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Singaporean industries urged to strengthen cybersecurity measures amid high frequency of OT cyberattacks: report

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Azunta Gaviola

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1 week ago

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Singapore – More than 60% of Singaporean respondents indicated experiencing cyber incidents on a monthly or weekly basis, with approximately 35.1% of organisations forced to stop their industrial operations due to successful cyberattacks. This is according to a recent report by computer and network security firm Palo Alto Networks, indicating a critical need for enhanced cybersecurity measures to safeguard industrial operations.

In the report, it was further revealed that 60.4% of Singaporean respondents prioritise OT security as a top priority, with 49.5% of them planning to increase spending on OT cybersecurity in the next two years. 

Amid the awareness, Singapore was still reported to lag behind other ASEAN countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam in prioritising OT security. 

Interestingly, the report noted that nearly half of the respondents described the relationship between OT and IT as either siloed or frictional, with only 12.9% indicating alignment between the teams. On the other hand, about 36.6% reported shared responsibility for OT cybersecurity purchase decisions between the two teams. 

Furthermore, around 68% also identified AI-driven attacks against OT as a significant concern, with 80% believing that AI holds the key to combating these threats. 

Additionally, cloud solutions are increasingly becoming integral to OT security strategies, indicating that 79% of organisations believe that adopting cloud solutions will strengthen OT security. 

However, more than half (54.5%) expected increased cybersecurity challenges due to cloud adoption in the next two years.

According to the report, the concept of zero trust has also emerged as an important strategy for OT security, with 80% of industrial respondents endorsing a zero trust approach. This approach implied stringent identity verification and access control measures. 

Despite the endorsement, the adoption rates for Zero Trust solutions are still low, with slightly more than 15% having fully implemented these measures for their OT/IT environments.

Claribel Chai, country manager for Singapore at Palo Alto Networks, said, “The surge in attacks targeting industrial operators underscores the critical requirement for proactive measures to mitigate risks and ensure the resilience of our industrial systems.”

“In this digital age, where connectivity is omnipresent, traditional security measures alone are insufficient to combat sophisticated cyber threats. An AI-led approach stands at the forefront of defence, offering unparalleled capabilities to analyse massive data volumes at speed as well as identify patterns indicating imminent threats,” Chai further explained.

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