The Prime Minister has set up a Public Sector Data Security Review Committee to conduct an extensive review of data security practices across the entire Public Service.
This includes all actions related to the collection and protection of citizens’ personal data by public sector agencies, as well as by vendors who handle personal data on behalf of the Government.
The Committee will be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Mr Teo Chee Hean. Mr Teo Chee Hean is also the Minister-in-charge of Public Sector Data Governance. The Committee will include private sector representatives with expertise in data security and technology, as well as Ministers involved in Singapore’s Smart Nation efforts – Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Mr S Iswaran, Mr Chan Chun Sing, and Dr Janil Puthucheary.
Government review on how they are securing and protecting citizens’ data from end-to-end
The aim of the Committee is to review how the Government is securing and protecting citizens’ data from end-to-end, including the role of vendors and other authorised third parties. It will also recommend technical measures, processes and capabilities to improve the government’s protection of citizens’ data, and response to incidents as well as develop an action plan of immediate steps and longer term measures to implement the recommendations
The Committee will use the experience of international experts and industry professionals, from both the private and public sectors. The Committee will also be supported by an inter-agency taskforce formed by public officers across the Whole-of-Government.
Next step in government data security initiatives
The Government has progressively enhanced security measures to safeguard sensitive data over the last few years. These security measures have included the Internet Surfing Separation policy in 2016 and the disabling of USB ports from being accessed by unauthorised devices in 2017. The Government has also increased the number and types of internal IT audits, to check on agencies’ data access and data protection measures. In 2018, they introduced measures to detect and respond more quickly to cyber threats that target critical government databases.
Recent hacks in public sector databases have created urgency for a data security review
In a release by The Prime Ministers Office, it said that the “Government has acknowledged that recent data-related incidents have underlined the urgency to strengthen data security policies and practices in the public sector. “
While individual agencies are investigating and taking action on the specific incidents, this Committee will undertake a comprehensive review and incorporate industry and global best practices to strengthen data security across the public sector.
This review will help to ensure that all public sector agencies maintain the highest standards of data governance. The government has recognised that it is essential to uphold public confidence and deliver a high quality of public service to citizens through the use of data. The work of this Committee will complement the governments efforts towards achieving the Smart Nation vision.
The Public Sector Data Security Review Committee will submit its findings and recommendations to the Prime Minister by 30 November 2019.
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced the launch of a S$5 million Virtual Production Innovation Fund to support the local media industry in developing the capabilities needed to harness virtual production technology to maintain the local media industry’s competitiveness as the international partner of choice to create premium IP.
To enable the camera to capture actors and visual effects in real time, virtual production technology uses LED panels to produce realistic background landscapes for television or movie sequences driven by video game engines. The site, road closures, location costs, permits, weather, set construction, and space rental will no longer be necessary for production.
With the help of technology, Singapore has a rare chance to get over some of its physical constraints, like the lack of suitable locations for on-location filming and room for large sets.
The ability of the storytellers to reproduce historical sites or any other environment will allow them to generate content that was previously impossible. This will revolutionise the creative process of storytelling.
The adoption of virtual production by the media sector is further encouraged by the strong signals emanating from international media giants that this technology will be widely employed in the creation of movies and television shows and will become the standard in the next years.
To strengthen capabilities in virtual production and ensure that the media companies and talent can keep up with international production methods to remain competitive, IMDA will pursue a two-pronged strategy to prepare the media sector for the future.
The National Film and Television School (NFTS) in the UK has collaborated with IMDA to adapt the school’s Certificate in Virtual Production course to the requirements of the sector to train media professionals to use this technology.
From December 2022 to April 2023, fifteen professors, trainers, and media professionals from Singapore will participate in virtual lectures and undergo hands-on training at NFTS’s virtual production facilities.
Over the course of the following 12 months, several masterclasses and workshops given by professionals from the business will be offered. A Singapore-based firm that specialises in developing immersive experiences, held a display to exhibit how virtual production can enhance imaginative storytelling.
Hands-on demonstrations will be given by guest speakers from virtual production leaders. They will discuss and explore best practices in the workflow to inventive ways to use different technology in storytelling.
Local businesses can also test out virtual production to realise their creative ideas for brief pieces of content, such as music videos, short films, and brand advertisements, among others. Companies can submit their suggested content concepts from now until February 15, 2023.
