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Singapore announces new initiatives to boost cybersecurity

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In order to boost cybersecurity and tackle next-generation cyber threats in the telecommunications sector, the Singapore government recently formed Telecom Cybersecurity Strategic Committee (TCSC), a committee that is expected to publish a strategy for telecommunication operators to develop cybersecurity capabilities. It would also give other recommendations, including capability development, technology innovation, regulation, and international partnerships.

While addressing at the inaugural of Infocomm Media Cybersecurity Conference, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary announced the road map to secure Singapore’s telecommunications infrastructure.

“Today, we need to consider the future, as these risks are magnified by new technologies, products, and platforms. Advancements in cyber threats are ever present, such as Ransomware-as-a-service, and the weaponization of AI and use of machine learning. The pace of acceleration and the threat around cybersecurity is just as rampant. Opportunities are also created by the disruption and transformation of businesses. Everything is evolving at a pace in which technology needs to keep up through deeper, richer connectivity networks and new technologies,” Janil Puthucheary said in a statement.

“This Strategic Committee is a partnership between government and the industry to better secure our connectivity infrastructure, involving global cybersecurity experts and key telecommunication operators in Singapore,” Puthucheary added.

Janil Puthucheary also announced two initiatives to enhance security capabilities in the telecom industry. One of them is an electronic Know Your Customer guide that enables mobile operators and their customers to perform secure online verifications for mobile services. And the other is a cybersecurity guide on using Internet-of-things (IoT) devices with recommendations and checklists on how to secure their connected devices and networks.

In order to strengthen the country’s financial sector technology, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently announced the launch of S$30 million (US$22 million) cybersecurity capabilities grant.  The new allocation helps Singapore’s financial institutions strengthen their cyber resilience and upskill local talent through cybersecurity-related training programs like security operations, cyberthreat surveillance, computer forensics, malware analysis, and cyberthreat hunting.

Also, the governments of Singapore and the United States joined hands to strengthen their collaboration in the infrastructure sector, digital economy, and cybersecurity. Both countries renewed their Collaboration Platform Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and signed a Declaration of Intent (DOI) to work together on a Singapore-US Cybersecurity Technical Assistance Program for ASEAN.

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