New Cyber Security Agency need to work with other countries: Yaacob

SINGAPORE- An upcoming cyber security agency will not only co-ordinate the nation's defence against internet threats but also work with other countries, said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information.

"Beyond a whole-of-nation effort, the coordination of cyber-security functions within Singapore is just one piece of the puzzle," said Dr Yaacob of the new Cyber Security Agency, which will from April oversee the cyber security of 10 critical sectors, including power and transport. It will also take charge of developing the nation's cyber security master plan, taking over from the Infocomm Development Authority.

"Cyber security incidents are not constrained by geographical boundaries, and we need to be prepared to address cross-border incidents," said Dr Yaacob at an Internet conference at Raffles City Convention Centre on Monday.

The agency comes under the Prime Minister's Office and Dr Yaacob has been appointed minister in charge of cyber security.

In a speech, Dr Yaacob pointed out recent incidents involving breaches of confidential data on Apple's iCloud and at Sony Pictures. These "underscore the need for us all to work together at home and across national boundaries", he added.

Decisions on issues about internet governance should be made in an "inclusive fashion" involving multi-stakeholders including the Government, industry and consumers.

"No one person, organisation, or even country, has a monopoly on the expertise and wisdom needed to meet the challenges that we are facing on the Internet on a day-to-day basis," he said.

kcarolyn@sph.com.sg