Every company holds information of value to hackers

We thank Mr Tan Kar Quan for his feedback ("Shore up SMEs' defences against cyber threats"; Wednesday).

Cyber threats do not discriminate. Whether it is the Government, multinational corporations, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), or individual members of the public, no one is immune.

Some companies believe that they are safe from cyber threats because hackers will target larger and more profitable companies.

However, every company holds information of value to hackers, such as information that can be sold, customers' private data, bank account details or intellectual property.

Companies big and small should see cyber security as a key business risk - what will happen to your business if you are hacked?

We encourage companies to also see cyber security as an enabler - to better protect their reputation and instil confidence in customers.

This also means that cyber security must be designed from the beginning, as prevention is better than trying to address the aftermath of a cyber attack.

We are working closely with agencies such as the Singapore Business Federation and the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises to raise the bar of cyber-security standards for SMEs.

Mandating that all SMEs adopt cyber-security measures may place too heavy a burden on SMEs and affect their financial viability.

Rather, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) encourages taking a risk-based approach to cyber security, balancing the costs, risks and potential impact of cyber threats.

SMEs are encouraged to understand and incorporate cyber security as a business risk. As business owners, they have to take responsibility for investing in cyber security.

While some tools will incur costs, there are quick and relatively low-cost measures, such as ensuring regular back-up of company data and software updates, and employee education.

As Singapore's cyber landscape evolves, along with new opportunities and risks, the CSA will continue to reach out to SMEs and members of the public to raise their awareness of the importance of cyber security.

We also provide advisories to help businesses pre-empt and prevent cyber attacks.

Businesses can sign up for alerts at www.csa.gov.sg/singcert and access cyber-security tips at www.csa.gov.sg/gosafeonline

They can also seek help from SingCert if they encounter cyber-security incidents.

Connie Lee (Ms)

Senior Assistant Director

Communications and Engagement Office

Cyber Security Agency of Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2016, with the headline 'Every company holds information of value to hackers'. Print Edition | Subscribe