Singapore

Free cyber-health screenings for companies here

Move is part of new masterplan to protect national digital sphere

Businesses in Singapore are set to benefit from free cyber-health screenings to spot weaknesses in their Web domains, e-mail systems and connectivity.

This is part of the newly unveiled Safer Cyberspace Masterplan 2020, which aims to protect Singapore's digital sphere.

The national plan also outlines the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to sniff out security threats in key infrastructure, including broadband and 5G networks, and consumer devices such as webcams and Wi-Fi routers.

Coordinated by the Cyber Security Agency (CSA) of Singapore, the masterplan is central to Singapore's plans to lead in AI and Smart Nation deployment globally, and comes amid the rapid digitalisation that has taken place in recent months.

"The pandemic has accelerated the pace of change... telecommuting, online shopping, e-learning and digital payment (use) surged," said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat when he unveiled the masterplan yesterday.

This means Singapore must redouble its efforts to fend off cyber threats, which are growing, said Mr Heng, who is also Minister for Finance, at the opening of the fifth annual Singapore International Cyber Week, which is being held virtually this year.

More than 9,400 cybercrime cases were reported last year, an increase of more than 50 per cent from the 6,200 cases reported in 2018, according to the Singapore Cyber Landscape 2019 report released in June by CSA.

CSA said yesterday that one of the key initiatives is to provide free cyber-health screenings through a portal, which will be launched as early as next year.

Businesses will be able to check instantly if their Web domains, e-mail systems and Web connectivity are in the pink of health through the CSA-run Internet Cyber Hygiene Portal.

Self-help guides and toolkits will also be available for download.

Also under the Masterplan, AI technologies will be powering two new systems - a Cyber Fusion Platform and an Internet of Things (IoT) Threat Analytics Platform - to defend the Republic's cyberspace against more persistent, sophisticated threats.

Greater use of AI to boost the nation's cyber defences is one of nine key initiatives under Singapore's national AI plan, launched last November.

The Cyber Fusion Platform will provide CSA with early warning against malicious attacks by analysing voluminous online data at great speed.

Similarly, the IoT Threat Analytics Platform will detect and predict impending, large-scale IoT attacks, thus allowing CSA and other government agencies to take pre-emptive strikes against attackers.

These two platforms could also be launched as early as next year.

Technology