A dedicated agency for national cyber security will be set up from Apr 1, 2015.
The Cyber Security Agency (CSA) of Singapore will come under the Prime Minister’s Office and will provide dedicated and centralised oversight of national cyber security functions.
The agency will take over the functions of the Singapore Infocomm Technology Security Authority (SITSA) and some roles of IDA. Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim will be appointed as the Minister-in-charge of Cyber Security.
The CSA will consolidate and build upon the government’s cyber security capabilities. These include strategy and policy development, cyber security operations, industry development and outreach. CSA will also work closely with the private sector to develop Singapore’s cyber security eco-system.
“If you look back 15-20 years, many sectors in Singapore were not cyber-enable,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean on Tuesday (Jan 27). “But today, if you look at any sector in Singapore, be it healthcare, transportation, power systems, water supply – they all are cyber enabled in one way or another.
“And so, the cyber world permeates many sectors in Singapore and have become increasingly interconnected. And so, it is important to protect each of these sectors but also to have an overview to make sure the interconnectivities between all of these sectors, the vulnerabilities there are also covered.”
Some of the immediate priorities of CSA are ensuring a smooth transition of SITSA and IDA functions, as well as recruiting and developing manpower talent. The high demand for cyber security professionals has resulted in a talent crunch.
The agency plans to work with institutes of higher learning to build a robust and sustainable pool of cyber security experts, as well as improve the relationship between the Government and the private sector.
Said Dr Yaacob: “So at the end of the day, the data that we collect – because we are transiting into a Smart Nation – is protected and safeguarded and in that way build trust within the system. The agency will initially start up with 60 staff, and will move some 40 staff from existing organisations over.
“So this is a very important function of the Government to ensure, not only within the Government, but within the private sector that we are all connected. And we can level ourselves up to that capability where we can withstand the threat.”
One key driver for setting up CSA was to respond to new and sophisticated threats, such as when personal data is compromised.
Mr David Koh, Deputy Secretary (Technology) at the Ministry of Defence has been appointed as Chief Executive (Designate) of the CSA on Jan 1, 2015 and as Chief Executive, CSA from Apr 1, 2015.