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Ensign InfoSecurity opens global headquarters in Singapore

The Singapore-based cyber security firm’s new headquarters will also be home to a new security operations centre that will be supported by Singapore-centric threat intelligence

Singapore’s home-grown cyber security firm Ensign InfoSecurity has opened a new security operations centre (SOC) and its global headquarters in the city-state to tap the growing demand for managed security services in the Asia-Pacific region.

Through the new SOC, Ensign – formed from a joint venture between Singapore telco StarHub and government investment company Temasek Holdings in 2018 – hopes to speed up the time it takes to detect and respond to cyber attacks targeted at its customers.

Ensign currently operates in Hong Kong and Malaysia, and has customers in Brunei, Myanmar and Thailand. With about 500 cyber security professionals across the region, it plans to expand its footprint in South Korea and boost its headcount to 600 by 2020.

To help security analysts do their jobs better, Ensign said the new SOC is equipped with its Cyber Threat Detection and Analytics engine, which leverages big data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to generate insights on emerging cyber threats.

It claims that it is the only cyber security company in Singapore that provides “deep Singapore-centric, sectoral threat intelligence” that is correlated and corroborated with global threat intelligence to produce contextualised and actionable threat insights.

Combined with its network threat analytics capabilities that detect anomalous network behaviour, this Singapore-centric threat intelligence will enable Ensign to help enterprises operating in the city-state gain full visibility of their IT environment.

The SOC’s operational processes are also heavily automated, freeing up security analysts to perform triage and conduct threat hunting operations.

Tammie Tham, Ensign’s executive vice-president for enterprise and services, said the SOC would address the challenges with managed security services – the lack of skilled cyber security professionals who are also spending too much time monitoring security logs.

“We’ve set about to overcome these challenges through extensive use of automation and advanced technologies utilising analytics and machine learning,” she said. “We’ve set ourselves a target of automating 80% of the work that is done by SOC analysts and gradually move them up the value chain to focus on incident response and threat hunting.”

Speaking at Ensign’s official opening on 16 September 2019, Singapore’s senior minister and coordinating minister for national security, Teo Chee Hean, said companies such as Ensign would help Singapore to build world-class capabilities in cyber security amid global cyber threats.

“Cyber security is a growing industry fuelled by the increasing use of connected info-comm systems and the complexity of cyber threats,” he said. “This presents an opportunity for companies to meet this demand for cyber defence and response. There is potential for Singapore to add value in this space by leveraging our strengths in connectivity, knowledge and trust.”

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Apart from Ensign, another Singapore cyber security firm, SecureAge, is also strengthening its offerings and expanding overseas.

The home-grown supplier of encryption and anti-malware tools has recently set up a new office in Greater Washington, DC, in a bid to tap growing business opportunities in the US.

Staffed by an engineer and SecureAge chief operating officer Jerry Ray, the new outfit will provide government, enterprises and consumers with SecureAge’s SecureData file-level encryption tool.

The tool also comes with integrated application whitelisting and application binding features that will combat viruses, malware, zero-day attacks and advanced persistent threats that could lead to data breaches.

SecureAge’s founder and CEO, Ngair Teow-Hin, said the US was the “logical next step” in the company’s expansion, and that SecureData’s ability to protect information at rest or in-motion had been proven by customers including the Singapore government and military.

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