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Singapore plans improved cybersecurity, digital campaign for SMEs

The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore is to begin work with professional bodies to train cybersecurity professionals, in a bid to strengthen the country's cybersecurity capabilities, finance minister Heng Swee Keats has said.22 Feb 2017

Singapore will also introduce a 'go digital' campaign to help the growth of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), Heng said in his annual budget speech.

The Info- communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) will work with other agencies to give advice to SMEs on the technologies to use at each stage of their growth, he said.

The campaign will initially focus on sectors where digital technology can improve productivity, including retail, food services, wholesale trade, logistics, cleaning and security.

SME centres and an SME technology hub will be set up by IMDA to offer in-person help. Business advisors in these centres will offer advice on technology solutions that have been pre-approved for funding, or connect the SMEs to consultants who can help them.

SMEs with technology products ready to pilot will be given advice and funding support, Heng said.

"We will work with consortiums of large and small firms to help them adopt impactful, interoperable ICT solutions, to level up whole sectors," he said.

Heng will make "more than S$80 million (£45 million)" available for the cybersecurity and SME programmes, he said.

The Singapore government said last year that it will strengthen its IT infrastructure, increase cybersecurity capabilities and increase collaboration with other countries as part of a new cybersecurity strategy.

The strategy was developed by Singapore's Cyber Security Agency (CSA), which was set up last year. It will have four components: strengthening the country's critical infrastructure; working with businesses and individuals; increasing cybersecurity capabilities; and working with other countries.