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Editor’s brief: With COVID-19 hitting the globe with the double whammy of infections and economy downturns, another emerging threat is wrecking more havoc than needed – cybersecurity. Already, the leading “white hat” security vendor HackerOne revealed in its recent research that 21% of businesses in Singapore have seen an increase in cyber-attacks on their IT systems because of the pandemic. The vendor’s news release is below.

COVID-19 puts CISOs under strain: 21% of businesses in Singapore have seen more attacks during the pandemic

Over half say they are preparing for an inevitable data breach

SINGAPORE, @mcgallen #microwireinfo, August 12, 2020 — HackerOne, the world’s trusted hacker-powered security platform, today revealed research that 21% of businesses in Singapore have seen an increase in attacks on their IT systems as a result of the pandemic. At the same time, they are having to switch priorities to focus on securing the use of working from home and collaboration tools. According to the survey with C-Level IT and Security executives at global businesses across the world: almost two thirds (64%) believe their organisation is more likely to experience a data breach due to COVID-19. In Singapore, 58% of CISOs, CTOs, and CIOs feel the same.

“The COVID-19 crisis has shifted life online,” says Marten Mickos, CEO of HackerOne. “As companies rush to meet remote work requirements and customer demands for digital services, attack surfaces have dramatically expanded, leaving security teams stretched thin and not staffed to cope. It’s been a moment of reckoning: use the creativity and power of hackers to harden software and prevent malicious activities.”

HackerOne has seen a 56 percent increase in hacker sign-ups on the platform since March compared to the same time last year. With budgets and teams cut for a quarter of respondents, it’s perhaps no surprise to see that 21 percent of CISOs in Singapore say they would now be more open to receiving vulnerability reports from third party researchers than before the pandemic.

“Businesses realise they have been too slow with their digital transformation and cloud migration” continues Marten. “HackerOne research revealed digital initiatives had accelerated as a result of COVID-19 for 37 percent of security leaders in Singapore. Nearly 40 percent were forced to go through it before they were ready. The strain this puts on security teams is immense. Cost-cutting measures combined with an increase in attacks means data breaches present a significant threat to brand reputations that may have already taken a hit. Crowdsourcing security testing with hackers is the fastest and most cost-effective way to minimise the risk security vulnerabilities pose. This is a practice recommended by governments and major digital corporations and allows companies to tap into the best security researchers in the world.”

HackerOne’s 4th annual Hacker Powered Security report will be published later in August 2020, with spotlights dedicated to sharing insights and trends from customers and hackers about their experiences during the pandemic.

Research conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of HackerOne in July 2020. Sample: 1,400 security professionals in companies employing 1000+ in the UK, France, Germany, Australia, Singapore, USA and Canada. In Singapore, 200 CISOs, CTOs and CIOs were included in the sample survey. 

About HackerOne

HackerOne empowers the world to build a safer internet. As the world’s trusted hacker-powered security platform, HackerOne gives organisations access to the largest community of hackers on the planet. Armed with the most robust database of vulnerability trends and industry benchmarks, the hacker community mitigates cyber risk by searching, finding, and safely reporting real-world security weaknesses for organizations across all industries and attack surfaces. Customers include The U.S. Department of Defense, Dropbox, General Motors, GitHub, Goldman Sachs, Google, Hyatt, Intel, Lufthansa, Microsoft, MINDEF Singapore, Nintendo, PayPal, Qualcomm, Slack, Starbucks, Twitter, and Verizon Media. HackerOne was ranked fifth on the Fast Company World’s Most Innovative Companies list for 2020. Headquartered in San Francisco, HackerOne has a presence in London, New York, the Netherlands, France, Singapore, and over 70 other locations across the globe.