DBS will be organisng a complimentary cybersecurity training program to help protect the 280,000-strong SME community in Singapore from the growing threat of cybercrime.

SMEs that take part in the cybersecurity training will be presented with recommendations for suitable cyber insurance and cybersecurity solutions at the end of the program. This enables SMEs to take immediate steps to protect their businesses from potential cyberattacks.

The program, DBS #CyberWellness, comprises 10 online modules, each covering a different facet of cybersecurity, such as password protection, phishing, digital scams, physical security, and social media security. To make the training even more accessible for time-strapped employees, each module can be accessed on the go digitally through an e-learning platform, with all 10 modules taking no more than 120 minutes to complete.

DBS is also looking forward to partnering with government agencies, industry associations, and like-minded corporate partners to scale the program so SMEs can continue to digitalize safely and securely. Currently, the DBS #CyberWellness program partner is StarHub.

StarHub will provide participating SMEs with a complimentary two-month trial of their hardware-free, plug-and-play cybersecurity solution called “Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) for SME”. This enables SMEs to gain a business-wide defense against cyber threats.

One of the biggest problems faced by organizations around the world today is a shortage of skilled employees in the tech field. As more companies look to increase their tech adoption, many feel the lack of a skilled workforce is a big hindrance for them.

As tech companies around the world continue to offer training and upskilling programs as well as work with governments, universities, and organizations to deal with the shortage, not all fields in the tech industry are being covered.

Cybersecurity training, for example, is highly sought after by all organizations today. The increase in cybercrime, especially ransomware and continued remote working practices have contributed to the demand for cybersecurity training.

According to the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), over two in five crimes committed in Singapore in 2020 were related to cybercrime, with over 16,000 such cases reported and small, medium enterprises (SMEs) accounting for almost 40% of these.

In Southeast Asia, digitalisation has offered a precious lifeline to SMEs looking to adapt to the post-pandemic new normal, SMEs with a digital presence is becoming increasingly exposed to potential cyberattacks. Some companies are now reskilling their employees with cybersecurity training so that they will be able to deal with the increasing new applications and workloads being implemented.

SMEs make up 99% of businesses in Singapore, employing 70% of Singapore’s workforce and contributing nearly half of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. Joyce Tee, Group Head of SME Banking at DBS, noted that the potential disruption of lives and livelihoods in the event of coordinated cyberattacks on SMEs cannot be underestimated.

“SMEs tend to be more vulnerable to cyberthreats because they lack the time or resources of bigger companies. We believe we can make the biggest impact by equipping the employees of SMEs with foundational cybersecurity skills, which become ingrained everyday habits as they put their skills to practice. Most importantly, trained employees become the first line of cyber defense for SMEs and play a crucial role in averting downtime due to catastrophic cyberattacks,” she said.

DBS #CyberWellness was first rolled out as a pilot to social enterprises and charities in Singapore and was subsequently expanded to include SMEs.

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