Delinking Net access a necessary evil

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that the move to delink computers used by civil servants from direct access to the Internet is "absolutely necessary" to keep government data and public services secure ("PM: Security concerns behind move to delink Net access"; last Friday).

The Government's extensive database contains highly classified information that needs to be kept out of the hands of hackers and unauthorised people at all costs.

While many have said that the delinking is counterintuitive, given the Government's efforts to make Singapore a Smart Nation, unfortunately, no firewall or firmware against hacking is foolproof.

Thus, the best solution we have currently is to delink computers from the Internet.

Of course, this will potentially affect the productivity of civil servants.

However, they will have time to adapt and, perhaps, alter their working styles.

Delinking Internet access is a necessary evil to ensure cyber security in an increasingly dangerous cyberworld.

However, we should not rely on this policy for security in the long term.

Rather, we need to achieve a balance between cyber security and efficiency through tech-enabled means.

Tan E-Jynn (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2016, with the headline 'Delinking Net access a necessary evil'. Print Edition | Subscribe