Singapore has launched its Safer Cyberspace Masterplan 2020, designed to raise the general level of cybersecurity for individuals, communities, enterprises, and organisations here. 

Announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Oct 6, the masterplan builds on the  2016 Singapore Cybersecurity Strategy, and outlines a blueprint for the creation of a safer and more secure cyberspace in Singapore.

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The masterplan consists of three strategic thrusts, namely, securing Singapore’s core digital infrastructure; safeguarding our cyberspace activities; and empowering our cyber-savvy population.

The first thrust is to defend Singapore’s cyberspace at the outset by minimising vulnerabilities in our Internet architecture, devices and endpoints, and enterprise applications. Through this approach, end-users connected to the Internet in Singapore will have reduced exposure to known cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Most notably, the government will introduce the Cybersecurity Labelling Scheme (CLS) to better secure user devices and endpoints.

The CLS is a scheme that device manufacturers can voluntarily apply for, which provides different levels of cybersecurity ratings to help consumers easily assess the level of security offered by a smart device and make informed choices. 

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These labels indicate the security provisions of the registered products, based on a series of assessments such as the device’s resistance to common cyber attacks.

In this way, consumers can be more discerning and choose to buy more secure products. With increased consumer demand for security, manufacturers and developers will also be incentivised and encouraged to develop products with recognised and improved security features.

The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) will initially introduce the CLS to a few product types, such as home Wi-Fi routers and Smart Home hubs. These products are prioritised because of their growing popularity and potential impact that a compromise of such products can have on users.

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The second strategic thrust aims to ensure swift detection and remediation of malicious cyber activities at the national and enterprise levels, in order to minimise the impact and damage caused by cyber threats.

To do so, the government will strengthen Singapore’s national malicious cyber activity detection and analysis capabilities. Some of the key initiatives include an Artificial Intelligence-enabled Cyber Fusion Platform for threat detection and analysis, as well as an Internet of Things Threat Analytics Platform.

The government will also support enterprises in protecting themselves against cyber threats by introducing self-help resources and solutions for enterprises, through an Internet Cyber Hygiene Portal, and an integrated and automated Security-as-a-Service solution.

Finally, CSA said the third thrust of the Masterplan seeks to empower the Singaporeans to respond to cyber threats. 

At the enterprise level, the government will develop resources and toolkits that are customised for enterprise leaders and employees so that enterprise leaders can make good decisions on addressing cyber risks that their enterprises face. 

In addition, to encourage enterprises to adopt cybersecurity, the government will roll out a voluntary SG Cyber Safe Trustmark by 2021. With the Trustmark, enterprises can demonstrate that they have put in place cybersecurity processes and measures. Clients can then select enterprises with the requisite cybersecurity assurance to meet their needs.

At the community level, CSA said it will also continue to expand its outreach efforts through the GoSafeOnline Community Outreach Programme.

CSA aims to implement the initiatives in this Masterplan from 2021 to 2023, and it will review the Masterplan regularly to keep up with the prevailing cyber threat landscape.