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EXCLUSIVE – 5th Annual Singapore OpenGov Leadership Forum 2019 – Cyber Resilience

On 16th May 2019, over 500 government officials and industry leaders across the world gathered for a discussion on digital transformation in the public sector and financial services institutions (FSI). Taking place at Marina Bay Sands Singapore, this year marks the 5th Annual Singapore OpenGov Leadership Forum.

The day was filled with stimulating round-table discussions as well as innovative gamification methods, engaging panels and insightful talks by local and international leaders in public sector ICT.

The day was divided into 2 major sessions. The morning plenary had focused talks from international speakers, , four rounds of OpenGov Gamification Table (OGT) discussions and a panel. Coverage of the Keynote Presentations can be found here.

The post-plenary afternoon session had delegates separate in one of four tracks of their choosing. Coverage of Track 1, Track 3, and Track 4 can be found by clicking on the individual tracks.

Track 2: Cyber Resilience

The second track of the day focused on Cyber Resilience. The session looked at predicting, detecting, responding and preventing cyber threats.

Barry Lowry sharing Ireland’s digital transformation journey

Barry Lowry, Government Chief Information Officer at Government of Ireland, shared a case study of Ireland’s journey towards a resilient nation and the importance of Digital Government.

He noted that one-third of Irish citizens are completely disengaged with digital. While the Irish Government aims to provide seamless digitalized public services to its citizens, this increases cyber risks.

Barry suggested that governments, particularly those in smaller countries, maximise their cyber defence through partnerships with academia, internal and external network.

Saravanan Krishnan stresses the importance of a multi-disciplinary strategy

Saravanan Krishnan, General Manager, Data Protection and Cloud Storage Solutions at Dell EMC spoke on cyber risk mitigation.

He elaborated the exposure of cybersecurity risks to organisations and showed how automation, isolation and recovery of critical data back-ups can be the last line of defence against cyber threats.

He emphasised the importance of a multi-disciplinary strategy to prepare for and recover from cyber-attacks. Organisations must have a comprehensive, organisation-wide plan to deal with cyber threats.

Micky Lo elaborating the Target State Risk Operating Model

Micky Lo, Managing Director, Chief Technology Risk Officer APAC at Bank of New York Mellon, provided insight into the evolving cyber threats in the banking community.

He asserted that a Technology Risk Management Organisation Framework and the setting up of a Target State Risk Operating Model are essential to enabling the precise and accurate execution of business strategies.

Micky noted that this will also prevent uncalculated losses and operational impact through quality management of technology risks.

Leonard Sim proposes an intelligence-driven Security Operation Center

Leonard Sim, Head of Presales, the Asia Pacific at Kaspersky Lab, discussed the various ways to manage risks.

He encouraged organisations to move from a reactive security model to a proactive security model based on Threat Intelligence.

He stressed the importance of an intelligence-driven Security Operation Center (SOC). The model includes People, Process, and Technology. For a successful strategy, people and the process must be considered in conjunction with technology to better manage cybersecurity risks.

Matthew Kuan: holistic security for a Smart Nation

Matthew Kuan, Director of Solutions and Marketing, Southeast Asia & Hong Kong at Fortinet spoke of a holistic approach to cyber security.

He was of the conviction that a all-encompassing security strategy could help in the development of the Smart Nation.

Analysis shows that the cyber attack surface expands as a nation moves towards digitalisation. Thus, it is essential to have broad visibility of the digital attack surface by integrating protection across networks and devices and automating operations.

Gertrud Ingestad emphasises a user-centric view of cybersecurity

Gertrud Ingestad, Director-General, Directorate-General Informatics at European Commission, spoke on building a cyber-resilient world by investing in the human factor.

She emphasised the importance of the human factor in delivering resilience, noting that cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility. People are crucial as they are the first line of defence and preferred targets of cyber attacks.

Hence, the understanding, awareness and behaviours of the workforce and the adoption of a user-centric view of cybersecurity is imperative.

Raymond Goh, underscores a resiliency strategy.

Raymond Goh, Head of Technical Sales at Veritas Technologies, discussed the changing culture around digital information and the importance of building a resiliency strategy.

He noted that a holistic data management strategy is essential for enabling organisations to respond and recover quickly from an attack.

Preparedness of an organisations is the bedrock for survival. Organisations must be ready to respond and recover from cyber attacks based on sound data management strategies.

Mikko S. Niemelä: think like a hacker

Mikko S. Niemelä, President and Chief Executive Officer at Cyber Intelligence House, shared his approach on cyber resilience via the perspective of hackers.

He noted that it is crucial to understand how hackers work before implementing any security measures.

For organisations to be cyber secure, thinking like a hacker is essential. This preemptive approach must inform organisational cyberresilience strategy development.

He urged the audience to monitor cyber exposure and keep track of their organisation’s data footprint.

The individual presentations were followed by a panel session moderated by Leong Mun Kew, Director of Institute of Systems Science (ISS) at National University of Singapore.

The topic was “Advancement of Organisational Cyber Resilience with Technology Innovations”. Panellists discussed the use of technology with a sense of security.

The panel agreed that the ‘human factor’ plays a huge part in building a Smart Nation and is currently a pressing challenge.

John Kan, Chief Information Officer at Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) emphasised that more organisations should have a balance of activities, incentives, and workshops to target human failure.

Yum Shoen Yih, Deputy Director of Cyber Security Program Center at Cyber Security Agency, shared his concern on end-user. The probability of people successfully behaving according to the rules is extremely low. More often than, this results in human failure.

Mark Bowry, Former Radio and Regional Business Lead at Australian Broadcasting Corporation, said that there is no clear solution to cyber risks. Thus, improving response speeds against such attacks should be prioritised; an organisation needs to focus on more than protecting its data – it needs to proactively predict, detect and react.

There are no one-size-fits-all solutions for cyber threats and no blanket solutions for cyber resiliency. The future of secured Smart Nations is still positive if policies and regulations keep up to speed, and nations and corporations work together.


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