Singapore launches new cyber security agency

By on 28/01/2015
Estonia already uses its embassies abroad to house servers to safeguard copies of government files

Singapore is launching a new central agency to crack down on cyber attacks, as the wealthy city-state grapples with a rise in online crime, Reuters reported on 27 January.

The national cyber security agency, which will start operations on 1 April, will consolidate and centralise oversight of cyber security functions, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement on 26 January.

The government also announced the new portfolio of minister-in-charge of cyber security – a post to be filled by Yaacob Ibrahim, minister for communications and information. In recent years, Singapore has struggled to combat cyber criminals, who have committed offences including stealing client data from Standard Chartered Bank and hacking the official website of the prime minister.

Computer security experts say developed, technology-rich Asian countries are particularly vulnerable to attacks.

Singapore relies heavily on its reputation of being low-crime and politically stable to lure multinational companies to its shores.

The establishment of the domestic cyber agency follows the opening of an Interpol centre in Singapore last year, which focuses on fighting cyber crime.

Noboru Nakatani, executive director of Interpol’s Global Complex for Innovation, said then that Singapore was likely to remain a prime target for cyber attacks.

Boeing Co said last October it was opening a cyber-security centre in Singapore, its first such facility outside the United States, to tackle the “current and evolving cyber security challenges” in the region.

The move follows the opening of the Australian Centre for Cyber Security in 2014 at the University of New South Wales in Canberra.

And in London, Cyber London (CyLon) – a new startup accelerator – was announced today, which is hoped to become the launchpad for a new wave of cyber-security technology companies from across Europe, the Guardian reports.

The first 13-week programme for will kick off in April, with a group of startups drawn from industries including defence, retail, telecoms and health services.

About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World - the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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