Government ups cyber-security measures

By Howard Lee

Following a spate of security breaches to government websites late last year, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) will implement a number of additional measures to help the government prevent and manage such “security threats” in the future.

These include setting up a Monitoring and Operations Control Centre, which will complement the existing Cyber-Watch Centre, to be ready by January next year.

Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim was reported by media as saying that such measures are needed for the government to stay ahead of cyber threats. The upgrade will allow the government to better monitor government websites and check for malicious activities that could affect the delivery of online public services.

Such services generally include a broad range of services, such as transactional services using log-in features, or the availability of any government website to users.

Dr Ibrahim also said that the government will appoint chief information security officers at agencies to strengthen security governance.

He also identified the need to grow the existing pool of cyber-security experts in Singapore to help with operations and technology management.

IDA will do this by increasing the number of professionals, enhancing the skills of current staff, and developing a pool of postgraduate researchers. It is not clear if such additional manpower will be drawn from the local manpower pool.

The spate of cyber security breaches last year were also linked to the theft of data belonging to some 600 Standard Chartered bank customers.