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Safeguarding Singapore’s Digital Sovereignty

Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Health stated during the recently held Singapore Armed Forces Day that the development of a nation parallels the growth of a heart, symbolising the will and determination to be independent and self-reliant. This spirit forms the foundation of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and reflects the journey towards self-determination.

He added that the National Service (NS) plays a vital role in this process, allowing individual Singaporeans to contribute to the nation’s defence. While the security landscape has evolved, with improved regional relations and ASEAN’s role in maintaining peace, the SAF remains a critical pillar of Singapore’s security.

“It [SAF] is constantly upgrading its capabilities, revising training methods, forging partnerships with foreign armed forces… I believe most of us, like me, are confident that the SAF will continue to keep Singapore safe and deter aggressors,” said Minister Ye Kung.

In Singapore’s security landscape, the SAF recognises the significance of defending the digital and information domain. In the digital realm, as technology continues to advance, new threats and dangers emerge. The SAF has taken proactive measures to protect the nation’s interests in this domain.

As its fourth service, the SAF established the Digital and Intelligence Service. This specialised service concentrates on leveraging digital technologies and intelligence capabilities to strengthen Singapore’s digital defences. It cultivates expertise in areas such as cybersecurity, information warfare, and data analytics to counteract evolving threats.

Cyber defence operations are conducted by the SAF to safeguard vital infrastructure, government systems, and military networks from cyber threats. To detect, monitor, and respond to cyberattacks, it utilises advanced technologies and employs highly competent personnel. To remain ahead of cyber threats, the SAF continuously improves its capabilities in areas such as network security, intrusion detection, and incident response.

Personnel education and training in cybersecurity and information warfare is a priority for the SAF. It provides soldiers, officers, and cybersecurity experts with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively defend against digital threats. Regular training exercises and simulations simulate real-world situations to improve preparedness and response capabilities.

Recognising the need for collective defence in cyberspace, the SAF collaborates with international and local partners. It collaborates closely with government agencies, industry partners, and foreign armed forces to share cybersecurity-related information, best practices, and intelligence. These partnerships promote heightened situational awareness and permit coordinated responses to cyber threats.

Further, the SAF invests in research and development to improve its digital and information space defence capabilities. It collaborates with academic institutions, research centres, and technology firms to advance innovation in fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, and secure communications. The focus of research is on the development of cutting-edge technologies and strategies to combat emergent cyber threats.

The SAF actively promotes cybersecurity education and public awareness. It collaborates with government agencies and industry partners to promote cyber hygiene, secure online practices, and threat recognition. By educating the public, the SAF seeks to establish a cyber-resilient society in which individuals are vigilant and equipped to defend themselves in the digital realm.

Also, SAF defends the digital and information space through a multifaceted strategy that incorporates technological advancements, training, partnerships, research, and public education. It performs a vital role in protecting Singapore’s digital infrastructure, critical systems, and national security interests in the ever-changing digital landscape by remaining at the forefront of cybersecurity and information warfare.


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