Survey: Banks strengthen online security teams to fight cyber threats

In a survey of 150 CIOs and CTOs working in the finance and banking sector in Asia conducted by Robert Half, it was found Singapore technology experts are most concerned about threats than their regional counterparts.

According to the survey, 70 percent of the respondents from Singapore cited concerns about security threats, compared to those from Hong Kong (60 percent) and Japan (42 percent).

The survey also asked about the respondents' concerns about cloud technology and their plans to adopt cloud computing. When it comes to migrating technology functions to the cloud, 36 percent of respondents from Singapore cited security concerns as their top reason why Singapore firms are holding back, followed by data integrity (24 percent) and lack of internal knowledge on cloud computing (18 percent).

Concern about cyber security has a significant impact on the decisions of Singapore technology leaders, the survey reveals, making them reluctant to migrate further services into the cloud. In Singapore 44 percent of CIOs/CTOs have no further plans to migrate to cloud computing.

The three most common steps taken by Singapore CIOs/CTOs to protect themselves against cloud cyber security threats are:

1. Developing business continuity processes (32 percent)

2. Improving physical security (30 percent)

3. Identifying management systems (28 percent)

Robert Half Singapore's division director for financial services (technology and business transformation), Justin Peck, said banking and finance companies are responding to security threats by strengthening their IT headcount and ensuring that their IT team understands the security models, technology and processes needed to manage in a cloud environment.

He added: "As the level of threat rises, so does the demand for experienced and skilled IT professionals. Depending on the size of the organisation, we would advise businesses to continue to take proactive steps and consider hiring a cloud security specialist whose main responsibility is to keep the company's operations in the cloud as secure as possible."

In the same survey, it was also found that employers are finding it challenging to recruit IT professionals with the skills and experience they require. "Fifty-two percent of those surveyed in Singapore, 56 percent in Hong Kong and 36 percent in Japan are experiencing challenges finding skilled technology staff today," Peck said.

"Whether this is due to headcount restrictions or the need to assess long-term recruitment needs of the company before making hiring decisions, this recruitment model provides business and IT leaders with the opportunity to gain flexibility, reduce costs and access the skills they may be lacking internally," said Peck.

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