INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Government resumes Smart Nation initiatives after SingHealth attack

It plans to implement more cybersecurity measures for critical government systems.

The government lifted its pause announced on 20 July to work on its new ICT systems after the hacking incident on SingHealth, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) revealed.

The agencies said that SNDGG has finished its review of cybersecurity policies after the cyberattack and will implement more measures for critical government systems.

Also readMAS warns stolen SingHealth data could be used in bank fraud

Meanwhile, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore ordered the 11 Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) sectors to step up on their network security by removing all connections to unsecured external networks.

“If there are strong business or operational reasons to keep open connections, these should be mediated through uni-directional gateways (e.g. data diodes) to prevent data leakage,” the announcement said.

Also read: Singaporeans' stolen SingHealth data exposed to identity and tax fraud

Moreover, the agencies urged the sectors that should the need for two-way communication between the secured network and unsecured network arise, they should make sure to implement a secured informational gateway.

“The government, which is one of the 11 CII sectors, has implemented significant measures in the last three years to comply with these cybersecurity guidelines,” the agencies commented. “For example, Internet surfing separation has removed unnecessary external connections with unsecured networks.”

According to the agencies, it is ‘not possible’ to completely kill risks of cybersecurity attacks although the government sustains its effort to review and upgrade its security measures.

“We should not allow such incidents to hold us back in building a Smart Nation and Digital Government,” the announcement said. 

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