Search
AI

Awareness amongst SMEs on possible cyber risks drop significantly to 47% this year: report

by

Azunta Gaviola

-

3 weeks ago

Are you ready to unlock the secrets to skyrocketing your e-commerce business in the hearts of Southeast Asia’s e-commerce hub? The ‘E-Commerce Marketing Series 2024’ conferences are coming to Malaysia and the Philippines starting this July! Click here to find out more!

Singapore – A notable decrease in the proportion of SME executives fully aware of potential cyber risks dropped from 57% in 2023 to 47% this year, according to the latest survey by general insurer firm QBE Singapore. 

With only 25% of SMEs affected by cyber events in 2024 compared to 38% in 2023, a decrease in awareness of possible cyber risks was noted. Executives who felt somewhat aware of cyber risks also increased from 40% last year to 48% this year, indicating a recognition of new risks that they may not yet fully understand. 

Data from the survey further found that the percentage of businesses that don’t have any processes or protection against cyber risks rose to 19% this year from 9% last year. 

Among those with some form of protection, 59% indicated software solutions as their primary cyber security protection. This was followed by staff training (46%), dedicated staff for cyber security (44%), and policies for handling potential cyber risks (43%). 

Only 38% of SMEs have also said they have insurance for cyber security risks, but more than half (55%) of them expressed openness to purchasing cyber security insurance this year.

Meanwhile, approximately 49% of them reported that artificial intelligence had an impact on productivity. A third (32%) of survey respondents also anticipate AI replacing or assuming jobs within their company in the future.

While approximately 30% further considered AI as a threat to business activity, only 15% expressed concern about AI-instigated cyberattacks. Another 10% are also concerned about privacy issues and identity breaches caused by AI, and a mere 6% are concerned about data leakages resulting from the advanced technology.

Interestingly, nearly half (49%) stated that AI has had or will have a positive impact on their business productivity, particularly in automated response (6%), routine manual work/tasks (6%), and finance/accounting/audit functions (4%).

In terms of addressing workplace issues, the survey results also suggest a significant improvement. However, attention to mental health has slightly decreased, with the proportion of companies emphasising this issue dropping from 94% to 89% year-on-year.

Around 51% of SMEs consider mental health to be very important within the workplace safety and health (WSH) paradigm, while 89% overall deem it important. These businesses have taken steps to ensure mental and physical wellbeing, such as offering flexible work hours (44%), work-from-home arrangements (35%), and health and wellness benefits (28%). 

In addition to providing wellness programmes and benefits to support employee wellbeing, implementing a comprehensive Employee Compensation Insurance (ECI) plan can help businesses safeguard themselves.

Shun Quan Goh, head of underwriting, retail, and SME at QBE Singapore, commented on the report, stating, “This number shows how vulnerable SMEs may be to cyber risks and underscores the need for companies to educate, upskill, and protect themselves in this area. Businesses cannot afford to be complacent about cyber security; it really is a matter of when, not if, a cyber breach happens.”

“The cyber risk landscape evolves quickly, and it can be hard to keep up. This is reflected in our survey, with the majority of SME executives saying they don’t fully understand the threat domain. This is where insurance comes to the fore: not only can we help businesses manage and transfer the risk, we can also help them stay ahead of emerging trends,” he added.

Ronak Shah, chief executive officer at QBE Singapore, said, “At QBE, we actively support SMEs in their efforts to prioritise employee well-being within their workplaces. Our aim is to empower SMEs to create positive organisational cultures while ensuring the security and support of their valued workforce.”

“By taking proactive steps to address employee well-being and risk management, SMEs can strengthen their resilience and pave the way for sustained success in today’s competitive talent market,” concluded Ronak.

Discover the current trends in business communication based on over 473 billion interactions. Download the free report here to stay ahead of the curve in messaging trends!
Experience history at MARKETECH APAC’s ‘Marketing Technology Awards 2024! On November 28, live in Singapore, celebrate visionaries shaping Asia-Pacific’s marketing tech across 45 categories. Join us in honouring innovation and excellence! Click here to learn more.

 

Share

RECENT ARTICLES

Elitery to expand cloud expertise as Indonesia’s Google Cloud managed services provider
Mastercard enhances fraud detection capabilities with additional AI-powered security features
Vietnam’s PVcomBank unveils new mobile banking service using Temenos Digital on AWS
GreenNode to elevate artificial intelligence capabilities across APAC with Nvidia, global partners collaboration
FWD Group to bolster cloud tech capabilities with AWS partnership extension
Ellipse 3

RELATED ARTICLES

Mastercard enhances fraud detection capabilities with additional AI-powered security features (1)_11zon (1)
2_GreenNode to elevate artificial intelligence capabilities across APAC with Nvidia, global partners collaboration_11zon (3)
Paessler AG, Root Security to bolster SG cybersecurity, IT monitoring needs with recent collaboration_11zon
Ellipse 3

FEATURED ARTICLES

Mastercard enhances fraud detection capabilities with additional AI-powered security features (1)_11zon (1)
2_GreenNode to elevate artificial intelligence capabilities across APAC with Nvidia, global partners collaboration_11zon (3)
Paessler AG, Root Security to bolster SG cybersecurity, IT monitoring needs with recent collaboration_11zon

Subscribe to UpTech Media Newsletter

Video Title Here: The Indonesian on-ground activation status

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos.

Video Title Here: The Indonesian on-ground activation status

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos.

Video Title Here: The Indonesian on-ground activation status

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos.