The recent WannaCry cyber attacks have shown the importance of user awareness and large-scale communication, from industry to country to the global level, said the Risk and Insurance Management Association of Singapore (RIMAS).
“Part of the reason why the ransomware attacks were not as profitable for the perpetrators as expected is because people shared information that paying ransom did not release the files in many instances,” said RIMAS President Sean Chan.
This probably saved a lot of unnecessary costs and helps to serve as less of an encouragement for such criminal activity. Overall, reasonably good global collaboration was observed in terms of how the latest threat information was disseminated among governments, security vendors, companies and users, he added.
“The attacks also tell us how critical it is for IT departments to be up-to-date on Windows patches, antivirus updates, and educating employees on spotting suspicious email attachments and performing regular data backups,” Mr Chan said.
Many companies which had installed major Windows updates in March this year managed to escape the effects of the cyber attacks. Following the attacks, Microsoft had also issued urgent updates for users on selected Windows systems.
Cyber attacks ranked no. 1 by Singapore risk practitioners
Mr Chan noted that according to the RIMAS’ Singapore Risk Survey Report 2017 issued recently, cyber attacks were ranked no. 1 by Singapore-based risk practitioners as the risk they would focus on in 2017. This was largely attributed to the fact that they had witnessed some high-profile cyber attacks globally and in Singapore in 2016. The report said that it is highly improbable cyber attacks will abate in an environment where nearly everything is connected.
“Cyber attacks should be first on the risk radar, especially for industries dependent upon critical or prominent infrastructures such as power plants, large shopping centres, airports, buildings in the Central Business District, so that resources are adequately allocated to address the risk,” said Mr Chan.
The RIMAS’ Singapore Risk Survey Report 2017 highlights views from its Governing Council & Advisory Panel members, made up of senior risk professionals from diverse industries ranging from banking to hospitality. They were asked to prioritise and rank 15 different risks that would be of their focus in 2017.
The top five risks they ranked are:
- Cyber attacks
- Failure to Innovate
- Failure of Mission-Critical Systems
- Terrorist Attack
- Supply Chain Disruption
The full risk survey report is available on RIMAS’ website. A