SINGAPORE - Cyber-security products developed in Singapore can also now be certified with an internationally recognised standard here, in a move to lower the barriers local developers face in getting their products recognised internationally.
Singapore is now a Common Criteria Authorising Nation, which allows it to certify products with the Common Criteria (CC) standard - the de facto standard for product certification adopted by governments and companies in 30 countries.
Previously, local developers had to send their products overseas to obtain the CC certification, which could be a long-drawn process involving months of shipping the developed products or flying testers to Singapore to examine the products.
These local companies are estimated to enjoy cost and time savings of more than 20 per cent, said Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Transport Janil Puthucheary on Monday (March 4) in Parliament.
"It's a step towards becoming a regional hub for product evaluation and certification. And we are attracting global evaluation laboratories to anchor their operations here in Singapore," said Dr Janil, who is also in charge of the Government Technology Agency (GovTech).
"This will facilitate Singapore's exports of world-class cyber-security products, and create good jobs for Singaporeans."
He was speaking during the debate on the budget of the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).
Dr Janil was replying to a question from Nominated MP Douglas Foo, who had asked how Singapore was developing products that contribute toward a safe and trusted cyberspace for Singapore.
In a fact sheet, the MCI said that a CC certification body has been set up by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), which will be responsible for ensuring that the standards required for the CC are upheld.
It will also be maintaining a pool of approved CC testing laboratories. Developers can contact these labs to have their products certified.
There are now three of such labs here approved by CSA. One is from local start-up An Security and two are from international companies T-Systems International GmbH from Germany and Brightsight B.V. from the Netherlands.
The MCI said that the ability to certify products here with this standard not only saves developers time and money, but it also helps make Singapore's products more attractive overseas.
"This facilitates the exportability of IT security products in Singapore and strengthens Singapore's competitiveness in the global cyber-security market," said the ministry.
Some products that have already been awarded the CC certification here include two products by ST Electronics (Info-Security) - a portable USB encrypted storage device and an Internet protocol encryptor.
Dr Janil on Monday also introduced a new track under the accreditation scheme by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), which will improve the quality of cyber-security products of small and medium-sized enterprises here.
This new track, called the SecureTech track under IMDA's Accreditation @ SG Digital programme, will be launched within the first quarter of this year. Both IMDA and CSA will be in charge of this.
Being accredited under the Accreditation @ SG Digital programme opens up more opportunities for companies to have their products and solutions showcased and considered by the Government.
In order to qualify for this track, companies will be required to obtain CC certification for their products.
Said Dr Janil: "This Accreditation @ SG Digital helps local SMEs to improve their business practices and engage with the local community and also helps them to be considered by government agencies for the procurement of their product."