Mindef data breach

A cautionary tale of cyber security

The breach of the Ministry of Defence's I-net system highlights the growing importance of protecting Singapore's data sovereignty (Hackers steal data of 850 NSmen and Mindef staff, March 1).

While no state secrets may have been obtained in this breach, it is noteworthy that the personal data of 850 servicemen and Mindef staff had been stolen.

This is a significant cause for concern.

Were there reasonable security arrangements put in place to safeguard the personal data?

Greater cyber security strategies need to be effected to ensure that such an incident does not recur.

Companies in the private sector, especially those that handle sensitive personal data, would do well to take heed of this cautionary tale and put robust security measures in place to safeguard the personal data of individuals.

While no state secrets may have been obtained in this breach, it is noteworthy that the personal data of 850 servicemen and Mindef staff had been stolen.

This is a significant cause for concern.

More often than not, companies tend to place low priority on personal data management strategies.

In this respect, I call on the Personal Data Protection Commission to educate companies on the importance of safeguarding personal data.

Desmond Chew Tse Sern

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2017, with the headline 'A cautionary tale of cyber security'. Print Edition | Subscribe