Man with hoody hacking system

SINGAPORE: In today’s rapidly evolving cyber landscape, less than half of Singapore’s cybersecurity professionals feel confident in their ability to identify attacks using deepfakes, according to a new report from cybersecurity firm Bitdefender.

The report highlights significant challenges as AI-assisted social engineering attacks emerge as a predominant threat, posing a considerable risk to organizations across the island nation.

The findings reveal that only 49% of IT and security teams believe they can effectively spot deepfake-related cyber attacks, indicating a critical gap in defensive capabilities.

Deepfakes, manipulated media that can convincingly imitate real individuals, are increasingly being used to deceive and manipulate organizations. This brings to the fore a growing need for enhanced training and tools to address such sophisticated threats.

Over the past year, more than half of Singaporean organizations (57%) experienced data breaches or data leaks, a notable increase compared to the previous year. Despite this rise, Singapore still maintains the lowest volume of data breaches globally, a mixed signal that highlights both progress and ongoing vulnerability.

The report identifies phishing and social engineering (38.5%), ransomware (33.5%), insider threats (33.5%), and software vulnerabilities or zero-days (33.5%) as the leading cybersecurity threats faced by Singaporean entities. These issues reflect a broad spectrum of attack vectors, emphasizing the diverse challenges in the current threat landscape.

Managing cloud environments also presents significant hurdles. Half of the respondents cited identity access management and maintaining cloud compliance as their main challenges.

Additionally, only 50% of the organizations conduct regular audits and assessments of their cloud infrastructure, suggesting a need for improved cloud security practices.

In response to the escalating threat environment, nearly all (97%) of Singapore’s cybersecurity professionals plan to boost investment in proactive measures, such as penetration testing and red teaming. This strategic pivot indicates a proactive stance in fortifying defenses against increasingly sophisticated attacks.

“We continue to see an escalation of attacks, in terms of volume, variety of attack surfaces, and sophistication – particularly those enabled by AI,” said Paul Hadjy, Vice President of APAC and Cyber Security Services at Bitdefender. “To combat this, Singapore companies must seek more advanced cybersecurity solutions and focus on attracting and managing the right talent.”

As cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, the report highlights the urgency for Singaporean organizations to enhance their defensive strategies, particularly against AI-driven threats like deepfakes. The emphasis on proactive measures and talent development is expected to be crucial in navigating the complexities of the modern cyber threat landscape.