As Singapore continues to equip itself to become Asia’s post-pandemic digital hub, the Safer Cyberspace Masterplan 2020 has been unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat at Singapore’s International Cyber Week 2020.
The Masterplan builds on the 2016 Singapore Cybersecurity Strategy, and outlines new policies for a more secure and trustworthy cybersecurity ecosystem.
The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) reported that 9,430 cybercrime cases were reported in 2019, accounting for 26.8% of overall crime in the island state.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng said Singapore must “redouble” its efforts to protect itself against growing cyber threats.
The Masterplan will focus on three key goals: securing Singapore’s core infrastructure, safeguarding cyberspace activity, and empowering Singaporeans to be ‘cyber-savvy’.
“Singapore’s digital transformation to achieve our Smart Nation goals in this post-COVID environment must be undergirded and enabled by robust cybersecurity,” David Koh, Commissioner of Cybersecurity and Chief Executive of CSA.
Under the goals, eleven initiatives will be launched with particular focus on 5G acceleration and empowering businesses with cloud, IoT and AI solutions.
Collaborations across the board
The CSA will be in charge of implementing the initiatives in two years, starting in 2021.
“To leverage the opportunities, we must also mitigate the risks. To this end, the Safer Cyberspace Masterplan aims to raise the general level of cybersecurity in Singapore for Singaporeans, our enterprises, and organisations.” said Mr. Koh.
The Agency will be working with Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and mobile network operators to apply Security-by-Design principles to develop Singapore’s 5G networks.
Last week, the IMDA also announced that it will hire and upskill 1,000 professionals to support the 5G rollout in Singapore. This new collaboration is expected to accelerate said rollout and enhance the quality of 5G in the Lion City.
The CSA will also be partnering with cloud service providers, industry certification bodies, small and medium enterprises, and experts in academia to review and update the existing Multi-Tier Cloud Security standard, a national certification program that serves to govern the IT and communications standard for cloud services in Singapore.
The Masterplan found a severe lack of cyber threat awareness among Singaporeans, with only 4% of survey respondents able to distinguish phishing emails from legitimate ones.
As such, the CSA will begin to introduce its GoSafeOnline Outreach Programme to engage with the general public and provide actionable advice to keep Singaporeans safe in the virtual space.
Under a new collaboration with the Ministry of Education, upper primary school students in Singapore will participate a program called Code For Fun to develop cybersecurity literacy, computational thinking and coding skills.
“Cybersecurity is a collective responsibility, where all stakeholders can and must play a role to protect ourselves in the digital domain,” said Mr. Koh.
Currently, the CSA is working to provide free cyber health screenings to the public. The service is expected to be launched by 2021.
The efforts by Singapore echo the words and advice spoken by Ben Chua, a young cybersecurity pioneer who W.Media interviewed during our first Power Talk.