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Navigating Singapore's Cyber Security Landscape Today

While digital transformation has been a buzzword for the longest time now, the trend of organisations adapting to modern technology has been accelerating at a startling pace. Today, many organisations are adapting to these changes to meet the changing needs of consumers and the workforce. And while disruptions are to be expected with any new technology, none are as threatening as a potential cyber security breach.

Today’s businesses are savvier with cyber security, with 77% of global leaders reporting more awareness today compared to three years ago. But while teams are committed to strengthening their cyber security profiles today, 90% of leaders found difficulties implementing their cyber security strategies due to skill gaps in their organisations. 

These findings were part of our Global Cyber Security Report 2023, surveying 1,000 cyber security leaders from across 29 countries. But what of the situation locally? We sat down with Prisca Toh,  Senior Consultant and Belle Lim, Senior Consultant, Hays Singapore to get a better grasp of the challenges facing candidates and businesses in today’s climate. 

Singapore’s cyber security field is an exciting, candidate-driven market 

Today, more and more organisations are looking out for the right cyber security professionals to help them achieve their goals. The increasing complexity of cyber security threats have facilitated this demand, making cyber security one of the fastest-growing areas in Singapore.

The threat was recognised by the government from as early as 2020, where it committed $1 billion over the next three years towards securing the Government's cyber and data security capabilities. 

The search for talent is at all-time high, and cyber security professionals are uniquely positioned to take advantage of this today. 

Cyber security threats are on the rise and organisations are struggling to cope 

Although businesses are cognisant of the need to establish pipelines for threat intelligence, finding the right talent capable of reinforcing their front lines of defence has been difficult. These front-line skills cover critical areas such as cloud security, security architecture and security engineering.

Experience in running a Security Operations Center (SOC) and implementing a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution were also necessities for a role that has expanded in complexity these last few years. On top of everything, being able to manage cyber security from a governance, risk, and compliance angle is also essential to keep up with local regulatory needs

Workers with the knowledge and experience required to fill these roles are at a premium in a field where individuals with the right credentials can demand higher salaries from prospective hiring parties. Two-thirds of leaders surveyed did not rate their ability to attract cyber security talent highly amidst fierce competition between organisations to secure these resources. 

The role of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) have expanded greatly

With the rise of cyber-attacks in recent years, the CISO role has grown in importance over the years. On top of developing and implementing security strategies for entire organisations, more and more CISOs have seen greater collaboration with executive board members; a sign of growing organisational interest in cybersecurity.

Today, 47% of global CISOs report directly to their CEO according to the 2023 CISO Report by Splunk. This additional oversight allows for the board to decide on the necessary measures needed for the organisation to meet security requirements in their given industry. 

CISOs in this role are empowered to communicate the potentials risks to the decision makers and take action independently whenever necessary. Lacking C-suite buy-in however, CISOs will need to educate business leaders about the importance of cyber security and to ensure that they are aware of the risks, as well as the next steps to mitigate these risks.

Chief Information Officers (CIOs) continue to serve as a first line of defense

CIOs remain focused on developing and implementing the organisation's IT and digital strategy. Much like CISOs, they also work closely with other C-suite executives to align technology initiatives with the company's overall goals and objectives.

CIOs serve as the bridge between technology and the business, ensuring that technology investments and strategies align with the organisation's goals and providing the technological foundation for its success. However, with today's increased focus on cyber security, it is imperative that the two can work together to help the business achieve its goals.

In a fast-moving market like tech, we understand the importance of having quick access to top talent who will make a real difference. We have spent years nurturing an ecosystem of highly engaged and unique candidates and will work with you to grow or scale your business using our unique expertise aligned to sectors and technologies. Be sure to reach out to us if you have a position that needs filling.

Cyber security training is now paramount

With a cyber security skills shortage having an impact across the board, leaders have acknowledged the need to fill the gap. The result we are seeing is a more relaxed approach to hiring workers who lack formal cyber security accreditations, with the aim of upskilling and retraining both new and existing employees to meet organisational needs. 

This investment does not extend to employee retention, where many organisations prefer offering remote and hybrid working arrangements and a better work-life balance over monetary rewards to entice talents to stay.

Candidates in Singapore are finding themselves well supported to venture deeper into this field. Institutes of higher learning throughout the nation offer over 15 cyber security programmes combined to supplement this growth, to hone the necessary skills cyber security talents today require to excel in their role. We found that existing candidates within this talent pool are gravitating towards more specialised roles, which generally also command better salary packages. 

As recruitment experts in cyber security, we can help our candidates widen their career prospects. Reach out to us and let us find your next cyber security job for you.

Cyber Safety Next Steps

With cyber security defense strategies taking a hit due to the myriad of factors outlined above, organisations will need to find effective solutions to fill these gaps in talent. Summarised below are some simple next steps leaders can take to solve for this:

Consider unexplored talent

Although they may not have the experience or complete skillset, there are people out there with the learning mindset to help your business. Broaden your search and think about the relevant skills any recruits would need and which they could build upon with the right training.

Upskill your current talent

It’s vital that your organisation stays ahead of cyber criminals through continuous learning. Ensure that senior leadership are aware of its importance and that your cyber security team are familiar with the latest practices and technologies.

Find experienced talent

As a lifelong partner to businesses in Singapore, Hays is well placed to find the right solutions to your staffing needs. From identifying existing talent to training those with potential, we’re working for your tomorrow to help your organisation succeed in the short and long term.

Be sure to browse our articles related to cyber security below.



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