Good housekeeping, collaboration key to cyber security

The report on Singapore's fight against cybercrime ("Governments and corporations need each other's support"; Sunday) was insightful.

Cyber security begins at home. In addition to powerful software, and robust infrastructure and external systems and processes, the merits of good housekeeping in a firm or organisation should not be underestimated.

The K Box customer database leak in September 2014, for which the Personal Data Protection Commission imposed stiff penalties earlier this year, is a good example.

Another example would be the online grant application portals of some government agencies and statutory boards.

As the grants involve the use of state funds, there is a need to be especially vigilant against unauthorised access by hackers into these portals.

A breach could potentially be achieved by stealing credentials belonging to former employees of firms eligible to apply for these grants.

In this regard, good internal housekeeping and collaboration with the firms and Central Provident Fund Board to disclose staff departures are important and effective deterrents.

A watchdog system should also be implemented in all government agencies and statutory boards.

This will allow members of the public to play a part and alert the authorities if they suspect any unauthorised access of government websites, as well as other cyber criminal acts.

Woon Wee Min

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2016, with the headline 'Good housekeeping, collaboration key to cyber security'. Print Edition | Subscribe