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DBS to Launch Crime-Busting Cybersecurity Training Programme for Singapore’s SME Community

DBS are to launch a free cybersecurity training programme to release Singapore’s 280,000-strong SME community from the clutches of cybercrime.

The DBS CyberWellness programme (styled ‘DBS #CyberWellness‘) comprises 10 online modules, each covering a different facet of cybersecurity, such as password protection, phishing, digital scams, physical security, and social media security. To make the training even more accessible for time-strapped employees, each module can be accessed on the go digitally through an e-learning platform, with all 10 modules taking no more than 120 minutes to complete.

At the end of the programme, SMEs will be presented with recommendations for suitable cyber insurance and cybersecurity solutions. This enables SMEs to take immediate steps to protect their businesses from potential cyberattacks.

Going forward, DBS is looking to partner with Government agencies, industry associations, and like-minded corporate partners to scale the programme so SMEs can continue to digitalise safely and securely.

StarHub was recently introduced as a programme partner for DBS CyberWellness, and will provide participating SMEs with a complimentary two-month trial of their hardware-free, plug-and-play cybersecurity solution ‘Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) for SME‘; enabling SMEs to gain a business-wide defence against cyber threats.

Charlie Chan, Chief, Enterprise Business Group, StarHub
Charlie Chan

Agreeing with DBS on the pressing need for businesses to boost cyber defences, Charlie Chan, Chief, Enterprise Business Group, StarHub, said: “Cyber threats hurt indiscriminately, causing significant financial and reputational damage not just to large enterprises, but also to SMEs and the man on the street. We are partnering DBS to help SMEs and their employees stay safe online.

“Joining hands with DBS, we have combined critical and free training with defensive tools that are easy to use. There is no better time than now for SMEs to say ‘no’ to being an easy target, both for the business as well as their employees. We are in it for the long haul, to be a trusted partner for our customers in their digital and cybersecurity journey.”

While digitalisation has offered a precious lifeline to SMEs looking to adapt to the post-pandemic new normal, SMEs with a digital presence are becoming increasingly exposed to potential cyberattacks. According to the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), over two in five crimes committed in Singapore in 2020 were related to cybercrime, with over 16,000 such cases reported and SMEs accounting for almost 40 per cent of these.

With SMEs making up 99 per cent of businesses in Singapore, employing 70 per cent of Singapore’s workforce and contributing nearly half of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Joyce Tee, Group Head of SME Banking at DBS, noted that the potential disruption of lives and livelihoods in the event of coordinated cyberattacks on SMEs cannot be underestimated:

Joyce Tee, Group Head of SME Banking at DBS
Joyce Tee

“SMEs tend to be more vulnerable to cyberthreats because they lack the time or resources of bigger companies. We believe we can make the biggest impact by equipping the employees of SMEs with foundational cybersecurity skills, which become ingrained everyday habits as they put their skills to practice. Most importantly, trained employees become the first line of cyber defence for SMEs and play a crucial role in averting downtime due to catastrophic cyberattacks.”

DBS CyberWellness was first rolled out as a pilot to social enterprises and charities in Singapore, with early participants including Samwoh and SF Fruits. The pilot was subsequently expanded to include SMEs.

Sam Pang, Executive Director at Samwoh
Sam Pang

Sam Pang, Executive Director at Samwoh, said: “Cybercrime has been on the rise recently and it is important for us to stay vigilant. As employers, we have a duty of care to ensure that our employees are equipped with the knowledge to identify online scams as they are the first level of defence. DBS CyberWellness has been invaluable, and my employees have benefitted greatly from it. The content is well-curated, and it shows DBS’ intention to educate companies on cybersecurity with the use of simple scenarios and graphics.”

Steve Chua, CEO of SF Fruits, said: “With cybercrime on the rise, it is important for us to do what we can to protect our employees and our business. DBS Cyberwellness is an easy and useful way to equip our staff with foundational cybersecurity practices and tools to keep us safe even as we continue to digitalise.”

Tee added: “We’re especially proud that DBS CyberWellness was developed entirely in-house in partnership with our technology teams. This speaks to our commitment to come together as one Team DBS to help our SMEs, social enterprises, and even charities digitalise their operations safely.”


  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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