Is Singapore ready for Smart Nation drive?

After the SingHealth breach last year, CSA had asked that 11 critical sectors review their cyber-security practices.
After the SingHealth breach last year, CSA had asked that 11 critical sectors review their cyber-security practices. PHOTO: ST FILE

A lot of money has been put into beefing up the cyber defences of the nation and the Cyber Security Agency (CSA).

Therefore, reports on breaches and leaks, like the most recent one involving the personal information of blood donors improperly put online by a Health Sciences Authority (HSA) vendor (800,000 blood donors' data put online by HSA vendor, March 16), are worrying.

After the SingHealth breach last year, CSA had asked that 11 critical sectors review their cyber-security practices. Yet, leaks and breaches continued to happen.

The HSA incident reveals a weakness in many areas of our IT systems. There is also the issue of outsourcing services to external IT companies, which have access to personal data. The Government must review whether outsourcing such services to cut costs is still the right way moving forward.

Perhaps we need new blood in this sector to generate innovative ideas to protect the country. We need Singaporeans with real expertise and a sense of responsibility to the nation to take care of it.

Another apology from a ministry or head of department will not help.

Gabriel Ong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 19, 2019, with the headline 'Is S'pore ready for Smart Nation drive?'. Print Edition | Subscribe