Its businesses invest the most money across the widest range of technologies, but they also suffer the heaviest cyber incident costs.

A Cyber Risk and Resilience survey has found that Singapore is the country with the highest estimated costs stemming from cybersecurity incidents in the APAC region over the last 12 months.

A report 60% of Singapore respondents believed they could estimate the cost of cybersecurity incidents, with an estimated cost of US$1,268,620 (S$1,732,681) incurred per breach, per company affected.

The McAfee Cyber Resilience Report (MCRR) surveyed 480 cybersecurity decision-makers across eight Asia-Pacific countries including Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand. Compared to estimates from other respondents, damage costs from respondents in Singapore were more than double that of the next highest APAC country, Indonesia, where respondents estimated costs of US$574,649 per breach (S$784,855), and more than four times the APAC average estimated costs per breach at US$298,812.17 (S$408,117.66). Of note, in Malaysia, where more than 85% of respondents believed they could estimate the costs of cybersecurity incidents, companies estimated an average of US$22,971 (S$31,373.77).

Said Jonathan Tan, Managing Director, Asia, McAfee: “Singapore organizations have been embarking on digital transformation efforts, and it is great to see that they are placing much more importance on cybersecurity. This is a good start, but we need to move beyond just implementing cybersecurity as part of digital transformation and in reaction to regulations. Instead, organizations should be planning every project with cybersecurity in mind, regardless if they are rolling out a new product or moving to the cloud, and not treat security as a reaction or afterthought.”

Cyber incident impacts ranked

Some 86% of APAC businesses believe that cybersecurity incidents pose “high” or “medium” impacts on their business. Within Singapore, 80% of respondents believed that cybersecurity incidents pose “high” or “medium” impacts on their business.

Businesses identifying cybersecurity incidents to be of “high” impact estimated costs of each incident to be worth US$514,638 on average, while those identifying it to be of “medium” impact estimated each incident to cost US$150,213 on average.

Digital transformation as a catalyst

All (100%) of the businesses surveyed turned to outside firms to help in their digital transformation efforts, with 68% of the companies polled turning to solution providers. At the same time, they are also engaging with system integrators (58%), vendors (57%), and consulting firms (52%).

In multiple technology types, Singaporean organizations are more likely than their regional counterparts to spend on, and undergo digital transformation. Singapore companies have region-leading rates of investment in technologies, such as Cloud, security, and IoT.

Regulations and compliance

Organizations across APAC identified cybersecurity regulations as the most impactful regulations affecting their businesses. 92% of Singaporean organizations are investing more in cybersecurity due to regulations.

Malaysian respondents were much more likely than companies in any other APAC region to identify safety regulations as affecting their organizations. The country also led all others in identifying privacy regulations as impacting organizations (85% of respondents).