Strategies Singapore Has taken To Enhance Cybersecurity in the Wake of Cyber Attacks
Cybersecurity is becoming a major concern across the globe, and in 2020, it is expected that there will be more cyber-attacks on public infrastructure and utilities. Singapore is one of the countries that are rapidly turning out to be cybersecurity hubs. This is because there is an increase in digital interconnectivity between different sectors has necessitated the protection of sensitive data. According to the UN Global Cybersecurity Index, Singapore is the top country globally when it comes to commitment to cybersecurity.
According to projections, the cybersecurity market in Singapore will hit $900 million this year, and as cyber-attacks increase, the industry will continue growing and become better. The country has been embracing collaborative and legislative initiatives aimed at enhancing cybersecurity as the country’s digital economy continues to expand. The finance sector has witnessed a proliferation of FinTech startups, and these are the ones that are mostly targeted by cyber thieves. In June last year, Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency revealed that over 90% of the fake websites detected were those imitating financial and banking services.
Going to 2020, the cybersecurity sector will experience massive transformation. Here are some of the trends expected in the industry this year.
Cyber thieves could continue targeting API vulnerabilities
In recent times organizations have spent huge amounts to make data accessible across systems as well as applications. As a result, they have several APIs offering access and insight from external and internal data. However, APIs are vulnerable and insecure, as evidenced by the several breaches and bugs reported. For instance, in 2018, an API bug infiltrated Google+ and exposed the personal information of over 500,000 users.
Therefore more focus in 2020 will be on securing the software development lifecycle to combat cyber-attacks. Usually, there is an inherent trust that the API developer has a process in place that is attack proof, but with the developer being even small organizations, it should not be assumed that they can take care of security.
Increase in the number of mergers and acquisitions
There have been several M&As in the cybersecurity industry in recent times, but in 2020, they are expected to increase significantly. Currently, cybersecurity is a booming industry, and just like previous booms, there are massive opportunities for vendors and private equity. Most of the activity will result from the desire of organizations to interact with a single vendor for all their cybersecurity needs.
There are thousands of vendors and consultancies in the cybersecurity industry, and each day startups unveil new tech innovations. As a result, there is a growing number of cybersecurity players entering the play. Therefore some of the small vendors might seek divestment from cashed-up cybersecurity providers to gain market share in the fragmented sector.
Cybersecurity threats have continued to be a menace for most countries, and according to cyber-security Company, McAfee, cybercrime usually costs the world economy around $450 billion every year. There are millions of attacks every day, ranging from bank fraud, cyber espionage, cyber thefts as well as denial of services, among others. Singapore has also been at the end of these attacks that are happening everywhere.
For instance, in February last year, the Ministry of Defence got breached, and personal information of over 800 emp0loyees and servicemen was stolen. Equally, Singapore’s top industries, such as energy, Infocomm, and financial services, are at risk of attacks. As a result, the government of Singapore has taken measures to combat cyber-crimes and enhance security. The country released a Cyber Security Strategy in 2016 that will enable the industry to reach a global market.
Attracting leading Cyber Security firms
As part of the strategy, Singapore sought to leverage its global reputation in business to attract and host leading cybersecurity firms. The government intends to work with the firms to create jobs in the country, protect important sectors as well as enhance the city’s cyber-security expertise. So far, the move has attracted companies such as BAE Systems, Palo Alto Networks, and Microsoft Corp, all of which have offices in Singapore.
Partnering with local security firms
The government of Singapore has shown a commitment to supporting local cybersecurity companies that offer advanced and competitive security capabilities globally. Several select companies will work in hand with the Cyber Security Agency in developing and delivering cybersecurity services. This also includes training and capacity building of cybersecurity personnel.
Offering support to Startups
Part of the components of the cybersecurity strategy is supporting security startups. The focus is startups focused on producing advanced market solutions that can enhance cybersecurity offerings in Singapore. The government has collaborated with venture capitalists and accelerators to secure financing and scale startups focusing on cybersecurity technologies.
Financing research and development
To enhance rapid innovation in cybersecurity, the government of Singapore committed S$190 million to support the National-Cyber Security R&D Program. Under the program, the government has awarded around 13 cybersecurity projects in security systems and forensics. The government wants to establish a state of the art research facility to act as a shared resource for cybersecurity companies and academia.
Cybersecurity requires a multifaceted approach
It is also important to note that cybersecurity requires a multifaceted approach. Cyber-crimes have become part of society, and although governments are introducing legislation and strategies to combat these attacks, there still needs to create awareness at a personal level. That said, there is still a need to continue enhancing cybersecurity to protect consumers, organizations, and governments from attacks.
Because of the increase in threat level, FinTech firms have increasingly become aware of the threats because data is seen as a modern-day currency. Since the consequences are data breaches are felt at the organization level, there is usually complacency at a personal level, creating vulnerabilities that criminals can exploit.
The collaborative approach the government of Singapore has taken in combating cyber-attacks shows that having a multifaceted approach is necessary to prevent crime. With the Cyber Security Strategy touching on almost all the important sectors, it will be easier for Singapore to grow its Cybersecurity industry to global levels.