Singapore’s Approach to Cyber Security

Cyber Security is the Flip Side of the Coin of Being a Smart Nation

Strategic Communications

July 20, 2016

Singapore Cyber Security

When announcing the Smart Nation initiative last September, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong stressed the importance of cyber security being a central part of Singapore’s smart nation ecosystem which incorporates cyber security into nascent areas such as the Internet of Things (“IoT”) underpinning Singapore’s Smart Nation ambition. The fact that the Singapore government is taking cyber security seriously shows in their recent move to stop all civil/government computers (about 100,000) from having Internet access in order to keep work e-mail and shared documents safe (Web surfing will still be allowed but only on employees’ personal mobile devices and dedicated Internet terminals).

“ Cyber security is absolutely essential if we are to become a smart nation. You can’t have electronic medical records, you can’t have financial technology, you can’t have large databases with information that could be abused or misused, you can’t afford a breach of privacy. So the way I look at it, cyber security is the flip side of the coin of being a smart nation.”

Vivian Balakrishnan, Foreign Affairs Minister and Minister-In-Charge of the Smart Nation Initiative

Key government cyber security efforts that impact industries and companies active in Singapore include:

  • Singapore’s investment in cyber security as part of SG$ 2.82 billion worth of ICT tenders
  • New cyber security bill to be tabled in 2017 as part of the updated national cyber security strategy stakeholder consultation which is expected to be released in the second half of 2016
  • PM Lee Hsien Loong launching the National Cybersecurity Strategy document in October 2016
  • Publication of the MAS Outsourcing Guidelines with a guiding principle for banks to manage outsourcing arrangements as if the services were conducted in-house

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