Published on 20 Dec 2023
The eighth edition of the Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW) was held on 16 – 19 Oct 2023 with more than 12,0000 delegates from 80 countries participating.
SICW 2023 attracted a diverse audience mix of government officials, industry experts, academics, and cybersecurity professionals. Over 270 speakers covered a myriad of topics ranging from reshaping cybersecurity in the era of generative artificial intelligence, public-private sectors roles and partnership in the cyberspace, and combating advanced cybersecurity threats.
Among the global leaders and industry experts who spoke were Izumi Nakamitsu, the United Nations’ Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs; Anne Neuberger, Deputy National Security Advisor, United States; Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Cabinet Office Minister of State, United Kingdom; Johanna Weaver, Director of the Tech Policy Design Centre, Australian National University; K C Choi, Executive Vice President and Global Head, Mobile Enterprise Business, Samsung; and Brad Arkin, Chief Security and Trust Officer, CISCO.
United Nation’s Izumi Nakamitsu engaging with Cyber Security Agency’s David Koh at the opening summit of SICW
The GovWare Conference and Exhibition 2023, the region’s premier trade show for cybersecurity, was also held in conjunction with SICW.
SICW 2023 and GovWare programmes include expert-led keynotes and a cutting-edge tech showcase by leading global and local innovators
Building Trust and Security in the Digital Domain
In his opening address at the SICW Summit, Mr Teo Chee Hean, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Singapore, emphasised the necessity of building trust and security in the emerging digital order. He said that as the digital domain is constantly evolving, and as the world is still trying to figure out what the rules and norms should be, trust is fundamental, not just between states, but between governments and the tech industry, and the public’s trust in the digital world.
Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean delivering the opening address at the SICW Summit
At the ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cyber Security, which is part of SICW, Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity, spoke about strengthening cybersecurity cooperation and resilience regionally, as well as establishing a rules-based multilateral order in cyberspace internationally.
Minister Josephine Teo (fifth from right) delivered the opening address at the 8th ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity
Mr Luong Tam Quang, Deputy Minister of Public Security Senior Lieutenant General, Vietnam, called on ASEAN countries to intensify effective implementation of cooperation on cybersecurity, build common intra-bloc as well as international regulations on cyber security, and establish a mechanism to support ASEAN member states in responding to and handling cyber security matters and preventing cyber attacks, among others.
At the international Internet-of-Things (IoT) Security Roundtable, Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Communications and Information announced that Singapore is actively working with other nations to develop an international standard, the ISO 27404, to harmonise security efforts and facilitate mutual recognition of cybersecurity labelling schemes, ensuring global cooperation in enhancing IoT security.
Senior Minister of State Dr Janil Puthucheary delivered the opening address at the International IoT Security Roundtable Leadership Dialogue
Singapore and the United Kingdom also expressed their intention to jointly build and develop a cyber security profession that is clearly-defined and future-proofed. Both countries agreed to cooperate on several matters, such as building and aligning a common knowledge base in cybersecurity, mapping knowledge and skills required to areas of practice in cybersecurity, and exploring a cyber skills dialogue.
To help members of the public make more informed choices in the products they buy, SMS Dr Janil Puthucheary updated that CSA will be working closely with the industry to develop a Cybersecurity Implementation Toolkit that manufacturers can use to build devices that are secure-by-design. This will help more manufacturers successfully achieve a label under the Cybersecurity Labelling Scheme. He also announced the launch of the Cybersecurity Labelling Scheme for Medical Devices [CLS(MD)] sandbox, where medical device manufacturers are invited to participate in the sandbox to have a first-mover advantage in enhancing the security of their products.
To educate the public on ransomware and provide recovery support, the Singapore Police Force and CSA announced the launch of a ransomware portal, a one-stop platform for organisations to access key ransomware-related resources on global trends and emerging ransomware variants. The portal also provides victims of ransomware attacks with known decryption keys and incident response checklists.
Building Trust between Governments and Tech Titans
In the era of Big Tech, it is imperative that public-private partnerships work together to develop win-win solutions that safeguard and expand the public good. To that end, Mr Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, Singapore, announced that the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) will be establishing separate partnerships with Microsoft and Google, to address cybersecurity threats and enhance our national cyber defence. This will help to realise synergies and pave the way towards a digital domain that is secure, trusted, and inclusive.
DPM Heng Swee Kiat at the Opening Ceremony of the 8th SICW
In another example of partnerships between the Singapore Government and the tech industry, Mr Tan Kiat How, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and for National Development announced the release of the Cloud Security Companion Guides. These guides, developed in close partnership with major cloud service providers in Singapore – Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft – will help cloud customers to better understand cloud-specific risks and responsibilities, as well as the necessary steps to take.
Senior Minister of State Tan Kiat How and key partners launched the Cloud Security Companion Guides
Investing in Cybersecurity Capacity and Talent Development