Published on 21 Oct 2022
The seventh edition of the Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW) was held on 18 - 20 Oct 2022 with more than 10,000 local and international delegates participating in the hybrid event. Among the global leaders and industry experts who spoke were Alejandro Mayorkas, the United States’ Secretary of the Department of the Homeland Security; Izumi Nakamitsu, the United Nations’ Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs; Lim Jock Hoi, ASEAN’s Secretary-General; Wang Lei, Coordinator for Cyber Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China; Michaela Browning, Vice President, Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google Asia Pacific; and Lee Fook Sun, Chairman, Ensign InfoSecurity.
With over 200 speakers covering a myriad of topics ranging from technology to operations to policy, SICW 2022 attracted a diverse audience mix of government officials, industry experts, academics and cybersecurity professionals.
Cybersecurity is a Team Effort, Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships Key to Success
The message of global cooperation was emphasised by multiple speakers throughout the event. In her address at the opening ceremony, Minister for Communications and Information (MCI) Josephine Teo said that against the challenging backdrop of rising geopolitical tensions and an evolving cyber threat landscape, a strong global cybersecurity architecture helmed by a multi-stakeholder approach is needed to address the challenges.
“A multi-stakeholder approach is key because cybersecurity is a team effort. Governments cannot do it alone. Therefore, partnerships among stakeholders – governments, industry, academia – are needed… We also believe that this approach helps to minimise the spill-over of geopolitical tensions into the digital domain by keeping open channels of communications, and building shared expectations and norms on behaviour,” she said.
[Fourth from right]
Minister Josephine Teo with ASEAN Ministers at the ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity
Australia’s Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Tim Watts said that with the threat of ransomware becoming “ubiquitous in the developed world,” digitalisation for economic development meant that developing countries have become targets of ransomware actors and that combatting the “shared threat of ransom” has to be a “shared responsibility”.
H.E Nathalie Jaarsma, Ambassador at-Large for Security Policy and Cyber, The Kingdom of the Netherlands, added that it is “beneficial to study the threats landscape together.”
Minister Teo also updated on plans for the ASEAN Regional Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT] at the ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity. The ASEAN CERT will strengthen ASEAN’s overall cybersecurity posture and operational readiness in dealing with the fast-evolving cyber landscape by enabling stronger regional cybersecurity incident response coordination.
Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean added to the theme of cooperation when he announced that the Singapore Government had convened an inter-agency Counter Ransomware Task Force (CRTF) to enhance Singapore’s counter ransomware efforts. The Task Force is chaired by Mr David Koh, Chief Executive of Cyber Security Agency (CSA), and comprises senior government representatives from the technology, cybersecurity, financial regulation, and law enforcement domains.
CSA, in partnership with the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE), announced the creation of a GFCE Southeast Asia Liaison position. The Liaison will connect the region and the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence (ASCCE) more closely with other GFCE nations and organisations. This is expected to facilitate exchange of best practices, foster deeper understanding and ensure better coordination and use of resources.
As Mr David Koh summed up at one of the sessions, “the digital future can be bright if we can manage the risks. I believe there’s a possibility to put aside our differences and build upon consensus for the collective good for our digital future.”
[Second from left] CSA Chief Executive Mr David Koh moderated the first Ministerial Roundtable Session on “Cyber Resilience in the New Normal”. Speakers included Brunei’s Minister-in-Charge of Cybersecurity, Ghana’s Minister for Communications and Digitalization, New Zealand’s Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications, and the Philippines’ Secretary of Information and Communications Technology.
At the International IoT Security Roundtable session, Senior Minister of State for MCI Dr Janil Puthucheary announced that CSA has collaborated with the Ministry of Health (MOH), Health Sciences Authority (HSA) and Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) on the Cybersecurity Labelling Scheme for Medical Devices [CLS (MD)]. Medical devices are rated according to their levels of cybersecurity provisions, which will incentivise manufacturers to adopt a security-by-design approach and enable consumers and healthcare providers to make informed decisions about the use of devices.
To help consumers make more informed choices on digital transactions, CSA announced the launch of the Internet Hygiene Portal (IHP), which provides organisations with easy access to resources and self-assessment tools so that they can adopt internet security best practices. The public can access the IHP online, which also provides visibility on the cyber hygiene of digital platforms by publishing an Internet Hygiene Rating table with a simplified view and rating of each digital platform, such as Lazada, Shopee and Amazon.
A vibrant cybersecurity ecosystem is key to growing Singapore’s cybersecurity capabilities. To drive the development of cybersecurity expertise, CSA launched a new CSA-National Cybersecurity R&D Lab Scholarship. The programmes will cover the latest research trends, as well as advanced IT knowledge, to prepare students for cybersecurity-related careers.
To recognise Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which have demonstrated commitment to good cybersecurity practices, Senior Minister of State, MCI Tan Kiat How launched a new SME Cybersecurity Excellence Award, developed jointly by CSA and the Association of Trade & Commerce.
[Fourth from left] Senior Minister of State Mr Tan Kiat How
To catch up on the events and key moments from SICW 2022, visit the YouTube page.