Singaporeans Express Concerns Over Digital Security, Reveals Latest Whitepaper

Highlighting concerns in Singapore and worldwide, the report explores trust in an increasingly digital world.

Utimaco, a renowned global provider of IT security solutions, celebrates its 40th anniversary by releasing a groundbreaking whitepaper titled “Circles of Trust 2023: How The World Perceives Digital Risk.” This comprehensive study delves into consumer perceptions of trust in an increasingly digital world and sheds light on the evolving landscape of digital security.

As the digital revolution sweeps across the globe, individuals and businesses are compelled to adapt and harness the benefits of digitalization. Digital connections have become ubiquitous, extending beyond mobile devices to encompass streets, vehicles, traffic systems, and even our homes. In this experience-driven economy, consumers now expect banks to prioritize not only the safety of their money and data but also protect their privacy vulnerabilities.

Last year, Utimaco released the inaugural edition of the Circles of Trust series, focusing on the United Kingdom (UK), Spain, and Germany. The research examined consumer perceptions of digital services in key sectors such as automotive cybersecurity, public services, and healthcare. The findings revealed a central contradiction: consumers displayed great enthusiasm for digital offerings, ranging from connected vehicles to digital health services, while simultaneously expressing deep concerns about the associated security risks.

Building on this foundation, Utimaco expanded the scope of its research to include the United States of America (US), Mexico, and Singapore. This year’s study focused on three crucial areas: banking, the Internet of Things (IoT), and smart cities. The key takeaways from this global research are as follows:

  • Only 19% of respondents reported not worrying about the security of their data.
  • 36% of respondents admitted to being victims of data loss, identity theft, or digital fraud.
  • 41% of respondents believed that a connected world would make their everyday lives easier.

In Singapore, the study uncovered interesting insights into digital security. While 53% of Singaporean respondents expressed mild concerns about trust in digital services, a mere 4% claimed not to worry at all. Disturbingly, the country witnessed a significant increase in digital scams, resulting in losses of S$660.7 million in 2022 alone. This trend highlights the potential risks if perpetrators gain unlawful access to data and exploit advanced tools such as artificial intelligence (AI) to launch more sophisticated attacks at scale.

Moreover, when asked whether they felt knowledgeable enough to make informed decisions about digital security, a combined 20% of Singaporean respondents answered negatively or expressed uncertainty. While this minority represents a fraction of the population, there is an undeniable need for individuals lacking confidence or familiarity with digital security to educate themselves. Establishing trust and implementing robust risk management processes are crucial for safeguarding daily livelihoods and making sound business decisions.

Singapore’s aspirations to become a world-class, tech-driven Smart Nation add further urgency to the issue. With IoT devices and security taking center stage, 53% of Singaporean respondents reported no prior experiences of data loss, identity theft, or hacks related to smart home devices. However, it is crucial to recognize that this statistic merely reflects the current situation. Alarmingly, 65% of respondents expressed fear and concern that smart devices, including smart vehicles and the Internet of Vehicles (IoV), could be vulnerable to hacking. Singapore’s rapid transformation into a Smart Nation creates a substantial threat, as perpetrators could exploit weaknesses in IoT devices, necessitating increased awareness and empowerment in the realm of digital trust.

Stefan Auerbach, CEO of Utimaco, emphasized the company’s commitment to advancing the discourse on digital trust. “We see our role at Utimaco as not only creating hardware and software that establish the ‘root of trust in a digital world’ but also communicating the social context of this technology to our customers,” said Auerbach. He added that the ‘Circles of Trust’ research series serves as a vital tool to gauge global digital trust and provides invaluable insights for companies operating internationally.