The capacity to best utilise virtual production technologies to realise a project’s creative vision will be taken into consideration while evaluating proposals.
Additionally, IMDA is working to organise an industry challenge with an internationally renowned gaming company. This challenge will encourage organisations to experiment with and use the cutting-edge real-time 3D creation tool developed by this gaming company. Currently, the aforementioned tool powers globally popular video games.
Teams whose concepts are shortlisted will receive personalised coaching and training from the gaming company. In addition, they will receive prize money from IMDA to assist with content creation.
Since virtual production technology has advanced in recent years, the country is now able to produce visual effects in real-time without building actual sets, thereby overcoming the constraints of scale, complexity, and space.
The Minister of State for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh, has said the government of the union territory of Ladakh and the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), a unit of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), will develop a spatial data infrastructure geoportal, called Geo-Ladakh.
In a written reply to a question in Parliament, Singh explained that the project includes spatial database generation (water resources, vegetation, and energy potential) using remote sensing, geospatial techniques, and the development of a geo-portal to host the database.
Furthermore, under the project, Ladakh officials will be trained in geospatial techniques and applications. The portal will provide geospatial data visualisation and analytics for the union territory, consisting of the spatial viewer, carbon neutrality, geospatial utility mapping, and geo-tourism. To carry out the work, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between IIRS (ISRO) and the Ladakh union territory administration at the beginning of the year.
The potential of space technology could be used to generate a spatial database for time series of snow cover, freshwater availability, sites for renewable energy potential (solar and wind), availability of alpine pastures/grazing lands for natural resource management, and periodic change assessment. Presently, ISRO is setting up an optical telescope at Hanle, a village in Ladakh, to track spacecraft and space objects.
OpenGov Asia reported last month that ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) launched nine satellites, including eight nanosatellites, into space for earth observation. The 44-metre-long rocket’s primary payload was the Earth Observation Satellite-6 (EOS-6) or Oceansat-3, a third-generation satellite to monitor oceans. It is a follow up to OceanSat-1 or IRS-P4 and OceanSat-2 launched in 1999 and 2009, respectively. Oceansat-3 will provide data about ocean colour, sea surface temperature, and wind vector data for oceanography, climatology, and meteorological applications.
More recently, ISRO signed an MoU with a private player to launch the SpaceTech Innovation Network (SpIN), India’s first dedicated platform for innovation curation and venture development for the burgeoning space entrepreneurial ecosystem. SpIN will focus on facilitating space tech entrepreneurs in three areas: geospatial technologies and downstream applications; enabling technologies for space and mobility; and aerospace materials, sensors, and avionics.
In a statement, ISRO said that the partnership is a significant step forward in boosting space reform policies. The two organisations will work to identify and tap into the market potential of the most promising space tech innovators and entrepreneurs in the country.
Reports have shown that there are now over 100 active space start-ups in India – the number of start-ups in this sector has more than doubled in the last year alone. Through this partnership, ISRO will support the creation of an open innovation and scale-up platform for all space ecosystem stakeholders and promote active collaboration to make early-stage space start-ups successful.
As part of the partnership, SpIN launched its first innovation challenge. It is looking for solutions from early-stage start-ups in areas of maritime and land transportation, urbanisation, mapping and surveying, disaster management, food security, sustainable agriculture, environmental monitoring, and natural resources management.
The selected start-ups and innovators will be able to access the two organisation’s infrastructure and resources as per the prevailing guidelines. They will be guided in critical areas, including access to product design, testing and validation infrastructure, intellectual property management, go-to-market strategy, and access to long-term patient capital.
The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers (SACEOS) released the MICE Sustainability Roadmap, which outlines specific goals and plans for raising sustainability standards throughout the MICE sector in Singapore over the coming years.
The Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions (MICE) industry is a type of tourism travel in which groups of people are brought together for a specific reason, usually well in advance. On the other hand, the MICE market refers to a subset of people who plan, arrange, and facilitate conferences, seminars, exhibitions, and other events.
Part of STB’s overarching plan to develop a sustainable tourism sector is the use of such roadmaps, which direct businesses in the sector to achieve specific sustainability goals. Following the launch of the Hotel Sustainability Roadmap earlier this year, the MICE Sustainability Roadmap is the second such project.
