Singapore is quickly becoming the country of choice for technology vendors seeking to establish a hub in Asia.

Ranked first in Asia, and seventh worldwide, in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2014, Singapore was noted for its business and regulatory environment, and for its knowledge absorption. The GII is published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO, an agency of the United Nations) and recognizes innovation as a driver of economic growth.

Singapore also was noted by the World Bank, ranking number one worldwide for its ease in doing business in the Bank’s latest report Doing Business 2013, cited for its ability to establish credit, investor protection and its cross-border trade.

One security technology vendor that opted to locate their headquarters in the island city-state is Palo Alto Networks (PANW).

“Singapore’s robust economy, political stability and business-friendly environment made it an ideal location for our regional headquarters,” said Steve Redman, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Palo Alto Networks.

In addition to Singapore’s favorable business environment, Redman pointed out that Asia Pacific is an important market for Palo Alto Networks as it is home to the regional headquarters of an increasing number of global enterprise brands. He also noted that Singapore had the highest number Internet users in the world, with an exponential growth in online banking, shopping, and social media activity.

These growth factors in connectivity and online business have also made Singapore and the wider region arguably one of the world’s prime targets for cybercriminals and subsequently a strong market for security vendors selling their wares.

The government in Singapore is trying to stay ahead of the curve, setting up the Cyber Security Agency (CSA) earlier this year.  The CSA is dedicated to improving the way businesses and individuals approach cyber security. In addition, Singapore is in the midst of working on their National Cyber Security Master Plan 2018, which specifically targets education to ensure a cybersecurity workforce.

“In recent years, the high demand for cyber security professionals has led to a talent crunch . The education sector addresses this demand with the introduction of new cyber security courses, as offered by polytechnics such as Republic Polytechnic and Ngee Ann Polytechnic,” Redman said about the evolution of cyber security education.

Redman told Security Current that selecting Singapore as its regional headquarters some six years ago had been a positive decision and that Palo Alto continued to expand its business throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

“Palo Alto Networks has established a presence in other markets across the region, with offices in Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, for which our Regional Headquarters in Singapore has been instrumental,” he said.

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