COVID-19 has greatly accelerated remote working, digital transformation and cloud adoption in Singapore, according to a Barracuda Networks study.
The study noted that COVID-19 has also been the catalyst for 83% of organisations in Singapore to accelerate digital transformation plans in the next six months to ease the burdens placed on the traditional business model by remote working.
Commissioned by Barracuda and conducted by independent research agency Censuswide, the July 2020 study found that COVID-19 has accelerated the introduction of remote working by at least five years for 67% of organisations in Singapore.
Business leaders in Singapore are optimistic, with 61% of leaders reporting increased productivity since shifting to a remote workforce, and 81% planning to retain remote working for employee productivity and business continuity once the pandemic is over.
Companies in the city-state still have a long way to go in securing newly remote workforces, with more than half of Singapore businesses (51%) reporting at least one data breach or cybersecurity incident since moving to work remotely during the COVID-19 lockdown.
48% of companies said they expect an incident to occur in the next month. 64% are concerned about unknown threats that could cause business disruption in the next 6 months. Businesses also reported an increase in email phishing attacks over the same period (51%).
48% of organisations in Singapore do not have up-to-date cybersecurity strategies or solutions in place to cover all of the vulnerabilities posed by full-time remote working. This is made more difficult by 53% of organisations allowing employees to use personal email addresses and personal devices to conduct company work.
“While many companies in Singapore are used to facilitating remote workers, the scale required due to the pandemic has left many company CIOs and IT departments overstretched, as they jostle with business continuity planning as the key priority,” said James Forbes-May, vice president, Barracuda, Asia-Pacific.
He opined that educating the workforce around potential threats like phishing scams and ransomware will be key to staying safe in these unprecedented times. The subtle sales pitch came with a nod to having a cloud-enabled cybersecurity solution in place to monitor all traffic across the network, as the other thing to have.