TOP | 2015 | Weekly Column | Cybersecurity enables a Smart Nation

Cybersecurity enables a Smart Nation
Cyber Security Agency of Singapore
Director / Strategy
Mr. Wong Yu Han
As more people get connected digitally, and the threats in cyberspace become more frequent and sophisticated, cybersecurity has become an increasingly important part of our daily life.

In April this year, the Singapore government set up the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, to provide dedicated and centralized oversight of national cyber security functions. A part of our work is reaching out to society for awareness of our vulnerabilities and possible consequences in the face of cyber threats, so that we can adopt timely measures to safeguard our well-being. Let me share with you some of the initiatives that CSA has engaged in to raise the public awareness and encourage the younger generation towards that end.

Firstly, CSA collaborated with the National Security Coordination Secretariat for the "Let's Stand Together" campaign, which addressed the prevalent hacking threats that existed in cyberspace. The key message of "Block the Hack" was promoted through various media channels. Additionally, to motivate the younger generation towards cybersecurity, we partnered with the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) on Hackathon@SG challenge 2015. This event brought over one thousand students, programmers, designers and entrepreneurs together to come up with solutions for areas which include Public Service, Healthcare, City Planning and Safety and Security. The aim of this event was to promote creative and new inputs and perspectives on the use of government data for the development of applications and to inspire the community, especially the younger generation to be involved in cybersecurity, by picking up computer programming skills as well as to acquire knowledge of IT standards.

Secondly, CSA is working with MediaCorp, Singapore's national broadcasting station, on a television programme "Crime Watch". In collaboration with the Singapore Police Force and National Crime Prevention Council, this program uses real life cases in creating awareness in the general public of the different types of crimes that are prevalent and provide information on methods and steps that we can take to reduce our vulnerability to such crimes. CSA's collaboration focuses on the importance of cybersecurity and protection against cyber attacks. The key message is that "Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility".

Thirdly, we have improved our online portal, GoSafeOnline, to facilitate easy access of small medium enterprises (SMEs) and the general public to get tips on good cyber secure habits and to provide resources to protect themselves. In addition to the online portal, a Facebook and YouTube account were also set up.

All the above initiatives aim to reach out to the general public to create awareness of the risks related to cyber and to educate and equip the general public with the resources and methods which can be used to protect themselves from cyber attackers. The CSA is excited about moving this meaningful effort. We will continue to intensify efforts to raise cybersecurity awareness among our organizations and the general public.

Best wishes.