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Why You Need to Understand “Secure by Design” Cybersecurity Practices

Cybersecurity has become a crucial pillar for businesses of all sizes globally. With the digital landscape's rapid growth, safeguarding networks is not optional. Cyberattacks not only disrupt operations but can also have long-lasting impacts.

The number and complexity of cyber threats are on the rise. In 2022, we saw an alarming 87% increase in IoT malware attacks. With AI in the picture, the volume of attacks is escalating too.

It’s time for businesses to move from a reactive to a proactive stance on cybersecurity. A key strategy in this proactive approach is adopting "Secure by Design" practices.

Globally, efforts are being made to tackle commonly exploited vulnerabilities. A recent advisory emphasised Secure by Design principles, showing the need for worldwide cooperation to secure critical infrastructure.

In this article, we decode what it means to implement Secure by Design principles in Singapore and why it's critical in today's digital era.

Today's Modern Cyberthreats

Long gone are the days when an antivirus was enough. Cybercriminals now employ complex methods, with attacks causing significant damage. Here's what's trending:

  • Ransomware: This malware locks your data and demands a ransom. It's one of the costliest attacks for businesses.

  • Phishing: Scammers trick you into giving away sensitive information, with 83% of companies facing such attacks annually.

  • Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs): Stealthy, long-term cyber attacks aimed at stealing data.

  • Zero-Day Exploits: Attacks targeting unknown vulnerabilities.

  • IoT Vulnerabilities: Weaknesses in IoT devices that hackers exploit.

A proactive approach is essential to fend off these evolving threats.

What Is Secure by Design?

Secure by Design is about embedding security into the core of systems, apps, or devices from the outset. It's not an add-on but a fundamental aspect of the development process.

For Singaporean businesses, this means:

  • Choosing Secure by Design Hardware/Software: Opt for vendors who prioritise security from the get-go.

  • Incorporating these Principles into Your Business: Whether upgrading infrastructure or enhancing customer service, make cybersecurity central.

Key principles include:

  • Risk Assessment: Spot security risks early on.

  • Standard Framework: Use established security frameworks such as CIS, NIST, etc.

  • Least Privilege: Limit access to necessary personnel only.

  • Defense in Depth: Layer your security.

  • Regular Updates: Keep security measures fresh.

  • User Education: Teach your team about security risks.

Why Secure-by-Design Matters

  • Proactive Security: It's about preventing issues, not just fixing them.

  • Cost Savings: Integrating security early cuts future expenses. Addressing security issues after a system is in production can be costly.

  • Regulatory Compliance: Stay ahead of Singapore's data protection laws.

  • Reputation Management: Show your commitment to data safety.

  • Future-Proofing: Stay resilient against new threats.

  • Minimising Attack Surfaces: Reduce vulnerabilities from the start.

Need to Modernise Your Cybersecurity Strategy?

A cybersecurity strategy put in place five years ago can easily be outdated today. Need some help modernising your company’s cybersecurity?

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