PM Lee Launches Singapore’s Cybersecurity Strategy

10 Oct 2016

Strategy underscores Singapore’s commitment to build a resilient and trusted cyber environment for all

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today launched Singapore’s Cybersecurity Strategy at the opening of the inaugural Singapore International Cyber Week (“SICW”). The Strategy outlines how Singapore will continue to strengthen the resilience of the country’s cybersecurity.

Developed after a consultation process with 50 stakeholders[1] over the past year, the Strategy sets out Singapore’s vision, goals and priorities in the area of cybersecurity and outlines the country’s commitment to build a resilient and trusted cyber environment for Singapore and Singaporeans. Cybersecurity is a key enabler for Singapore’s digitally-enabled economy and society. Four pillars underpin the Strategy, namely

  • Building a Resilient Infrastructure;
  • Creating a Safer Cyberspace;
  • Developing a Vibrant Cybersecurity Ecosystem; and
  • Strengthening International Partnerships

Building a Resilient Infrastructure

A key focus of the Strategy is to ensure that Singapore’s essential services are protected. The Government will work with key stakeholders, including private sector operators and the cybersecurity community, to strengthen the resilience of Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) that supports these essential services. The Government will establish robust and systematic cyber risk management processes, as well as response and recovery plans, across all critical sectors. To do so, it is necessary to grow a culture of cyber-risk awareness across CIIs. The increased adoption of Security-by-Design practices to address cybersecurity issues across the supply chain will remain an important focus. A new Cybersecurity Act will also be introduced in 2017, to provide a comprehensive legal framework for national cybersecurity.

Creating a Safer Cyberspace

Cyber technology can enable and empower business and society, but only if it is safe and trustworthy. To realise its benefits, businesses and individuals must stay safe in cyberspace.  The Strategy outlines efforts by various agencies to combat cybercrime and to enhance Singapore’s standing as a trusted data hub. These initiatives include the National Cybercrime Action Plan, launched by the Ministry of Home Affairs in July 2016. However, the Government cannot tackle cybersecurity challenges alone. To promote collective responsibility for cybersecurity, communities and business associations should play their part by fostering their members’ understanding of cybersecurity issues and promoting the adoption of good practices.

Developing a Vibrant Cybersecurity Ecosystem

A vibrant cybersecurity ecosystem will provide a sustainable source of expertise and capabilities for resilient infrastructure and a safer cyberspace. It will also bring Singapore to the forefront of cybersecurity innovation and create economic opportunities for Singaporeans. The Government will collaborate with industry partners and Institutes of Higher Learning to grow the cybersecurity workforce. Scholarship programmes and industry-oriented curriculums will be introduced, while up-skilling and re-skilling opportunities for mid-career professionals will be provided through initiatives such as the Cyber Security Associates and Technologists Programme. The Government will also partner the private sector and academia to develop technologically-advanced companies, nurture local start-ups, and harness Research & Development (R&D).

Strengthening International Partnerships

Cyber threats are borderless, and Singapore is committed to strong international collaboration for our collective global security. Singapore will actively cooperate with the international community, particularly ASEAN, to address transnational cybersecurity and cybercrime issues. Singapore will also champion initiatives for cyber capacity building, as well as facilitate global exchanges on cyber norms, policy and legislation. The Singapore International Cyber Week and ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity are examples of platforms to promote such exchanges.

Singapore’s Cybersecurity Strategy is available here.

About the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore

The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) provides dedicated and centralised oversight of national cyber security functions, and works with sector leads to protect Singapore’s critical services. It also engages with various industries, and stakeholders to heighten cyber security awareness as well as to ensure the holistic development of Singapore’s cyber security landscape. The Agency was established under the Prime Minister’s Office and is managed by the Ministry of Communications and Information.

[1] Comprising government agencies, business and professional associations, private companies and academic institutions