New cybersecurity masterplan to protect Singapore's critical systems

New cybersecurity masterplan to protect Singapore's critical systems

teo chee hean
Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean speaking at the Singapore International Cyber Week 2019. (Photo: Facebook/Singapore International Cyber Week)

SINGAPORE: New cybersecurity measures were unveiled on Tuesday (Oct 1) in light of threats to Operational Technology (OT) systems that control critical physical systems like power, water and transportation networks. 

Threats to those systems are among the "most pressing cyber threats" facing Singapore today, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean said on Tuesday at the opening of the 4th Singapore International Cyber Week held at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre. 

READ: Almost half of Singaporeans suffered at least 1 cybersecurity lapse in past year: CSA survey

According to Mr Teo, the Cyber Security Agency co-developed an OT Cybersecurity Masterplan that will guide the development of capabilities to secure systems in the OT environment, and mitigate emerging OT cyber threats. 

The plan will "train more OT cybersecurity professionals with advanced cybersecurity skills" and establish a centre to share cyber threat intelligence.

"The masterplan is a good example of strong Government-industry partnership to strengthen our national cybersecurity defences," he said. 

READ: The Big Read: As more cyberattacks loom, Singapore has a weak ‘first line of defence’

READ: Singapore can play ‘important role’ in cybersecurity for SEA region, says FireEye CEO

Another "key emerging threat" said Mr Teo were attacks on Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The Government he said, has studied the existing IoT security landscape and made recommendations for action by countries and industry. 

The cybersecurity of Government systems have also been strengthened, Mr Teo added.

"Last year, we launched the Government Bug Bounty Programme to work with both local and international white-hat hackers to identify and address vulnerabilities in selected, Internet-facing Government systems," he said.

"We will take this one step further with the launch of the Vulnerability Disclosure Programme."

The initiative will provide a channel for anyone to report vulnerabilities they discover on any Internet-facing Government system or application.

READ: Singapore’s growing cybersecurity sector gets boost with accreditation status

In his speech, Mr Teo said that in order to realise the benefits of digitalisation, countries, businesses and the people sector need to work together.

"We need to build more bridges and avenues of collaboration," he said. 

"We need more dialogue and cooperation among governments and the private sector to help us to find better solutions to build a shared future, deal with sophisticated cyber threats, and strengthen trust and confidence in the digital systems that we have come to depend upon."

Internationally, he said, Singapore was firmly committed to a rules-based international order, and specifically to developing one for cyberspace. 

Regionally, Singapore has been working with ASEAN as well. 

One example of collaborative efforts with ASEAN includes the ASEAN Computer Emergency Response Team Incident Drill - an exercise to test incident response procedures and strengthen cybersecurity preparedness and cooperation among ASEAN member states and dialogue partners.

Source: CNA/aa(rw)

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