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Speech by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts at the Information Security Seminar 2012

 11 July 2012 - Speech by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts at the Information Security Seminar on Wednesday, 11 July 2012, 9.10am at The Resorts World Convention Centre (West Ballroom)

Speech by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts at the Information Security Seminar on Wednesday, 11 July 2012, 9.10am at The Resorts World Convention Centre (West Ballroom)

"Strengthening The Security Of Our Cyber Environment"

Mr Lim Chuan Poh
Chairman, National Infocomm Security Committee and A*STAR

Mr Wally Lee
President, Association of Information Security Professionals

Ms Shirley Wong
Co-Chair, Cyber Security Awareness Alliance

Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. Good morning. It is my pleasure to join everyone here today at the annual infocomm security seminar. Today, we also mark the second Cyber Security Awareness Day in Singapore.

Infocomm is Pivotal to Singapore's Growth

2. Singapore is recognised as a global leader in the adoption of infocomm technology across various sectors. The World Economic Forum's Global Information Technology Report 2012 ranked Singapore second among 142 economies for the use of information and communication technologies in boosting the country's competitiveness. Singapore has also topped the Waseda University World e-Government ranking for four consecutive years from 2009 to 2012.

3. The infocomm industry plays a critical role in fuelling economic growth and job creation in Singapore. According to Gartner, worldwide IT spending is expected to grow to US$3.7 trillion this year, an increase of 2.5 per cent from 2011. The Singapore Government remains committed to IT. We expect to invest S$1.2 billion in infocomm projects for FY2012 to boost efficiency and productivity within the public sector and improve service delivery to businesses and citizens.

Dynamism of Infocomm Environment

4. The infocomm environment is a dynamic one with new technologies constantly emerging and this has fuelled new demands. For example, greater use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets today has led to an increased demand for "on-the-go" information. On-demand cloud-based resources are also increasingly being adopted by organisations and businesses. Gartner predicts that by end of 2016, the majority of the Global 1,000 companies will have customer-sensitive data stored in the public clouds. As organisations and businesses adopt emerging technology trends and business models to enhance businesses' efficiency and effectiveness, it is important to recognise the underlying security challenges. We must adopt appropriate security measures so that organisations will be better prepared against cyber attacks.

Global Cyber Threat Landscape

5. Globally, cyber attacks are increasingly becoming more targeted, bold and sophisticated. Last year, security companies reported the rise of cyber attacks linked to hacktivist groups like Anonymous and LulzSec. These groups are not only well resourced to conduct the attacks, their attacks are also highly targeted and well organised, breaching the security of organisations they target. Since 2010, the world has also seen the emergence of highly sophisticated malware like the Stuxnet and Duqu which have attacked critical infrastructure control systems and can potentially cause widespread chaos.

Enhancing Public, Private and People Partnership in Infocomm Security

6. The Government is mindful of such cyber attacks and has adopted a collaborative approach across the public, private and people sectors in enhancing Singapore's resilience against cyber threats.

7. As part of the second Infocomm Security Masterplan, a Secure and Resilient Internet Infrastructure Code of Practice was issued in February last year for Internet Service Providers, or ISPs, to ensure that essential security is maintained in Singapore's Internet Infrastructure. With the code in place, the Government and ISPs can collaborate further on efforts to improve the security of the Internet infrastructure in Singapore, such as through regular information sharing among the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, or IDA, and ISPs on security incidents and cyber threats. IDA is also working with ISPs to adopt the latest security best practices in responding to cyber threats and it will continue to work closely with the ISPs to implement specific controls progressively.

Enhancing Infocomm Security Capabilities in the Public Sector

8. Within the Public Sector, various capabilities to secure the IT infrastructure have been established over the years. One example is the Cyber Watch Centre, which detects and provides alerts of cyber attacks to enable agencies to undertake appropriate pre-emptive and response measures in a timely manner before the threats increase. The Government will continue to put in place capabilities to mitigate future threats.

9. Singapore, like many other countries, has also been working closely with its international counterparts to fight cyber threats. Besides regular sharing of information, the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team has also been conducting periodic cyber security exercises like the ASEAN CERT Incident Drill - a collaboration with other Computer Emergency Response Teams in ASEAN and international dialogue partners. I hope to see more of such international collaborations in the future.

Singapore's 2nd Cyber Security Awareness Day

10. Today, we also mark the 2nd Cyber Security Awareness Day in Singapore to raise infocomm security awareness and remind everyone of the need for personal responsibility in adopting simple and secure online practices. Championed by the Cyber Security Awareness Alliance, jointly led by IDA and the Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation, this year's theme of "Strengthening Your Personal Security" is a call for Singapore users to adopt secure practices in using computing and networking devices such as computers, mobile devices and wireless equipment, as well as to secure one's online identity. I am happy to announce that to date, more than 630,000 pledges have been made from individuals to secure their computers, mobile devices, wireless equipments and online identities. It is encouraging that the security messages have reached out to more people. I encourage more organisations and individuals to continue with the efforts to enhance online security.

Enhanced Outreach Efforts

11. Apart from the Cyber Security Awareness Day, quizzes, cyber security related information and other activities are also available online at for businesses and individuals to learn more about cyber security. Businesses and the general public could also report and seek assistance on cyber security incidents from the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team. We have also worked with various schools to implement the "GoSafeOnline Facebook School Challenge" quiz competition for students to promote learning on various facets of infocomm security through fun and educational online games for our youths.

12. The Cyber Security Awareness Alliance has also leveraged on various social media such as Facebook and Twitter to engage the community-at-large. This will help facilitate the creation of interest groups as well as sharing of useful tips and best practices on infocomm security.


13. In conclusion, Singapore has made good progress in enhancing cyber security. However, we cannot afford to be complacent. We must ensure that measures are in place to manage the evolving risks and challenges. Infocomm security is a shared responsibility and everyone plays an important role in being vigilant and responsible to create a safe and secure cyber environment for Singapore.

14. I wish you a fruitful seminar. Thank you.