Critical information infrastructure (CII) owners in Singapore must report security breaches, and cybersecurity vendors providing highly sensitive services here will need to be licensed if a proposed Cybersecurity Bill gets the greenlight.
In April 2015, the Government set up the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), as the central agency to oversee and coordinate all aspects of cybersecurity for the nation.
Banking and privacy rules on sharing confidential information would be superseded by the cybersecurity bill.
Amongst the bill's key components was a regulatory framework targeted at CII owners, which formalised the duties of such providers in securing systems under their responsibility, including before a cybersecurity had occurred.
The Commissioner of Cybersecurity can investigate threats and incidents to ensure essential services in 11 critical sectors - including telecommunications, transport, healthcare, banking and energy - are not disrupted in a cyber attack.
This will be for the goal of preventing, detecting or investigating any cyber security threat or incident, and will, when necessary, take precedence over any existing secrecy laws that prevent information sharing.
"Against the backdrop of proliferating cyber incidents globally and locally, it is imperative that we take a more pro-active and holistic approach to strengthen our resilience against cyber attacks, especially for CIIs", the CSA said in a statement. According to the proposed bill, "no person [may] carry out or perform licensable investigative cybersecurity service without license".
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The bill also proposed licensing cyber security service providers and practitioners, starting with those providing penetration testing and managed security operations centre (SOC) services.
"The CSX initiative helps address the cyber security talent gap in Singapore by using an interactive platform to engage aspiring cyber security professionals of all ages", said Bill Chang, Chief Executive Officer, Group Enterprise at Singtel. This had prompted more attackers to target CIIs such as hospitals.
But Fortinet's country manager for Singapore, Mr Thiantara Kruathorn, said the Bill is merely the first step. These attacks-vicious and contagious in nature-have served as a wakeup call across nations and organisations alike. "As the bill lays bare what the industry needs to do, we hope it can ease the anxiety surrounding cyberattacks, decode how we can tackle the issue better, and herald a new spring for the cybersecurity industry in Singapore".
It will conduct a public consultation exercise until August 3.
On July 6, Singapore and Germany signed a joint declaration on strengthening cybersecurity cooperation.
Both countries also committed to promote "voluntary norms of responsible state behavior" to support cybersecurity.
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