Singapore to step up cyber security operations with new monitoring centre

Out-Law News | 27 Aug 2014 | 4:24 pm | 1 min. read

Singapore has announced plans to set up a ‘monitoring and operations control centre’ as part of efforts to safeguard government and public sector systems from cyber attacks.

Communications and information minister Yaacob Ibrahim said the new centre, to be created by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), “will provide the government with a full suite of capabilities to guard against security threats and respond to them in a timely manner”.

In addition, Ibrahim said the country’s existing Cyber-Watch Centre (2-page / 128 KB PDF), set up in 2007, will be upgraded in January 2015 to “strengthen the government’s detection and analytical capabilities”. The upgrade “will allow us to better monitor government websites and inspect if there are malicious activities, which could affect access to online public services”, Ibrahim said.

Singapore’s government will also appoint chief information security officers to strengthen the “infocomm security governance” in government agencies.

Ibrahim said there is a need to “grow Singapore's pool of information and communications security experts and build their capabilities”. He said: “The biggest growth in manpower requirements will be in the areas of security operations, security engineering and technology. Apart from dedicated cyber-security experts, other information communications technology (ICT) professionals in areas like network engineering and application development are also needed in defending network infrastructure or applications from ever-increasing cyber threats.”

Singapore needs to have its own experts who are able to “devise ways to detect and deter ever-evolving attack methods, and also administer appropriate IT security governance for organisations”, Ibrahim said. He said Singapore is committed to stepping up efforts to “develop a pool of postgraduate researchers and technologists to meet the needs of a growing cyber security research and development community that is interested in finding solutions and creating tech products in this space”.

Ibrahim said the IDA will look to increase the number of cyber security professionals in Singapore at both degree and diploma levels and “help to enhance the skills of ICT professionals who may not be cyber security experts, but nonetheless need to understand and deal with the evolving threat landscape they operate in”.

Ibrahim welcomed the launch earlier this year by Singapore Polytechnic of a Cyber Security Academy and the opening by Singapore Technologies Electronics Limited of a ‘DigiSAFE cyber security centre’. He said: “These facilities will provide job opportunities for those interested in a career change as well as upgrade the skills of existing personnel in technical roles.”

Under amendments to Singapore’s Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act (10-page / 57KB PDF) announced in 2013, the government can compel businesses to take action in order to prevent cyber attacks on computer systems in certain circumstances.