Singapore Unveils Proactive Cyber Security Strategy to counter Threats

Photo: Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister, Singapore
Singapore has unveiled an updated national cybersecurity strategy, which takes a proactive stance against new cyber threats. The Singapore Cybersecurity Strategy 2021 outlines Singapore’s updated goals and approach to adapt to a rapidly evolving strategic and technological environment. Potential disruptive technologies such as edge computing and quantum technologies are on the horizon. Threat actors are becoming more sophisticated and taking advantage of increasingly ubiquitous connectivity to launch more cyberattacks. Often, these attacks cause significant economic damages, which take too long to undo. Singapore thus reviewed and refreshed its cybersecurity strategy, which was first launched in 2016. Singapore Cybersecurity Strategy 2021 Under the Singapore Cybersecurity Strategy 2021, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) will look beyond the country’s 11 critical information infrastructures (CII) and study entities whose disruption could have significant repercussions to the rest of Singapore. With a robust cybersecurity workforce and a vibrant cybersecurity ecosystem as key enablers, the Singapore Cybersecurity Strategy 2021 plans to strengthen the security and resilience of its digital infrastructure and enable a safer cyberspace. It also articulates how Singapore could play an outsized role in the digital domain despite being a small country, to support an open, secure, stable, accessible, peaceful, and interoperable cyberspace. The Singapore Cybersecurity Strategy 2021 comprises three strategic pillars and two foundational enablers: • Strategic Pillar 1: Build Resilient Infrastructure • Strategic Pillar 2: Enable a Safer Cyberspace • Strategic Pillar 3: Enhance International Cyber Cooperation • Foundational Enabler 1: Develop a Vibrant Cybersecurity Ecosystem • Foundational Enabler 2: Grow a Robust Cyber Talent Pipeline Five years ago, Singapore launched the first Singapore Cybersecurity Strategy. “The world is now a different place. Digital technology has transformed how we live, work, and play. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated these trends further. This updated Cybersecurity Strategy charts the next stage in Singapore’s journey to becoming a more cyber-resilient nation. We will actively defend our cyberspace, simplify cybersecurity for end-users, and promote the development of international cyber norms and standards,” noted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Others agreed with the Prime Minister’s views on cyber security. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Singapore International Cyber Week, reported by Channel News Asia, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean said the updated strategy articulates Singapore’s approach to safeguarding the wider cyberspace in an increasingly complex environment. “We cannot stop progress, it is not possible to press the “pause” button, create a cyber-secure environment that is integrated, inter-operable and foolproof, and then press the “play” button again,” he said. That is why there is a need to reach a consensus – on a local, regional and global level – on rules, norms and principles and standards for the digital domain, he said. “Countries need to work together to develop new governance principles, frameworks and standards for the digital commons to preserve trust and confidence,” said Mr Teo. Global Cybersecurity Push earlier this month, the Hong Kong government said that it is studying the need to enact a Cyber Security Law. It is understood that the Hong Kong government is looking to strengthen the security of its network information systems and important infrastructure information systems. Read more: Similarly, the Chinese government has rolled out a series of measures to push the construction of a cybersecurity safeguard system. In China, several new laws have been released already such as China’s Cybersecurity Law, Data Security Law and Personal Information Protection Law. China’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress announced the Personal Information Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China (PIPL) on August 20, 2021, which will come into effect on November 1, 2021.
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