Cybersecurity Talent Gap in Singapore

Digital Transformation Era: Addressing Cybersecurity Talent Gaps


In the age of rapid technological advancements, businesses worldwide are embarking on a digital transformation journey. By adopting cutting-edge technologies like cloud-based services, data analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and automation, businesses are moving towards more efficient, flexible, and scalable digitalised processes. This shift not only improves operational efficiency but also enhances customer experience and paves the way for innovative business models.

However, the rise of digital transformation also brings about a host of new security challenges. Particularly in Singapore, where digital technology plays a central role in economic growth, cybersecurity has become a critical issue.

The Cybersecurity Talent Gap in the Digital Transformation Era

As businesses undergo digital transformation, their dependence on digital technologies and online networks expands. This move intensifies the requirement for robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard against escalating cyber threats. Consequently, the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals such as cybersecurity consultants and IT auditors has surged.

However, the supply of such professionals has not kept pace with the growing demand, creating a significant cybersecurity talent gap. This is reflected in the figures highlighted by the 2022 Cybersecurity Workforce Study conducted by non-profit ISC2. The study reports a 26.2% surge in the global shortage of cybersecurity workers, escalating the deficit to an unprecedented 3.42 million. The Asia-Pacific region alone grapples with a shortfall of 2.16 million cybersecurity workers, underscoring the severity of the situation on a global scale.

Singapore is no exception to this. Despite having a considerable cybersecurity workforce of 77,425, an additional 6,071 workers are needed to meet the industry’s demands.

That being said, the talent gap extends beyond sheer numbers—it encapsulates both the quantity and quality of available expertise. The fast-paced, dynamic field of cybersecurity witnesses new threats emerging regularly, while existing ones grow in complexity. This landscape requires cybersecurity professionals to continually evolve, expand their skill sets and stay ahead of trends.

Thus, the talent gap is not just about filling roles—it’s also about ensuring these positions are filled by individuals armed with up-to-date, relevant expertise.

In-House Cybersecurity Team vs Managed Security Services

For businesses navigating this talent gap, the key question arises: should you build an in-house cybersecurity team or engage a managed security service provider? Each approach comes with its pros and cons.

Pros and cons of an in-house cybersecurity team

Once up to speed, an in-house team can leverage their knowledge of your company’s infrastructure and specific cybersecurity requirements to develop customised strategies.

Pros of an in-house team:

  • Understanding of the company’s network and systems.
  • Quick decision-making and response time to cybersecurity incidents.
  • Tailored security strategies specific to the organisation’s needs.

However, there are also substantial challenges associated with this approach:

Cons of an in-house team:

  • High recruitment and retention costs for qualified cybersecurity professionals.
  • The rapidly changing landscape of cyber threats necessitates constant investment in training to keep the team’s skill set updated.
  • The team may lack exposure to a wide range of threats and could be slower to react to novel, unseen cyber threats.

In Singapore, the average annual salary for a cybersecurity professional stands at S$69,600, which equates to an hourly rate of S$30.42. This figure is just a baseline, with many organisations needing multiple professionals to cover the breadth of cybersecurity tasks. When combined with the costs of continual training and resources required to stay ahead of evolving threats, the total investment for an in-house team can be significant.

For smaller businesses or companies developing an in-house cybersecurity team from scratch, this can divert substantial funds that might otherwise be allocated to growing the business.

Pros and cons of managed security services

Conversely, managed security services like softScheck provide a team of experts who have broader industry exposure and experience handling various cyber threats.

Pros of managed security services:

  • Immediate access to a team of cybersecurity professionals with diverse expertise.
  • Cost-effective as it eliminates recruitment and retention costs.
  • Staying ahead of the evolving threat landscape due to exposure to a wide range of industries and threats.

While managed security services offer substantial benefits, some misconceptions may dissuade businesses from considering these services.

Cons of managed security services:

  • One may need more in-depth knowledge of the company’s specific network and culture. It would be ideal to work with a managed security service provider as a long-term partner to align with the company’s culture and understanding.
  • Some businesses might harbour concerns about entrusting their sensitive data to an external party, due to potential data privacy and security risks. Hence, it’s best to partner with a trusted security vendor with strong governance and compliance such as DPTM and ISO27001 to ensure a high level of security.

While the idea of an external team may raise concerns about familiarity with the company’s specific infrastructure, managed security service providers are increasingly being seen as a viable solution for businesses. They provide an immediate answer to the talent gap issue and give businesses access to a team of experts with a broad range of cybersecurity skills.

Moreover, CREST approved providers, like softScheck, adheres to the highest industry standards for information security, alongside with a strong governance such as DPTM Certified (Data Protection Trust Mark) and ISO27001 accredited service provider – so businesses can be assured of the quality of their services.

Engaging softScheck to Address Cybersecurity Needs

In this era of digital transformation, addressing the cybersecurity talent gap is crucial. Whether you build an in-house team or engage a managed security service provider, the key is to ensure that your business is adequately protected. With softScheck, you can be confident that your cybersecurity needs will be met with the utmost professionalism and expertise.

Get in touch with us to learn more about our cybersecurity services in Singapore and how we can help protect your business in the digital transformation era.