Speech by Mr David Koh, Commissioner of Cybersecurity and Chief Executive of The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore at the Opening of International IOT Security Roundtable 2021 (6 October 2021)

06 Oct 2021

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the Field of Recognition of Cyber Security Labelling between the Cyber Security Agency of the Republic of Singapore and the Transport and Communications Agency of the Republic of Finland (Traficom)

1. Thank you, Senior Minister of State, Dr Janil Puthucheary, for delivering the opening address of the sixth edition of the International IoT Security Roundtable at the third day of the Singapore International Cyber Week 2021.

2. The importance of securing digital devices as well as the importance of international collaboration to protect against new cyber threats have all been more than adequately covered by Minister Janil in his keynote speech. I won’t add more, except to say we are totally aligned.

3. Since the launch of Singapore’s Cybersecurity Labelling Scheme, or CLS, last year, it has garnered strong interest both locally and globally. Our decision to launch the CLS was a calibrated move to both support innovation and foster trusted and secure use of technology. A decade ago, smart household devices were not as pervasive as today. Now, it is harder to find one that is not smart. We saw the acceleration of digitalisation, how fast IoT devices were proliferating, and how they became increasingly ubiquitous. As such, ensuring the security of such devices became a matter of prime concern to us. 

4. We are heartened that several like-minded countries have expressed interest to understand our CLS scheme better, with the intention to align our schemes with theirs, or to establish one of their own that is interoperable. It shows that we are all facing the same challenges around the world.

5. Global collaboration on schemes like CLS, which are based on objective technical standards will advance cybersecurity  worldwide, help to promote harmonisation of standards and interoperability, reduce duplicated testing costs for manufacturers, and improve the ease of doing business.

6. The benefits are not limited to organisations. Consumers will also benefit from wider access to more secure IoT products and the ability to make more informed choices.

7. I am honoured to be signing this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore with the Transport and Communications Agency of Finland (Traficom) to mutually recognise the cybersecurity labels issued by CSA and Traficom. This means that an IoT device awarded with Finland’s cybersecurity label will automatically be recognised by Singapore’s CLS and vice versa.

8. Finland and Singapore are the first two countries in the world to develop their respective cybersecurity labels for IoT devices and I am glad that we have decided to pursue mutual recognition. Our schemes are not identical. However, we share mutual interests in encouraging products to be embedded with better cybersecurity provisions and supporting the digital economy by reducing duplicated evaluations and cost of compliance. This MoU is a testament of our shared vision for a safer and more secure cyberspace, in order to harness the potential of the digital economy.

9. The MoU on the mutual recognition of cybersecurity labels with Finland is the first of its kind in the world.  I certainly look forward to having more nations aboard for this initiative to build a more secure and trusted IoT eco-system, and grow collaboration in the digital economy.

10. Without further ado, I will now pass the time to Mr Sauli Pahlman, Deputy Director-General of Finland’s Transport and Communications Agency, to deliver a few words before we proceed with the signing.