The Singapore Green Plan 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (UN) serve as the roadmap’s guiding principles. Three goals are listed in the MICE Sustainability Roadmap to help Singapore become one of the most environmentally-friendly MICE destinations in Asia Pacific:
- By 2023, create a set of industry-acceptable sustainability standards with the goal of having them recognised internationally by 2024.
- For all six purpose-built MICE venues and 80% of SACEOS members to get internationally or nationally recognised sustainability certification, or both, by 2025.
- To attain net-zero emissions by 2050 in accordance with the country’s net-zero aim, the Singapore MICE sector must first track waste and carbon emissions by 2023, reduce waste in line with the Singapore Green Plan by 2030, and reduce waste overall by 2050.
The MICE Sustainability Committee (MSComm), established by STB and SACEOS in August 2022 to advance sustainability capabilities and create awareness of sustainability initiatives and best practices, will help the industry adopt sustainable practices and meet these goals.
The dedication to sustainability follows a robust MICE rebound in the wake of Singapore’s borders being reopened in April this year and a rising desire for environmentally friendly business travel. More importantly, the industry is aware of how crucial it is to lessen the environmental impact of MICE events.
With STB and SACEOS leading the charge and offering support as necessary to further develop a sustainable business events landscape in Singapore, the MICE Sustainability Roadmap will ensure that MICE players move forward in pursuing relevant and achievable sustainability goals that are tracked at appropriate milestones.
Meanwhile, OpenGov Asia recently reported that the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) of Singapore is working with a large American technology company to address climate change-related challenges and enhance the sustainability of digital technologies.
The cooperation aims to hasten the local and international development of software applications and solutions to assist businesses in using their resources more efficiently.
The tech giant and IMDA will exchange best practices, standards, learnings, and certification pathways for accurate measurement and reporting of carbon emissions resulting from software applications. Through this relationship, the nation hopes to speed up the application of the ideas and resources needed to create green technologies.
According to IMDA, Southeast Asia is well-positioned for the region to take the lead in digital sustainability. This collaboration will produce cutting-edge digital sustainability solutions that can be used by multinational corporations, bringing about positive change for the environment worldwide and ensuring a sustainable future for all.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Informatics conducted a familiarisation workshop for health workers and non-medical staff about Electronic Medical Records (RME). According to Health Ministry regulations, health facilities in Indonesia are required to use RME. Indonesia Social Security Administrator (Health BPJS) now offers an integrated RME computing system. Some digitally based hospitals have used the system for RME.
“Through this workshop and seminar, the Ministry of Communication and Informatics introduces Electronic Medical Records (RME) so that participants can understand what RME is and how the supporting technology works,” said I Nyoman Adhiarna, Director of Digital Economy at the Ministry of Communication and Information.
Essentially, health facilities must use the electronic record for patient registration activities, clinical information filling, storage and transfer of medical records, ownership and contents of patient medical records, security, and data protection.
Meanwhile, Setiaji, the Chief of the Ministry of Health’s Digital Transformation Officer (CTO), emphasises the importance of information technology as the backbone of the ongoing transformation of the national health system. “One of the major agenda items is the implementation of electronic medical records, which has begun with the launch of the SATU SEHAT platform.” “This platform connects sixty thousand health services across Indonesia,” he said.
The seminar also covered several topics, such as the role of medical recorders and health information (PMIK) in the success of RME adoption, RME integration with cyber security, change management in RME adoption, and RME adoption and its implications for hospital services.
Director Nyoman acknowledged challenges in implementing RME in hospitals, such as internet network connectivity and cyber security. However, adequate digital infrastructure would make digital transformation in health care more accessible. As a result, the Ministry of Communication and Informatics is currently focusing on developing digital infrastructure in remote areas, known as the 3T acronyms for frontier, outermost, and lagging.
A multifunctional satellite, Satellite Indonesia Raya (SATRIA) 1, will provide support for remote internet access. The broadband satellite will launch in 2023 to reach 150,000 public service points.
As the health sector becomes increasingly digitalised, cyber and data security has become a significant concern. According to Director Nyoman, all PSEs, both public and private, that manage personal data are urged to pay close attention to the feasibility and dependability of personal processing data, particularly those related to technology, governance, and human resources.
