Fight for safer cyberspace stepped up in Singapore
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong launched a comprehensive national cyber security strategy at the inaugural Singapore International Cyber Week yesterday. RONALD LOH (firstname.lastname@example.org) looks at how this plan works...
For Singapore to be a Smart Nation, we must be safe online, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.
He was addressing more than 3,000 political leaders, technology professionals and delegates at Suntec Convention Centre.
He said Singapore had been regularly targeted, and government networks were probed and attacked.
This was why our Cyber Security Agency (CSA) was set up last year to coordinate national efforts in cyber security, he said.
Here are the strategy's four main components:
STRENGTHENING CYBER INFRASTRUCTURE
The Government will ramp up its cyber defences in key sectors such as banking and finance, utilities, transport, and government and emergency services.
The infocomm technology (ICT) budget allocated to strengthening government system and networks will be increased, said PM Lee.
Currently, the budget for cyber security is about 5 per cent of the total ICT budget allocated to different agencies. It will be increased to 8 per cent.
The CSA will also be given greater power via the new Cyber-security Act that will be tabled in Parliament next year.
Ministers, senior civil servants and half of the public agencies have started separating Internet surfing from their work computers to boost the security of critical government systems, said PM Lee.
The rest of the government agencies will do so by the middle of next year.
CREATING A SAFER CYBERSPACE
In July, the National Cybercrime Action Plan to boost the fight against cybercriminals was announced.
The CSA will also work with companies, other governments and Internet service providers to identify and reduce malicious Internet traffic.
PM Lee urged companies to protect customers, citing the Yahoo security breach as an example.
He also called on everyone to practise good cyber hygiene - by looking out for phishing scams and malware.
DEVELOPING CYBER SECURITY TALENT
Singapore is facing a severe shortage of talent and skilled expertise in the cyber-security industry, said PM Lee.
To beef up the talent pool, all universities and polytechnics now offer cyber-security programmes.
ICT graduates and professionals can also gain new skills via the Cyber Security Associates and Technologists programme, which is part of the SkillsFuture Programme, PM Lee said.
WORKING WITH OTHER COUNTRIES
A cyber attack can happen from any country.
To address this, Singapore is working with other countries to share intelligence and block attacks, PM Lee said.
Singapore will also strengthen its partnership with Asean by facilitating dialogues and capacity building initiatives, he said.