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Cybersecurity: A Key Area Of Growth In Singapore

The growth of Singapore's cybersecurity industry could not have arrived at a better moment, given the rise in cyber attacks in recent times such as those on Microsoft and Crypto.com.

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The Rising Demand for Cybersecurity

Consumers, organisations, and even governments may now easily create, trade, and store huge volumes of sensitive and confidential data because of global digital networks. Furthermore, the billions of devices connected to the internet make it much easier to retrieve that data. This combination has inevitably resulted in an increase in cybercrime, and these crimes cost the world economy billions of dollars every year. Each day, millions of attacks take place, resulting in a wide range of crimes such as cyber theft, bank fraud, cyber espionage, and denial of service, to name a few. 

Singapore, like the rest of the world, is not immune to cyber-attacks. An attack on the Singaporean Ministry of Defence in February 2019 resulted in the theft of the personal information of 850 national servicemen and workers. In addition, hackers targeted some of Singapore’s most renowned businesses, including those involved in information technology, energy, and financial services. In response to ths, the Singaporean government has taken a proactive strategy to defend the country from cybercrime by expanding the cybersecurity industry and maintaining Singapore’s position as the world’s leading jurisdiction for business formation.

Singapore’s Stake in Building Their Cybersecurity Industry

Singapore published its Cyber Security Strategy in October 2016. The country now looks at expanding its cybersecurity industry to a global market, led by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA). Under the visionary leadership of CSA, Singapore aims to cater to the world’s cybersecurity needs with the following advantages:

  1. Attract and Retain Globally Reputed Cybersecurity Companies

One of the first phases in their strategy is to use Singapore’s global business centre status to recruit and anchor world-class cybersecurity companies with superior resources and skills. The Singapore government collaborates with such leading corporations to create jobs, defend important sectors, and increase Singapore’s cybersecurity expertise. Major cybersecurity companies such as BAE Systems, Microsoft, and Palo Alto Networks have already set up their facilities in Singapore as a result of this approach.

  1. Start-Up Supporting Policies

The Cybersecurity Singapore scene is overseeing the development of many startups, which is also an important part of their strategy. Singapore’s cybersecurity portfolio is being expanded by said startups in which they create advanced, niche market solutions. The Singaporean government continues to collaborate with venture capital companies and accelerators to secure investment and scale startups that are focused on this industry and can deliver the next generation of cybersecurity technologies.

  1. Ground Support for Local Players

The Singapore government continues to partner with local cybersecurity enterprises that provide globally competitive capabilities in order to move Singapore to the forefront of cybersecurity. Selected cybersecurity companies in Singapore will collaborate with the CSA to create and deliver cybersecurity services, as well as train and develop cybersecurity professionals.

Photo by Jules Amé
  1. R&D Funds for Innovative Projects

The Singapore government has allocated research and development funds to the National Cyber Security R&D Program (NCR) in order to foster innovative cybersecurity technology. Singapore has already awarded various cybersecurity projects in the areas of forensics and security systems under the NCR. One of the key objectives is to continue to build world-class research facilities that will be used by academia and cybersecurity firms as a common resource. In addition, the NCR has set aside funds to support the National Cyber Security Research and Development Laboratory at the National University of Singapore.

  1. International Partnerships for Global Reach

Global cybersecurity investment has exceeded US$ 139 billion in 2021, according to a Gartner market research report. Singapore believes that improving cybersecurity on a local level opens up new potential for businesses to expand internationally. Singapore is already well positioned to handle the cybersecurity needs of Southeast Asia as a member of the ASEAN, and other ASEAN countries are collaborating on this mission to strengthen the region’s cybersecurity capabilities. In addition to ASEAN, the Singapore government aims at forming important international associations in order to harmonise cybersecurity policy around the world. 

Cyber attacks will grow more often and severe as the world becomes increasingly digitally-connected. Governments, organisations, and ordinary citizens will all require cybersecurity protection in the future. Singapore continues to move to the forefront of the global cybersecurity industry – thanks to the government’s strong commitment to growth. With the help of the Singaporean government’s CSA, the enterprises that make up Singapore’s cybersecurity ecosystem will continue to expand. The innovative solutions they develop will not only keep Singapore safe online, but will also address the expanding global demand for cybersecurity.