He is also concerned about the role of the Data Protection Officer (DPO) following the implementation of the government’s data protection law. Each electronic system operator must legally have a person in charge of data protection.
“Later,” he said, “a Personal Data Protection Agency will be formed, which will most likely be under the Ministry of Communication and Informatics.”
Director Nyoman also emphasised the Ministry of Communication and Informatics’ role in assisting the Ministry of Health in becoming the leading sector in the health sector to accelerate digital transformation in the health sector.
The Ministry of Communication and Information welcomed the One Healthy Indonesia Health Service (IHS) platform, launched in July 2021 by the Ministry of Health as a digital transformation programme based on an integrated and standardised health data system.
The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Tecnológico de Monterrey (Tec) through its Institute for the Future of Education, signed a research collaboration agreement to improve the cyber-physical learning of students and teachers in Singapore and Mexico.
The three-year agreement will see the two parties share practices and experiences in the configuration and usage of cyber-physical learning infrastructure to create new opportunities for educational innovation and research, resulting in new pathways for the future of education.
The SUTD-Tec’s Institute for the Future of Education agreement will foster the exchange and sharing of practices of cyber-physical learning and evaluation of the effectiveness of associated educational delivery models. Both parties will conduct joint experiments involving students and instructors to explore domains such as technology-enabled learning, translational pedagogical innovations, learning analytics, and personalised and engaging learning.
This research collaboration will have its focus on the SUTD campusX initiative, which focuses on the needs and experiences of students and instructors using data analytics and learning sciences with the purpose of creating a safe, inclusive, and enjoyable space for students to learn, interact and optimise their learning outcomes.
With regards to the campusX and its impact on the future of education, SUTD’s Provost stated that both Tec and SUTD share a common vision of cyber-physical learning, with similar interests and understanding of the challenges in areas of applying human-centric technology and design to the practice of pedagogy and andragogy in actual higher learning environments. This forms a strong basis on which many more projects can be conducted between Tec and SUTD. The current research collaboration is an important start and SUTD looks forward to furthering the partnership with Tec in years to come.
He noted that, similarly, SUTD also looks forward to working with more like-minded partners across academia and industry and from local and global landscapes to make cyber-physical learning a reality.
Speaking about the research collaboration between the two renowned higher education institutions, the Rector for Higher Education of Tecnológico de Monterrey expressed his satisfaction with the signing of the agreement and said that to advance in current-day education challenges and design the future of education, collaboration is key.
He noted that Tec has pioneered educational innovation in Mexico and Latin America, and they aim to expand their projects and initiatives to have an increasingly global relationship and impact. An initiative aimed at strengthening links with Asia is being developed; these collaborations with them will extend to the areas of research, education, and technology.
Furthermore, the Executive Director of the Institute for the Future of Education of Tecnológico de Monterrey emphasised the importance of this kind of agreement between both universities. He noted that conducting joint experiments to evaluate innovative cross-border educational models will be key to developing effective cyber-physical learning environments.
The collaborative project with SUTD’s campusX initiative will increase learning opportunities for global higher education audiences, capitalising on the intercultural exchanges between Singaporean and Mexican students and professors, and developing best practices with an international perspective, he added.
The research activities framed in this agreement are slated to begin in the first quarter of 2023 and the experimental and simulated learning environment trials will result in the identification of best practices in digital education delivery models supported by effective cyber-physical technology platforms.
Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, recently revealed details of an AU$15 million project to develop a national soil information system, aimed at improving the sustainable management of one of the nation’s most precious assets.
Supporting the National Soil Strategy, and funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the Australian National Soil Information System (ANSIS) project is a collaboration between the government, research organisations, industry, the private sector and the community.
Using innovative processes and technologies, ANSIS will allow improved sharing of nationally consistent soil data and information through online access for users. This will help Australians to better understand their nation’s diverse range of soils and make better decisions about managing our important soil resources. Currently, soil data is collected using different methods, by different organisations, and at a range of depths in the soil. This makes it hard to access, compare and use data from diverse sources.
The Project Lead at CSIRO stated that improving access to the best soil data and information can help promote digital agriculture innovation and is key to sustainably managing Australia’s soils. By using ANSIS, farmers and agricultural advisors will have access to more soil data and be better placed to more sustainably manage the soil on which they rely.
