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Singaporeans pledge stronger passwords

Ross O. Storey | June 1, 2011
IDA’s Cyber Security Awareness Day attracts strong response.

More than 300,000 Singaporeans have pledged to strengthen their digital passwords as part of a strategy to upgrade internet security.

The pledges were delivered as part of Singapore's inaugural Cyber Security Awareness Day on 13 April 2011.

Releasing the results today, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) said that the password change pledges came from "the people, public and private sectors, each pledging to change their passwords to stronger ones".

The IDA said that digital passwords are generally the first line of defence against cyber criminals who use social networking to gain access to sensitive corporate and personal information.

Championed by the Cyber Security Awareness Alliance, this year's Cyber Security Awareness Day took place alongside the annual Information Security Seminar.

Heavy security investment

At the seminar, the then Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Lui Tuck Yew, said the Singapore Government was investing heavily to secure critical systems that support key public services.

Lui said the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) had recently signed two collaborative agreements with its counterpart agencies in Japan and the Republic of Korea.

"Such agreements will enable our countries to share early and pertinent information about cyber threats, undertake joint development and training in enhancing technical capabilities as well as enhance the security of respective national infrastructure," he said.

IDA Senior Director, Infocomm Security & Assurance Division, Christina Gan, told the seminar that, besides these formal agreements, Singapore has established informal bilateral partnerships with other countries such as the United States.

"(Under these arrangements) public agencies from both sides can approach each other easily through email or phone calls," Gan said. "These are part of the Government's efforts to develop the nation's infocomm security capabilities and to enhance cyber security situational awareness."

Mid term infocomm security masterplan review

The IDA says it has also conducted a mid-term review of the Infocomm Security Masterplan 2 (MP2), to ensure that the Masterplan stays relevant and capable of addressing the evolving cyber security threat landscape.

"The review identified several areas of need - first, to develop an overarching national level view of the state of security across critical economic sectors, to attain enhanced situational awareness of cyber threats," said the IDA in a web statement.

"Second, to build capabilities through partnerships with local universities or setting up advanced research programmes, so as to provide a pipeline of highly-trained security professionals and practitioners. There should also be capacity building of all personnel in the area of infocomm security, for better informed decision-making. Last but not least, to focus on enhancing information sharing between organisations."

To further safeguard Singapore's position as a secure and trusted hub and as part of MP2's initiatives, the IDA said it also issued a Code of Practice in February this year to designated Internet Service Providers (ISPs), making it mandatory for ISPs to put in place the right processes and develop new capabilities to manage current and emerging cyber threats.


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