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Business and academia urged to help safeguard Singapore’s ‘cyber ecosystem’

Singapore’s government has called on businesses, public sector bodies and academia to work together to boost cyber security, as “key stakeholders” in strengthening the country’s “cyber ecosystem”.25 Sep 2014

Senior minister of state for home affairs and foreign affairs Masagos Zulkifli said: “The ease with which data can be accessed and retrieved remotely improves our lives and raises our productivity but also increases our vulnerability to cyber attacks.”

Zulkifli said the threat posed by cyber crime was “especially critical” for Singapore, where consumer demand for connectivity “drives the fast-paced development of new digital devices and systems in the market”.

To ensure that Singapore’s cyber space “remains safe, secure and resilient”, Zulkifli said all sectors of society must “strengthen the protection of our information infrastructure through an integrated, ‘secure by design’ approach to planning”. He said security considerations should be “factored in ex ante when designing an IT system or infrastructure”.

Zulkifli said the bulk of Singapore’s information infrastructure was “built around and supported by internet service providers and data centre operators”, who are “in prime position to detect cyber threats early and provide the first line of defence”.

“Increasingly the private sector will have a much bigger role to play, as much of the cyber space is owned and operated by them,” Zulkifli said. “Key government agencies and industry stakeholders will need to coordinate closely with each other for better management of our cyber attack incident response.”

By the end of 2014, Singapore will be home to the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI), which seeks to boost cooperation and coordination among law enforcement agencies in the field of cyber crime, Zulkifli said. 

In August 2014, Singapore announced plans to set up a ‘monitoring and operations control centre’ as part of efforts to safeguard government and public sector systems from cyber attacks. Communications and information minister Yaacob Ibrahim said there was a need to “grow Singapore's pool of information and communications security experts and build their capabilities”.

Earlier this year, Singapore Polytechnic launched a Cyber Security Academy while Singapore Technologies Electronics Limited opened a ‘DigiSAFE cyber security centre’