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Chubb Survey of Singapore SMEs Reveals Significant Perception Gap for Cyber Awareness and Preparedness
• 56% of SMEs have experienced a cyber incident in the past year
• 66% are not aware of all the cyber threats they face
• Majority of cyber incidents are caused by internal factors
Jan 17, 2019
Too Small to Fail? Chubb SME Cyber Preparedness Survey

SINGAPORE, 17 JANUARY 2019 — A survey conducted by Chubb of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore has revealed a significant perception gap between cyber risk and how prepared they are to deal with it. 

In the Chubb SME Cyber Preparedness Survey released today, it is revealed that nearly two thirds (63%) of respondents believe they are less vulnerable to cyber incidents than large companies, yet the majority of SMEs (56%) have experienced a cyber error or attack in the last 12 months.

The findings also show that the cyber incidents which occurred over the past year were mainly due to internal factors, among which included system malfunction or technical fault (22%), human error causing business interruption or data loss (20%), and data loss through system malfunction or technical fault (16%).

“Many SMEs believe they are too small to be targeted by cyber criminals or that internal issues will not greatly impact them. They think they are too small to fail.  However, our own claims data highlights numerous small business compromises that are decimating the cash flow of small businesses,” said Andrew Taylor, Cyber Underwriting Manager, Chubb Asia Pacific.

He continued, “In fact, smaller companies have a relatively larger exposure, as they face the same threats as larger businesses but do not have the means to implement comprehensive protection, leaving significant risk uncovered.”

Are SMEs overconfident in managing a cyber incident?

The survey reveals that most Singapore SMEs are confident in their ability to overcome a cyber breach following an attack.  Three quarters (72%) of the respondents believe they can overcome a cyber event, with the majority (55%) believing they can contain a breach within 12 hours. This seeming overconfidence is contradicted by:

  • 66% believe they are not aware of all the cyber threats they face.
  • 32% of SMEs who experienced cyber incidents did not know which data files were affected.

Although cyber incidents make 62% of SMEs realise they are more vulnerable than they had previously thought, only 44% increased their security following a breach and one quarter (22%) took no action at all.

Cyber insurance – a lack of understanding

The survey also uncovered a lack of understanding of cyber insurance with two thirds (64%) of SMEs in Singapore not fully understanding the insurance solutions available while 70% have never purchased cyber insurance.  In addition, almost half of the respondents (48%) would value advice on how to protect themselves from cyber issues as well as having a hands-on response service.

“Clearly, there is a need for more education about the value of cyber insurance among SMEs.  This is why we place a strong emphasis on our preventive advice as well as response support,” said Tim Stapleton, Senior Vice President, Cyber & Technology, Chubb Overseas General.

About the Chubb SME Cyber Preparedness Survey

This report, Too Small to Fail? Chubb SME Cyber Preparedness Survey, has been produced by Chubb in collaboration with YouGov. It is based on a survey of 1,000 respondents from Small and Medium Enterprises in three markets; 400 from Australia, and 300 each from Hong Kong and Singapore. Respondents comprised board-level executives (77%) and senior managers or directors below board level (23%) from SMEs with between 2 to 249 employees. The industries respondents belonged to are: Professional Services (22%), Manufacturing (17%), Retail & Hospitality (13%), Education (6%), Financial Services (6%), Healthcare (5%), Technology (5%), Media & Communications (3%); and other industries (23%).

About Chubb in Singapore

Chubb is the world's largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company. With operations in 54 countries and territories, Chubb provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. As an underwriting company, we assess, assume and manage risk with insight and discipline. We service and pay our claims fairly and promptly. The company is also defined by its extensive product and service offerings, broad distribution capabilities, exceptional financial strength and local operations globally. Parent company Chubb Limited is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CB) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Chubb maintains executive offices in Zurich, New York, London and other locations, and employs approximately 31,000 people worldwide.

Chubb Insurance Singapore Limited, via acquisitions by its predecessor companies, has been present in Singapore since 1948. Chubb in Singapore provides risk management and underwriting expertise for all major classes of general insurance, including Property & Casualty, Marine, Liability, Financial Lines and Group Personal Accident insurance. As one of the leading providers of Accident & Health insurance through direct marketing, the company partners with financial institutions and other companies to tailor individual policies for their clients and employees. In addition, it offers a suite of customised Personal & Specialty insurance solutions to meet the needs of consumers.

Over the years, Chubb in Singapore has established strong client relationships by offering responsive service, developing innovative products and providing market leadership built on financial strength. The company has been assigned a financial strength rating of AA-/Stable and the highest ASEAN credit rating of axAAA by Standard & Poor’s.

More information can be found at www.chubb.com/sg

For further information: Juliana Lim, juliana.lim@chubb.com, Chubb Insurance Singapore Limited, +65 6398 8672 Denise Beh, denise.beh@chubb.com, MHP Communications, +65 9618 5119