The fifth edition of the Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW), the region’s most established cybersecurity event, successfully concluded with more than 6,000 participants from across 60 countries. This was Singapore’s first hybrid MICE event held in a physical-virtual format at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre from 5 to 9 October 2020. Organised by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), SICW 2020 featured 138 speakers from across governments, industry and academia.
SICW 2020 brought together political leaders, policy makers and thought leaders from around the world to discuss cybersecurity-related policy issues and geopolitical challenges. Singapore, as well as our regional and international partners, recognise that cybersecurity is a key enabler of a Digital Economy, as well as the importance of a rules-based multilateral order in cyberspace, especially amid accelerated digitalisation in the wake of COVID-19. This year, Singapore and ASEAN Member States reiterated our collective commitment to take practical steps to enhance the level of cybersecurity in the region. Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Cybersecurity Mr S Iswaran and United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary-General (USG) and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Ms Izumi Nakamitsu also jointly announced our cooperation with the UN to develop a Norms Implementation Checklist. The Checklist outlines a list of steps that countries need to take to implement the 11 voluntary norms of responsible state behaviour in the 2015 United Nations Groups of Governmental Experts (UNGGE) consensus report.
Other key announcements at SICW 2020 were:
Launch of Singapore’s Safer Cyberspace Masterplan 2020 by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat. The Masterplan outlines the Government’s blueprint to create a safer and more secure cyberspace in Singapore. Developed in consultation with industry and academic partners, it aims to raise the general level of cybersecurity for individuals, communities, enterprises, and organisations. The Masterplan comprises three strategic thrusts: securing our core digital infrastructure; safeguarding our cyberspace activities; and empowering our cyber-savvy population.
Launch of the Cybersecurity Labelling Scheme (CLS) for consumer smart devices, as part of our efforts to improve Internet of Things (IoT) security, raise overall cyber hygiene levels and better secure Singapore’s cyberspace. A first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region, the CLS scheme will see smart devices rated according to their levels of cybersecurity provisions. This will enable consumers to identify products with better cybersecurity provisions and make informed decisions. For a start, CSA will introduce the CLS to Wi-Fi routers and smart home hubs, and will progressively include other IoT devices, including web cameras.
Establishment of the Operational Technology Cybersecurity Expert Panel (OTCEP) to enhance the cyber resilience of Singapore’s Operational Technology (OT) sector. Comprising local and international OT cybersecurity experts, the OTCEP will discuss key global OT technologies and emerging trends and recommend best practices to address cybersecurity challenges and gaps. They will also share insights, based on their experience in handling global cybersecurity incidents, with incident response teams from the Government, Critical Information Infrastructure sectors and industry stakeholders in Singapore. The first OTCEP meeting is scheduled in the first half of 2021.
Launch of a joint second grant call with Tel Aviv University under the National Cybersecurity R&D (NCR) Programme. Open to all researchers from Institutes of Higher Learning and Research Institutes, the grant call aims to build upon ongoing research collaboration in areas such as security of smart cities and IoT, behavioural studies and social science of cybersecurity, and policy and governance of cybersecurity. In addition, the management of the NCR Programme will be transferred from the National Research Foundation (NRF) to CSA by March 2021. NRF has also appointed CSA as the Implementing Agency for cybersecurity R&D. This will allow CSA, as the domain lead agency for cybersecurity, to better coordinate the entire cybersecurity R&D and innovation process, as well as achieve greater synergies between government agencies, industry and research partners.
“Digitalisation has accelerated because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and cybersecurity is now more important than ever. We are honoured that we were able to bring together political leaders, policy makers, thought leaders and participants from all over the world. The insightful and frank exchanges certainly brought cybersecurity policy issues and challenges to the fore, and we hope that these conversations will continue in a similar momentum even after SICW,” said Mr David Koh, Chief Executive, CSA.
“Since its inauguration in 2016, the Singapore International Cyber Week has been drawing increasing international attention and participation. I appreciate that the SICW has also been a platform to raise global and regional awareness on the processes ongoing at the United Nations on the issue of international cybersecurity. I believe the Singapore International Cyber Week contributes to inclusive, multi-stakeholder discussions on timely topics related to the digital realm and cyber security,” said Ms Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations.
“IronNet’s participation in SICW 2020 underscores our commitment to building a secure future for cyberspace. This is an ideal platform for public and private organizations to come together for knowledge-sharing – to discuss the latest cybersecurity issues that plague the region and identify forward-thinking solutions that can create a resilient cyberspace. I would encourage everyone to learn from each other’s successes and join efforts in community sharing of threat intelligence to more effectively defend their organizations,” said General (Ret.) Keith B. Alexander, Chairman of the Board, Founder and Co-CEO, IronNet Cybersecurity.
“SICW 2020 is one of the most well established events that is both timely and informative, especially during these critical times where we face cyber attackers who are relentless in their pursuit of monetary gains. This year’s sessions offered refreshing insights and perspectives from policy makers, industry experts and cyber defenders on the frontlines. Cyber security is a team sport and this is an event not to be missed by organisations that want to operate at the top of their game,” said Mr Eric Hoh, President, Asia Pacific, FireEye.
“The annual Singapore International Cybersecurity Week has become a keystone event for the global discussion on cybersecurity policy. In today’s challenging global landscape, the SICW again offered a forum for leaders from around the world, to work on mutual trust and to build a free and open cyberspace for all. I was pleased to be part of the ministerial roundtable and the Women in Cyber panel discussions, which were both inspiring sessions,” said Ms Nathalie Jaarsma, Ambassador-at-Large for Security Policy & Cyber, Kingdom of the Netherlands.
“The IoT Security Foundation (IoTSF) believes that international collaboration in the field of IoT security is crucial to help protect national infrastructures and global citizens from nefarious and malicious intent. The International IoT Security Roundtable is an important element to help such an objective and we applaud the leadership and activity around the annual event in Singapore. As such, IoTSF is proud to promote its intentions and help drive its success,” said Mr John Moor, Co-founder & Managing Director of IoT Security Foundation.
“Having been part of the inaugural Women in Cyber platform at SICW 2019, it was a great pleasure for me to be involved again this year. It has grown in scope, reach, and influence, and I’m honoured that CSA has entrusted me to guide the discussion on perspectives on 5G adoption. Despite the formidable challenge of mounting SICW online in the context of the pandemic, CSA has kept the faith and pulled off an engaging and memorable SICW, further cementing the reputation of this tentpole event in the cyber world,” said Ms Teo Yi-Ling, Senior Fellow, Centre of Excellence for National Security, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore.
About the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore
Established in 2015, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) seeks to keep Singapore’s cyberspace safe and secure to underpin our Nation Security, power a Digital Economy and protect our Digital Way of Life. It maintains an oversight of national cybersecurity functions and works with sector leads to protect Singapore’s Critical Information Infrastructure. CSA also engages with various stakeholders to heighten cyber security awareness, build a vibrant cybersecurity ecosystem supported by a robust workforce, pursue international partnerships and drive regional cybersecurity capacity building programmes.
CSA is part of the Prime Minister’s Office and is managed by the Ministry of Communications and Information. For more news and information, please visit www.csa.gov.sg