We are glad the Singapore Cyber Landscape 2021 (SCL) report has raised awareness among members of the public, including Forum writer Tan Kar Quan (Give more details of cyber crimes so users can protect themselves better, Sept 3), about the impact of cyber threats.
The recently published SCL reported a threefold increase globally in the number of command and control (C&C) servers used by threat actors to distribute malicious software.
As Singapore is a digital hub, where many server-hosting companies are located, we have also observed a similar increase in the number of C&C servers since 2016. The SCL includes this topic to raise Singaporeans' awareness about C&C as a cyber threat.
Mr Tan rightly noted that the manufacturing and IT sectors are taking major hits in ransomware. However, cyber threats, such as C&C attacks, can affect organisations from any sector.
The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) has thus rolled out several initiatives to help businesses and individuals learn how to protect themselves against cyber crimes.
First, the SG Cyber Safe programme was launched last year to help enterprises improve their cyber security. There are free cyber-security tool kits on the CSA website for enterprise leaders, employees and IT teams to assess the strength of their cyber-security posture.
Second, the cyber-security certification scheme introduced in March recognises enterprises that have implemented baseline cyber-security measures with the Cyber Essentials mark, and enterprises that have implemented comprehensive cyber-security measures with the Cyber Trust mark.
Third, to improve Internet of Things security and raise overall hygiene levels, CSA introduced the Cybersecurity Labelling Scheme for consumer smart devices in 2020. The labelling of these devices based on their cyber security provisions helps consumers make informed purchasing decisions.
Fourth, CSA's SingCert (www.csa.gov.sg/singcert) issues alerts and advisories to highlight latest threats and security vulnerabilities, and recommends practical steps to help users better identify and protect themselves against cyber crimes.
Fifth, CSA has been actively publicising four key cyber tips in our public awareness campaigns:
- Use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication;
- Use anti-virus software;
- Update software promptly;
- Spot signs of phishing.
Victims of cyber crimes are advised to make a police report.
The Government remains committed to protecting Singapore's cyberspace. Enterprises and individuals should also stay vigilant and take steps to identify and protect digital assets of value to them.
Director, National Cyber Threat Analysis Centre
Cyber Security Agency of Singapore