Unlike similar events, this one, organized by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), moved beyond strategic talk and IT security generalities. It ended with Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan announcing that his government will allocate more than $23 million over the next three years to improve cyber security.
The three-year Infocomm Security Masterplan being supported by the funding outlines six strategies which it believes will safeguard Singapore's "infocomm" environment. The first three focus on end-users, the private and public sectors, and various security initiatives. The remaining three improve research capabilities, strengthen the critical infrastructure, and provide ways to develop national IT security capabilities.
Overall, the plan seems a pretty extensive three-year effort and, refreshingly, has the backing of leading government decision-makers announcing the money to support it. Alongside this, its details of specific initiatives and extensive engagement from agencies and private companies make the plan seem better-rounded than our nation's own National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace.
Even now, legislators and other government officials bemoan its vacuity and lack of detailed initiatives. Some members of Congress still champion the establishment of a cabinet-level cyber security post to give more focus to internet security and protection initiatives to deal with critical infrastructure.
Noting that Singapore's efforts will "set the model for other countries to use because they're small, they're nimble and they can set this up fairly readily," Howard Schmidt, CISO of eBay and chairman of the U.S. Computer Emergency Response Team, who attended Singapore's gathering, said that there is much comparable activity taking off internationally.
Perhaps we should look to the concrete plans of these countries to dedicate the necessary money and time to back up our words with similar detailed initiatives.
Some U.S. agencies did just that to raise their FISMA grades and become more secure, proving better security is achievable – it just takes real commitment.
Finally, a few words about our new look. This is more than just a new design – we have teamed up with some of the industry's top researchers to produce a fast-paced opening section that gives you all the statistics and information you need in a much more easily digestible format. I do hope you like it and find it valuable.
Please let us know what you think, and as always, thank you kindly for reading.
Illena Armstrong is the U.S. editor