Cyber security industry has potential to grow further: Analysts

Singapore’s status as a financial hub in the region means there will continue to be demand for cyber security services, which makes sense for firms to invest such capabilities in the country.

File photo: Buildings in Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD).

File photo: Buildings in Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD).

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s conducive business environment and potential in the regional markets have been recognised by companies specialising in cyber security. According to the Economic Development Board and Infocomm Development Authority, that is why more of them have been setting up operations in the Republic.

According to analysts, the market is far from being saturated and there is potential for the industry to grow even more. Singapore has had its brushes with virtual attacks, where websites were defaced and data stolen. Analysts have said it is one key driver in attracting more organisations to set up cyber research outfits in the country.

To support cyber security research, the Government is setting aside S$130 million over five years. Singapore’s status as a financial hub in the region means there will continue to be demand for cyber security services, which makes sense for firms to invest such capabilities in the country.

It is not just a response to needs, but a business decision as well. The Asia-Pacific cyber security market is expected to grow at about 13.4 per cent yearly, to reach US$26 billion (S$33 billion) by 2017.

Come 2015, Boeing Defense, Space and Security will open a Cyber Analytics Centre in Singapore, its first such centre outside America. Earlier this year, auditor KPMG opened a Cyber Security Centre in the Republic.

Said Mr Lyon Poh, head of Information Technology Assurance and Security at KPMG Singapore: “A lot of people are looking for technical expertise – from malware analytics, forensics and response, to the capabilities.

“I think those are things that with time, we will get there. The fact of the matter is no company will have the same security design. You need someone who understands the risks to be able to design something that is really relevant and suitable for the business.”

According to analysts, there is no such thing as too many organisations gunning for a piece of the cyber security pie. They said what is more important is to achieve depth in cyber protection expertise. Analysts expect this to happen in Singapore with more investor interest in the area.

“Cloud security, mobile security, data privacy – all these are very topical as well as current issues that organisations are dealing with. So having more organisations coming in can actually create the depth and further develop Singapore as a magnet to attract further talents and give us the edge in the area,” said PricewaterhouseCoopers Singapore’s Information Technology Risk Leader, Mr Tan Shong Ye.

Under Singapore’s Safety and Security Industry Programme Office, companies can work with the public sector to develop, test and customise cyber security solutions.

– CNA/xk

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