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Singapore, Indonesia Discuss Data Governance, Digitising SMEs

The 8th Information and Communications Joint Committee (ICJC) Meeting on Digital Co-operation between Singapore and Indonesia was held virtually last week. The Permanent Secretary of Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), Joseph Leong, and Indonesia’s Secretary-General of the Ministry of Communications and Informatics (KOMINFO), Mira Tayyiba, co-chaired the event.

The meeting was hosted by Singapore and involved discussions on potential areas of collaboration on data governance, digital talent, and the digital transformation of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME). The two officials discussed digital transformation efforts in their respective countries and explored areas where bilateral digital cooperation could advance mutual interests, including initiatives to support the digitalisation of businesses and start-ups. As this year’s G20 president, Indonesia has highlighted these areas as priority issues, and MCI will support and work with KOMINFO on the G20Digital Economy Working Group.

According to a press release, Leong noted that the ICJC Meeting is an important platform for the bilateral cooperation between Singapore and Indonesia. Digital transformation is increasingly important in helping people and businesses seize new opportunities and markets. The ICJC presents the opportunity to foster a closer working relationship in bilateral digital cooperation, which will accelerate post-pandemic recovery. Tayyiba explained that it is important to nurture the digital future by focusing efforts on a human-centric approach by providing equal and accessible connectivity, ensuring the security and protection of data, equipping society with the necessary skills in this era of digital transformation, and creating a fair playing field for all within the digital ecosystem.

The ICJC meeting can be utilised not only as a means to share information and best practices but also to initiate new cooperation and other initiatives that can benefit both countries. The next ICJC will be hosted by Indonesia at the end of 2023.

Earlier, Singapore launched a cybersecurity certification programme to help the country’s enterprises put in place the proper cybersecurity measures appropriate to their cyber risk profiles. For companies that are at the beginning of their digitalisation journey, the Cyber Security Agency (CSA) recommended the Cyber Essentials mark. If most business operations are conducted digitally, the Cyber Trust mark is recommended.

As OpenGov Asia reported, the marks certify the cybersecurity measures adopted at the organisation level and not the cybersecurity of specific products or services. The programme will help customers identify which companies have put in place strong cybersecurity measures and what steps they have taken to prevent cyber-attacks, such as testing out various scenarios and preparing their business continuity plan.

The average cost of a cyber-attack for companies in Singapore is approximately SGD1.7 million per breach, which could include the cost of revenue loss from disruptions to business operations and legal penalties when there is a data breach involving personal data. For some SMEs, this may be too high a cost to bear. That is why it is critical for companies to be aware of cyber threats and implement the appropriate measures to counter them.

Cybersecurity awareness is essential at all levels within the company. Business leaders need to be aware of cyber risks and allocate sufficient resources for the IT teams to address them. To help enterprise leaders and SME owners and employees learn about their specific roles in keeping their companies safe from cyber threats, CSA developed and launched a series of toolkits six months ago.

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