Singapore strengthens cyber defenses against terrorists

The Singaporean government will implement a three-year information technology project designed to strengthen the defenses of the southeast Asian nation against terrorists, criminals and hackers, government officials said Tuesday.

"Terrorists are increasingly using infocomm (information and communications) technology and the Internet as a tool to seek funds, recruit members, spread propaganda and plan attacks with members in different parts of the world," said Tony Tan, Singapore's deputy prime minister and coordinating minister for security and defense, according to a written copy of a speech delivered in Singapore on Tuesday.

To defend Singapore's government and businesses from attacks by terrorists or hackers, the Singaporean government plans to spend S$38 million (US$23.4 million) over three years to implement its Infocomm Security Masterplan, Tan said. "We cannot afford to treat the threats from cyber terrorists, cyber criminals and irresponsible hackers lightly," he said.

The Infocomm Security Masterplan, which was developed by Singapore's multi-agency National Infocomm Security Committee, involved extensive consultations with government agencies and the private sector. The plan is designed to strengthen Singapore's IT defenses in three key areas: information protection and risk mitigation; situational awareness and contingency planning; and the development of professional skills and promoting research and development of security technologies, Tan said.

Several security-related projects will be undertaken as part of the Infocomm Security Masterplan, according to the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). Those projects include establishing a National Cyber-Threat Monitoring Center to analyze threat information on a round-the-clock basis and conducting a vulnerability of the nation's critical infrastructure to determine measures required to strengthen IT-related defenses, the IDA said.

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