Asia Minute: Singapore’s Cybersecurity Strategy

Oct 10, 2016

Credit Yuri Samoilov / Flickr

The topic of cyber security has come up in each of the presidential debates. While the United States says Russia is trying to hack into election related systems, one country in Asia is launching a national strategy aimed at computer security. HPR’s Bill Dorman has details in today’s Asia Minute.

Singapore has launched its first International Cyber Week.  It’s an event the government is using to publicize its approach and plans for defending against computer crime.  Singapore is among the leaders in the world when it comes to organizing a national strategy on that issue.

Last year it set up a cabinet-level “Cyber Security Agency.”  It also created a policy where government workers will no longer be able to surf the web on their work computers—because of potential vulnerability to hacking.  When the law takes full effect next year, computers that access work e-mail won’t have the capability of connecting to the internet.  Civil servants who need to find things on line will use a separate computer set up for that purpose—or use their own personal mobile devices.

Singapore’s focus on computer security has gotten attention in the corporate world.  Just last week, Microsoft announced it has opened what it calls a “transparency and cybersecurity center” in Singapore.  The company says it will be open to government agencies in the Asia Pacific to help evaluate security threats….making staff available for consultations and allowing access to source codes.  Microsoft plans to open a similar operation in Beijing later this year…to go with existing facilities in Brussels and Washington State.