Cyberspace is international and devoid of borders. As a result, cyberattacks can be carried out by anyone, anywhere on the globe. Putting in place cyber resilience measures to defend ourselves is critical, regardless of who the bad actor is. Singapore must take steps in cyberspace to protect Singaporeans’ digital security from cyberattacks purportedly carried out at the behest of state actors and state-backed groups. In light of recent events, Singapore should likewise take additional and updated measures to address the threat of such attacks.
The year 2021 will be remembered for a rash of cyberattacks and severe vulnerabilities uncovered around the world, the most recent of which is a weakness discovered in an open-source Java package extensively used by software developers. When known incidents and vulnerabilities are discovered, the Cyber Security Agency takes rapid action to guarantee the security of our Critical Information Infrastructure and businesses.
Two emergency meetings with CII sectors were arranged by the CSA to offer technical specifics and mitigation strategies, as well as increased surveillance for unexpected activity. Public advisories and alerts were published, and trade associations and chambers of commerce were advised on the need for businesses to implement mitigation measures as soon as possible.
The CSA recommends adopting a “zero-trust” approach to boost Singapore’s cybersecurity. This is based on two essential principles: first, never trust any activity on your networks without first validating it, and second, maintain ongoing monitoring and awareness for suspicious activity. The CII Supply Chain Programme is being developed by CSA to ensure that CII owners and their vendors follow international best practices for supply chain risk management.
At the same time, as part of the SG Cyber Safe Programme, CSA developed actionable cybersecurity toolkits and resources for businesses to improve their cyber defenses. The CSA’s website has these toolkits and tools. The best defense against cyberattacks, according to the CSA, is a population that is vigilant and follows good cyber practices. Businesses and organizations are in charge of their own cybersecurity and must take steps to improve their position.
This includes keeping their software and systems up to date, as well as practicing incident response and business continuity strategies to ensure that personnel is prepared in the event of an occurrence. Individuals should maintain good cyber hygiene and be on the lookout for phishing links. To participate in the digital arena safely and securely, we must all increase our defenses. CSA has launched a series of tool kits for businesses, according to OpenGov Asia, that guide cybersecurity concerns for senior corporate leaders, SMEs owners, and employees. The new toolkits make cybersecurity easier to understand and allow organizations to make more educated decisions about security, system usability, and cost.
The toolkit for enterprise executives and SME owners will focus on the commercial reasons for investing in cybersecurity, such as rationalizing cybersecurity investments and how cultivating a cybersecurity culture can help organizations realize the benefits of digital transformation. Despite the fact that 80 percent of Singapore SMEs support digital transformation and have implemented it, cybersecurity has been cited as the primary reason for small businesses not to go digital. Topics include the cultivation of cybersecurity leadership and guidance for employee cybersecurity education.
The program is part of the Safer Cyberspace Masterplan, which was introduced last year. The master plan was created in collaboration with the cybersecurity sector and academia in order to improve Singapore’s overall cybersecurity for individuals, communities, businesses, and organizations. Securing Singapore’s basic digital infrastructure, safeguarding cyberspace operations, and enabling a cyber-savvy populace are all key areas of concern.