Singapore on Tuesday announced new measures to strengthen cybersecurity to prevent a recurrence of attacks on government Web sites including those of its president and prime minister.
Information minister Yaacob bin Ibrahim said the government is upgrading its Cyber-Watch Centre, allowing it to track malicious activities and respond swiftly when there are security breaches. The upgrades are expected to be completed by January next year.
“Large-scale cybersecurity breaches have made headlines and raised public concerns,” Yaacob said in a speech to a conference of experts in Singapore, referring to attacks against US retailer Target and other international incidents.
“Governments, businesses, manufacturers and consumers must guard against data leakage, unauthorized access to corporate resources and malware attack against their networks,” he said. Yaacob said the government is working to increase the number of homegrown cybersecurity experts by partnering with local universities that offer specialist degrees.
“The biggest growth in staffing requirements will be in the areas of security operations, security engineering and technology,” he added.
Apart from dedicated cybersecurity experts, the government and business also need more professionals in areas like network engineering and application development to guard against cyberthreats, Yaacob said.
A rash of attacks in Singapore last year targeted the Web sites of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍) and President Tony Tan (陳慶炎), as well as other government portals.
Singaporean James Raj Arokiasamy, 35, is facing 162 criminal charges for various computer misuse offenses, including the alleged illegal accessing of the parliamentary district Web site of Lee and a reporter’s blog on The Straits Times’ Web site.
Singapore strictly regulates the traditional media, but insists the licensing rules enacted in June last year do not impinge on Internet freedom.
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