Soil is vital to agricultural production and natural environments, as well as health and well-being. This information system will help everyone care for this important natural resource. Productive, healthy, and resilient soil means more economic, environmental, and social benefits to Australia. Monitoring soil also helps scientific understanding of how the natural world is changing.
This work will provide insight into biodiversity, water resources, landscapes and coastlines, fauna, climate, and geology. By harmonising Australia’s soil data, we can make it accessible across many fields of science and exploration. The project is being delivered under the Federal Government’s National Soil Strategy, which is about prioritising soil health, empowering soil innovation and stewards, and strengthening soil knowledge and capability. The new ANSIS system will be available for use in 2023.
ANSIS will provide improved access to nationally consistent soil data and information needed to help sustainably manage Australian soil. ANSIS will provide:
- More soil data
- More data sets are available that in other soil systems
- Enables more certainty in products developed
- Opportunity to develop new products
- Improved access
- Multiple data sets are now discoverable and accessible
- National coverage
- Most up-to-date data available
- Efficient provision
- Organised and standardised data for immediate use
- Can feed into many users’ requirements
- Consistent delivery
- Substantial reduction in time to prepare information products
- Trusted location
- Certainty that data is from an authoritative source, verified and satisfies standards.
The country has established the Indonesian Aviation Sector Computer Security Incident Response Team (IAS-CSIRT) to strengthen cybersecurity. The team will report to the Ministry of Transportation’s Director General of Air Transportation.
To anticipate system vulnerabilities, identify opportunities for bad actors to exploit, and reduce the risk of cyber incident threats, the aviation sector required a dedicated cybersecurity team. The CSIRT will regularly publish information on vulnerabilities, security, and new technology trends. The team is also prepared to face various escalating challenges. Members of the CSIRT will be trained through cyber drills and workshops.
The team is in charge of receiving, reviewing, and responding to cyber incident reports and activities with the function of providing reactive services by performing incident coordination, incident triage, and incident resolution.
During the IAS-CSIRT inaugural speech, the Deputy for Cybersecurity and Economic Cryptography of the National Cyber and Crypto Agency (BSSN), Markos, said that the aviation industry increasingly relies on digital technology for flight operations, ground services, communications navigation and surveillance, airport infrastructure, air traffic management, and supply chain.
Therefore, cybercrime prevention and management are crucial for many parties, including aviation service providers. F. Budi Prayitno, the Director of Aviation Security at the Ministry of Transportation, outlined the importance of cyber defence since cybercrime has resulted in considerable losses across sectors. “Effective cyber-crime prevention and management necessitate the collaboration of various cyber security stakeholders who already have a CSIRT,” said Budi. The BSSN contributed to the formation of the IAS-CSIRT.
Markos hopes that the IAS-CSIRT will be able to collaborate, synergise, and share information with various stakeholders and other cybersecurity constituencies in Indonesia, particularly in the handling and recovery of cyber incidents.
BSSN wants other sectors to form a CSIRT as well. The IAS-CSIRT was established for the first time (IIV) following the issuance of Presidential Regulation 82 of 2022 concerning the Protection of Vital Information Infrastructure. Sector IIV prioritises the CSIRT because it manages various strategic information assets related to community survival, national stability, and sovereignty.
Before the inauguration, BSSN signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and cooperation agreement with state-owned Aviasi Wisata Indonesia (InJourney Group) to support the tourism industry. In addition, cooperation on information protection and electronic transactions intends to improve the quality of information protection and electronic commerce.
The agreement’s scope includes information and communication technology security, the use of electronic certificates to improve electronic transaction security, the improvement and development of human resources, the exchange of information, and cybersecurity campaigns and literacy.
At the signing ceremony, the Head of the National Cyber and Crypto Agency (BSSN), Hinsa Siburian, emphasised the importance of synergy and collaboration to recover the Indonesian aviation and tourism industry through a reliable and safe digital transformation.
Furthermore, between January and November 2022, BSSN detected over 1.14 million traffic anomalies across all InJourney Group assets. BSSN said the most anomalies were discovered in August, with 235,742 events.
The collaboration is expected to make digital information transactions and exchanges more secure and leak-proof. The rapid advancement of digital technology presents an opportunity for Injourney to gain trust and confidence in the Indonesian tourism industry. However, as a result, it must be balanced with maximum data, information, and electronic transaction security.