How Singapore security professionals responded to the COVID-19 crisis

Although Singaporean security trends generally tracked with other Asia-Pacific countries, Singapore's focus on digital services did lead to some key differences.

A woman carefully studying survey data.
Laurence Dutton / Getty Images

During the height of the initial COVID-19 lockdowns, the global security standards and certifications organisation ISC2 happened to be doing its annual survey of IT security professionals. As a result of the timing, it got a clear picture of how security professionals responded to the pandemic and the sudden lockdowns it caused.

At CSO ASEAN's request, ISC2 broke out the data for Singapore, so we could compare Singapore's response to that of the Asia-Pacific region and of the entire world. ISC2 surveyed 132 security pros in Singapore, 944 in Asia-Pacific, and 3,790 globally for its report 'Cybersecurity Professionals Stand Up to a Pandemic'. (ISC2 also broke out the data for Australia, whose trends differed from Asia-Pacific in several areas.)

The immediate security effects of remote work due to COVID-19

Preparedness for remote work. Singaporean IT organisations were less prepared as their global counterparts for transitioning employees to remote work, at 33% very prepared and 59% somewhat prepared. But Singaporeans were as prepared as their Asia-Pacific counterparts, of whom 32% were very prepared and 60% were somewhat prepared.

Tony Vizza, ISC2's Asia-Pacific director of cybersecurity awareness, attributes Singapore's preparedness to having a national cybersecurity strategy where progress to achieving goals is tracked. The major Asia-Pacific economies also have cybersecurity strategies, and that is reflected in their similar survey results, he says.

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