It is instinctive to want to see the unknown, to be curious and open attachments and e-mails from unfamiliar senders. But cyber security experts warn that such curiosity can result in dire consequences.

Just last year, cybercrime cost the global economy over US$450 billion (S$620 billion), and this number is only expected to grow, with estimates that it will hit US$3 trillion by 2020.

The staggering figures were presented during the first dialogue at the Interpol World 2017 congress held at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday, which saw top security experts in the world gather to discuss topics such as cybercrime.

Speaking on the event’s sidelines, Mr Rob Leslie, chief executive officer of Ireland-based data privacy company Sedicii, urged the public to resist opening suspicious files and e-mails.

“In the real world, if someone came to your front door and knocked on it, your first reaction is not to open the door and let them in,” he said.

“It’s to ask who are you, what are you here for… And once you’re satisfied, then you let them in.”

The event comes days after the NotPetya attack, which affected at least 2,000 individuals and organisations worldwide, including some here.

A survey released yesterday by security services provider Quann and research firm IDC revealed that Singapore companies are unprepared for cyber attacks.

The survey said that 91 per cent of the companies are in the early stages of security preparedness, and almost half have never conducted any form of IT security awareness exercise.

Second Minister for Home Affairs Desmond Lee said at the Interpol World 2017 event that Singapore is constantly enhancing its responses to cybercrime. One such response is the National Cybercrime Action Plan that was launched a year ago.

The plan focuses on educating the public, enhancing government capabilities, strengthening legislation and stepping up partnerships.

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Article by David Sun
Source: The New Paper© Singapore Press Holdings Limited