach
The breach of 1.5 million SingHealth patients’ personal information in 2018 was Singapore’s biggest cyberattack to date. Information on patients’ diagnoses and drugs was exposed, along with names, residences, and national identity numbers.

Most significantly, the data breach also resulted in the loss of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s personal information, making it a high-profile occurrence that garnered worldwide attention and highlighted the seriousness of Singapore’s cyber threats.

The government acknowledged that the attackers “deliberately and specifically targeted” SingHealth’s data, significantly increasing the hack’s impact. Experts emphasized the need for more robust cybersecurity measures across all sectors because of the incident, which raised concerns about protecting sensitive personal data in Singapore and affected its reputation as a safe haven for businesses.

The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) fined the Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) and SingHealth, respectively, $750,00 and $250,000. The Singaporean government put various safeguards in place due to the breach to stop this from happening again.

These included tightening security controls for all federal entities, like requiring two-factor authentication for all systems. The incident’s high-profile status also sparked a wider discussion in Singapore about the significance of data privacy and cybersecurity.

Last but not least, it served as a reminder for businesses to take preventative action against cyber dangers. If a powerful and secure institution like the government could be attacked, then theoretically, no company would be safe.

  1. Cyber Attack #5: MINDEF Data Breach
A cyberattack on Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) in February 2017 led to the theft of 850 national servicemen’s and workers’ personal information. The MINDEF internet system (I-net), which is utilized for communication and internet access in camps, was the focus of the attack.

The hack was referred to as a “deliberate, targeted, and well-planned cyber attack” by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. Personal data like social security numbers, contact information, and dates of birth were among the stolen data.

There was no classified operational data or military information in the non-classified information. In a security briefing, Mindef said: “The real purpose may have been to gain access to official secrets, but this was prevented by the physical separation of I-net from our internal systems.”

Security professionals conjectured that the attacks might even have been state-sponsored simultaneously. Fortunately, Mindef’s multilayered cybersecurity strategy ensured that the attacker could only penetrate the outer layer of the classified systems and could not further penetrate them, limiting the harm.

The incident demonstrated the government agencies’ susceptibility to cyberattacks and underlined the value of stringent cybersecurity regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the cyber security for small business in singapore₹

  1. What is the most common cyber attack on small businesses?

Here are a few explanations for why phishing attempts affect small firms so frequently:

  1. Lack of Cybersecurity Awareness: Small businesses can lack specialized IT or cybersecurity staff, reducing their awareness of and readiness for cyber attacks.
  2. Limited Resources: Small businesses are appealing targets for cybercriminals because they frequently have inadequate funds and resources for cybersecurity precautions.
  3. Social Engineering: Social engineering techniques are used in phishing to trick people into taking particular actions. Because cybercriminals may create compelling messages that seem authentic, tricking unwary employees is much simpler.
  4. Email as a Common Communication Channel: Businesses frequently utilize email as a means of communication, and phishing scams frequently target email accounts to get confidential data.
  5. Human Error: Human mistakes, such as staff members clicking on fraudulent links or downloading harmful attachments, are a major factor in the success of phishing attempts.

      2.How does a cyber attack affect a small business?

A cyber attack on a small business can have a variety of negative outcomes, including monetary losses, reputational harm, business disruption, data breaches, and possible legal repercussions. These repercussions may have a major long-term and short-term influence on the organization’s capacity to operate and prosper.

  1. How can small businesses prevent cyber attacks?

Small firms can improve their cybersecurity posture and avoid cyberattacks by taking a number of proactive measures, including:

  • Employee Training,
  • Strong Passwords and Authentication,
  • Regular Software Updates,
  • Firewall and Intrusion Detection,
  • Secure Wi-Fi Networks,
  • Data Backups,
  • Access Control,
  • Email Security,
  • Endpoint Security, and
  • Incident Response Plan.
  1. Can small businesses afford cybersecurity measures?

The cost of cybersecurity measures will vary based on the size, sector, and risk profile of the small business. Small firms can adopt numerous best practices and cost-efficient cybersecurity solutions.

To guard against potential financial losses and reputational damage brought on by cyberattacks, it is crucial to prioritize and budget for cybersecurity as a crucial component of operations. To help control costs, small firms should also consult with cybersecurity specialists and think about purchasing cybersecurity insurance.

  1. How often should we update our cybersecurity policies?

To stay in line with changing threats, technologies, and business practices, cybersecurity policies should be reviewed and modified frequently, at least once a year. However, if there are substantial changes to your corporate environment or if new cyber risks appear, they can require updates more frequently.

 

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