Monday, May 7, 2018

Cybersecurity is a team sport

Football, basketball, Rugby … They’re all team sports in which some participants work together in order to achieve a goal. Each one of them has a key position to win the match. Working together and mastering a perfect tactic during the game are going to determinate if you win or if you lose. If every person playing plays with its own strategy, it would be a disaster. Even if they’re really good, a goal keeper won’t be able to stop every ball without the help of the other team members. 

In Cyber Security it happens the same. Teamwork between private organizations and the government is necessary. David Koh, Singapore’s cybersecurity chief, explains it in an interview to GovInsider magazine. 

David Koh, CEO Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency, notes that the government cannot deal with the cybersecurity needs of the nation on its own: “Cybersecurity is a team sport… private sector organizations need to do their part and take proactive steps to protect their systems,” he says, adding that the private sector (as well as individuals) needs to complement the government’s efforts by reaching out and helping a wider group of end users.

Right now, Singapore has a simple objective for cyber-attacks. The cyber threats are not ceasing and they’re even increasing so it’s time to change the strategy. Koh explains that “Combating cyber threats requires collective action by individuals, organizations and communities.” In a worldwide level the cyber-attacks are happening with a high frequency and are becoming more sophisticated. Koh says that cyber-attacks are borderless, “so what we see happening around the world will happen to Singapore too”.

When talking about the recent approval of the Law of Cyber Security, Koh observes what is defining the CII’s (Critic Information Infrastructure) different roles and responsibilities for guarantying cybersecurity. “This will strengthen our ability to prevent and respond effectively to national cybersecurity threats. It also prescribes a new licensing framework for cybersecurity service providers.”

Even with all the efforts, governmental systems are still being aimed by hackers and there’re still a lot of open barriers that they can use to go in. David Koh thinks that the key is in education: “We need to invest in strong cyber defences, not just with new technology, but to also attract the right talent. The introduction of the Cybersecurity Professional Scheme of Service and our scholarship schemes are some of the recent efforts to this end. While we do all these, the weakest link remains the human factor. The government also has in place employee awareness initiatives to ensure that public officers are kept abreast of cyber threats and the cybersecurity measures to take.” Phishing is still a very effective tool for hackers because users are still clicking on random links and files. Education is key in this match. 

The government is committed to ensuring that Singapore has an adequate and well-trained cybersecurity workforce to meet industry demand. “We have launched wide-ranging schemes such as the Skills Framework for ICT, Cybersecurity Professional Scheme of Service, the Cyber Security Associates and Technologists (CSAT) Programme, MinDef’s Cyber NSF Scheme, as well as established the CSA Academy to boost cybersecurity expertise. Koh explains that “These programmes are designed to raise awareness, and target different segments of the population to join the cybersecurity industry.”

The government work to protect their citizens is efficient and will always be worked in a team way between private organizations and the final user. Educating in cybersecurity is a must to win the match against hackers. 


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