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Opening Remarks by Ms Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore at the Official Launch of the National Infocomm Security Competition

26 May 2014 - Opening Remarks by Ms Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore at the Official Launch of the National Infocomm Security Competition on 26 May 2014, 2pm at Victoria School (Auditorium)

Opening Remarks by Ms Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore at the Official Launch of the National Infocomm Security Competition on 26 May 2014, 2pm at Victoria School (Auditorium)

Mr Lim Boon Kong Andrew, Principal of Victoria School

Ladies and Gentlemen

1. Good morning. It gives me great pleasure to join you at the National Infocomm Security Competition today. This event is part of our Cyber Security Awareness campaign aimed at encouraging the adoption of good cyber security practices in light of the growing dangers in cyber space.

2. As a nation, we have embraced the use of the Internet in our homes, schools and workplaces. Almost three quarters of all Singaporeans are Internet users, and on average, desktop or laptop users spend 5 hours each day online while mobile Internet users averaged 2 hours per day1.

3. A survey by Singapore Polytechnic last year found that our youths spend an average of 5.5 hours per day online, an increase from 4.8 hours in 2011. The top five activities online include reading online content, viewing photos and videos, commenting and replying to others, chatting online and sharing or posting content.  Despite this extensive usage, a report released by Trend Micro last October found that many users here were putting themselves at risk of data theft. Among those surveyed, 60 per cent logged onto social networking sites using free, unsecured Wi-Fi networks and hotspots in public places and 40 per cent did not use security functions like multi-factor authentication. 30 per cent confessed that they did not even know what is multi-factor authentication3.  It is the use of additional ways to verify your identity on top of login passwords.

4. This attitude towards online security is a cause for concern as cyber criminals continually improve their efforts to harvest our personal and financial information. In 2013, cyber criminals came up with more advanced forms of malware for the Android platform and web-based attacks, as well as attacks meant to steal financial information4.  Going forward, it is expected that cyber criminals will devise new malware and targeted attacks against data-rich entities such as Cloud servers and mobile devices5.

5. To help us deal with these ever-changing and increasingly sophisticated cyber threats, one of the main focus of the National Cyber Security Masterplan is to raise user awareness so as to promote safer cyber habits. Activities like this National Infocomm Security Competition are just some of the ways in which we are hope to engage youths from primary to tertiary students to channel your creative energies to help spread the message to your peers and in the process, learn something new.

6. The theme for this year’s Competition is “Be Digitally Savvy, Stay Cyber Safe” and it will have three components. One of them is a 3D Model Competition is created specifically for Primary School pupils who are required to create a board game or 3D object that illustrates cyber security concepts.

7. We also have a Multimedia Design Competition with different categories for Upper Primary, Secondary, Institute of Technical Education, Millennia Institute and Junior College students, as well as Singaporeans and Permanent Residents above the age of 18. For this competition, participants will have to produce animated videos about cyber security. To help the younger ones along, we’ve also included a workshop on story creation and storyboarding. Teams that make it to the finals will have the chance to transform their storyboards into actual videos with the training and guidance of professionals.

8. Last but far from the least, the Zero Day Defence Competition will stretch the coding skills of competitors. In the online world, there are people known as White Hats who are the good guys using their hacking skills to help organisations better secure their systems. Open to Tertiary students, this gruelling 54-hour challenge requires participants to not only develop secure web applications but also to take on the role of White Hats to penetrate other teams’ creations. It will be a true test of the mental and physical limits of the participants. At the end of it, the winning team will alas not get a car, but I’m told the prize is something that money can’t buy6.

9. I trust that these competitions will be challenging and rewarding for our young participants. I hope that you will enjoy your experience. Learn something new and useful, make some new friends and help to spread the importance of practising good cyber habits to your friends and family.

10. So, I hope you will actively engage in all our cyber security activities, not just the Competition but also see cyber security as a very rewarding and exciting career. We need more cyber security professionals who can defend us against people out to cause us harm through cyber space. I believe Anthony will share more about that later.

11. I wish all participants the best and I look forward to seeing your submissions. Good luck!

Related Resources

Factsheet - National Infocomm Security Competition 2014 (198.95KB)

Notes to Editor

Social, Digital & Mobile Around the World (January 2014)
2 Singapore youths spending more time online. Yahoo Newsroom, 11 Jan 2013 
3 Singaporeans lax with security on social media. Todayonline, 25 Oct 2013 
4 Security Threat Report 2014
5 Symantec Internet Security Threat Report 2014, Sophos Security Threat Report 2014, Kaspersky Security Bulleting 2013.
6 Winning team will be entitled to a 3-month internship at McAfee Singapore.