The constant threat to cyber security has become a norm anywhere in the world. With businesses and governments adopting digital systems, it’s quite easy to see why this new kind of threats should cause an alarm, not only among individuals, but more so among governments.
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And Singapore has not been staying idle on this very real threat, as it has encountered several issues of this nature which have affected processes, data transmission, and security. And just this year, the country has even come up with new laws that address this issue, among others.
Gov’t Opens New Maritime Cyber Security Operations Centre
On Thursday (May 16), the government has officially launched a new 24/7 operations centre to guard against maritime cyber security threats in Singapore, as shared in a report by Channel News Asia.
The facility, which operates under a team from ST Engineering, has been operational since the end of 2018. It is also the first Maritime & Port Authority’s (MPA) facility which focuses on cyber security.
The facility is capable of detecting, monitoring, analysing, and responding to potential cyber attacks on Singapore’s maritime Critical Information Infrastructure like shipboard systems.
According to MPA chairman Niam Chiang Meng, there is an actual need for the government to protect Singapore’s sea transport and port.
Mr. Niam added that Singapore is the world’s busiest transhipment hub, and it is important to place protective measures such as this facility to safeguard the country’s maritime and port critical infrastructure in order to prevent major disruption to port operations and delivery of services worldwide.
This is due to the fact that Singapore has had a fair share of experiences with cyber threats as of late.
As per a March 2019 report released by Accenture, the frequency of cyber-attacks has increased by 11 percent over the past year, costing organisations about US$ 13 million per incident.
Other than the operations centre, there will be other initiatives set in the pipeline to further strengthen maritime cyber-security.
For instance, the MPA will establish data linkages between the operations centre and its existing port operations control centre to better respond to cyber incidents. A new integrated command and control centre is also in the works at its new location at the upcoming Tuas port.
The MPA will also launch a new cyber security training course for those in the sector from next year, as well as work with institutions on research in the area.
Such initiatives will not only protect the sector’s processes and systems in doing business, but will also boost the country’s performance in terms of data protection and cyber security, which will do good for many other businesses and emerging industries in the country as well as in the region.