Singapore CIOs worried about cloud privacy

Asia Cloud Forum editors
06 Mar 2014

With Singapore's new Personal Data Protection Act coming into force on July 2, Singapore companies face the prospect of a million-dollar fine for breaches of privacy.

So it is not surprising CIOs in Singapore are turning their attention to an obvious area of vulnerability - personal data stored in the 'cloud'.

According to a recent survey by specialist recruitment firm Robert Half, 65% of CIOs in Singapore believe security risks are the biggest problem with cloud technology - a concern shared by 57% of CIOs polled in Asia Pacific.

The survey polled 407 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan.

The second biggest concern about cloud technology is legal implications of a privacy breach of personal customer data stored in the cloud. One in two Singapore CIOs gave legal concerns as a primary problem of cloud technology.

Concerns about the legal implications of data loss are much greater in Singapore than in the rest of the region - 50% compared to 35% - reflecting the impending introduction of the Act and the potential for fines that could go up to a million dollars.

Issues with cross border data transfers are the third biggest problem CIOs have with cloud technology. Cross data border transfers are where the personal data of Singaporeans inadvertently falls into the possession of parties overseas, or is stolen while being transferred. This is a concern of 38% of Singapore CIOs and 37% of CIOs polled in Asia Pacific.

Stella Tang, Director of Robert Half Singapore, said CIOs still need to be convinced that using the cloud for the storage of personal data is secure. Recent examples of privacy breaches in Singapore have put CIOs on high alert about cloud security.

"That's why we are seeing more demand for security experts as companies seek to strengthen their IT team in order to protect their data," said

"It is logical that demand for IT security experts is increasing at the same time the perception of threats is increasing. And this increased demand is leading to higher salaries for suitably qualified IT professionals, who can expect substantial increases when changing jobs," Ms Tang said.

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