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Singapore investing in three areas to build secure and resilient digital community

“We are investing in three areas: our people, our capabilities, and our networks to build a more secure and resilient digital community together", asserted Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean today, while addressing the second Singapore International Cyber Week ceremony at Suntec Convention Centre.

He added that more needs to be done even as Singapore has made ‘good progress’ in building up its cybersecurity capabilities, as it is more exposed than many other countries to cyberattacks.

Cyber Security Agency (CSA) will develop a new academy to train cybersecurity professionals
Cyber Security Agency (CSA) will develop a new academy to train cybersecurity professionals. Photo courtesy" Pexel

The Deputy Prime Minister informed that Cyber Security Agency (CSA) will develop a new academy to train cybersecurity professionals, and it will partner leading industry partners to train those in government and critical information infrastructure (CII) sectors. This will be opened in the later part of this fiscal year, and will be expanded later to include cybersecurity professionals for the wider community.

He added, “US-based cybersecurity firm, FireEye, will be our first partner to help provide training in incident response and malware analysis. This is an example of how companies can contribute to develop the ecosystem.”

For recognising cybersecurity professionals, Teo said, “We will also launch the Cybersecurity Awards to recognise outstanding cybersecurity professionals, enterprises and students who have made significant contributions to our cybersecurity ecosystem. The Awards are organised by the Association of Information Security Professionals (AISP), and supported by CSA and six other professional and industry associations. The inaugural Awards will be presented in February next year.”

The Singaporean government is also strengthening its national cybersecurity capabilities including a new Cybersecurity Bill.

Giving information about the bill, the Deputy Prime Minister said, “The Government is developing a new Cybersecurity Bill, to strengthen regulatory powers that support the resilience of our critical information infrastructure and essential services. This Bill will enable us to take preemptive action to protect against cyber threats, and improve our capability to respond to incidents. This will enable Singapore to achieve its vision of a Smart Nation and a trusted place to do business. The Government has consulted widely on the draft Bill and has received much useful feedback.”

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean. Photo courtesy: Facebook

He said, “CSA has also worked with the Industrial Control Systems community to develop a set of guidelines for industrial control systems used in the energy, water, maritime and land transport sectors.”

The third strategy is working for strengthening international networks. Teo said, “All countries need to work together, in order to address cyber-threats effectively. International collaboration will also help build trust among our countries.

He said, “There is another important aspect of international cooperation which we should work together on. Some of our Critical Information Infrastructure (CIIs) have impact beyond our shores and they in turn, depend on CIIs located in other countries. These are ‘supra-national CIIs’, and include global payment systems, port operations systems, and air-traffic control systems. We can coordinate our efforts to conduct regular exercises to validate our collective ability to respond to threats against supranational CIIs, working across countries and sectors. Singapore is a strong advocate of global efforts such as the Global Forum for Cyber Expertise, where we actively contribute to cyber capacity building in our region.

Additionally, Singapore has been working closely with partners in the Forum of Small States to foster a “more inclusive and cross-cutting conversation” on cyber norms, the minister said.

He added, “The country stands ready to contribute and has joined the management board of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace."

Ashraf Jamal
Ashraf Jamal – Senior Writer

Ashraf Jamal brings a rare depth to writing equipped with a degree in journalism, a postgraduate degree in political science, and a degree in law from the Allahabad University. His experience includes editing and publishing the Northern India Patrika and writing for Times of India for almost a decade covering just about any topic under the sun including NRIs and Indian diaspora.