The Safe Cities Index 2019 was released recently by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) which places Singapore as the 2nd safest city in the world.
Sponsored by the NEC Corporation, the report released on 29 August showed that Tokyo was the safest city overall, with Asia-Pacific cities making up 6 of the top 10. Other cities in the top ten include Osaka (3rd), Amsterdam (4th), Sydney (5th), Toronto (6th), Washington, DC (7th), Seoul and Copenhagen (tied 8th) and Melbourne (10th).
The index ranks 60 cities based on 57 indicators across four pillars: digital security, health security, infrastructure security and personal security. Singapore is ranked second behind Tokyo in Digital Security but takes the lead in both Infrastructure and Personal Security. As for Health security, Singapore ranked 8th.
Singapore’s ranking in the Digital Security category has some of our readers wondering how Singapore managed such a high score in light of the recent cyber breaches and data leaks.
Most notably, is the HIV Registry data leak which revealed confidential information of 14,2000 individuals diagnosed with HIV up to January 2013 and 2,400 of their contacts.
There was also the data leak of over 3 million customer records from Sephora that was reported up for sale on the Dark Web as well as the data leak of the personal details of 808,201 blood donors in Singapore when the Health Sciences Authority (HAS) database was hacked in March. Later in May, we also learned that the Singapore Red Cross website was hacked, leaking details of over 4,000 potential blood donors.
So we reached out to the EIU to ask how did Singapore score so well in Digital Security given these serious lapses.
In response, EIU said in an email that while no city is immune to malicious attacks, strong policies and effective implementation can minimise the damage from such attacks.
They said, “Singapore’s high rank on digital security is due to its performance on input parameters (such as cybersecurity laws) and its performance on outputs (risk of malware infection). The risk from these attacks in Singapore is lower as compared to other cities in the index, thanks to a robust policy environment.”