February 23, 2024

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Singapore to Have a Central Contact Point for Reporting Data Breaches

Singapore Central Contact Point for Reporting Data Breaches

Singapore is soon to have a central contact point where the public can report on data incidents, such as unauthorised copying or disclosures, to the Government.

It will act as a dedicated platform for lodging all of such incidents, providing assurance to the public that their case will be monitored and handled by a figure of authority.

This contact point will exist as a website with an email directly to the Government Data Office (GDO). At present, the GDO receives such reports from the public via multiple Government agencies.

This contact point is to be made available in the upcoming months.

The decision to roll it out follows the adoption of the Public Sector Data Security Review Committee’s five recommendations for enhancing the securing of citizens’ data:

  • Improve data protection and prevent data compromise by protecting data directly when stored to ensure it is unusable even if extracted
  • Improve detection and response to data incidents through ways such as designating the GDO to monitor and analyse data incidents that pose significant harm
  • Raise competencies and instill a culture of excellence through ways such as training all public officers to attend improved data security training every year
  • Account for data protection at every level through ways like amending the Personal Data Protection Act to cover third-party vendors handling Government data
  • Ensure a continuous approach to improving data security through ways like improving the Government’s expertise in data security technology

Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean is the Minister-in-charge of Public Sector Data Governance and also chairs this committee.

The Government aims to roll out the recommended measures in 80 percent of Government systems by the end of 2021.

The end of 2023 has been set as the target goal for rolling out to the remaining 20 percent of government systems. These systems are more sophisticated and may need notable redesigning.

Mr Teo said that while there are such measures in place, threats will continue to exist. He said that in the event of such situations, there will already be countermeasures in place to effectively deal with them.

The Digital Government Executive Committee, which is chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, will oversee the public sector data security and push for implementing the committee’s recommendations.

The Government Technology Agency (GovTech) will be developing capabilities in data protection and privacy preservation to strengthen the Government’s expertise in these areas and be up to date with the latest developments.

The Public Sector Data Security Review Committee assessed 336 out of the total 2,840 Government systems and data management practices across all 94 public agencies for identifying risk areas and common causes of incidents.

Three in four agencies were found to have non-compliance with policies and standards of an internal Government manual on data management.

These were mostly in the areas of management and monitoring of privileged user accounts, user access reviews, encryption of emails with highly sensitive data and extraction of production data.

GovTech will validate the measures taken by the agencies to fix these non-compliance issues.

An analysis of best practices globally and in the industry was done by the committee. These are the following policies and practices which were found to require improvement:

  • Better support for smaller agencies in implementing intended policies as they do not have as much resources
  • Better articulation of the roles and responsibilities of staff in data security
  • Wider adoption of technical, process and organisational best practices by the Government to improve data security
  • Extension of the Government’s high standards of data protection to vendors and other non-Government entities when they handle public sector data
  • Further tightening of the management of data-related incidents

A comparison was also done of the Government’s data protection standards to that of the private sector. The robustness of the recommended measures by the committee was tested against past data incidents.

The results were that the recommended measures if implemented during the past data attacks in the public and public healthcare sector would have stopped or reduced the impacts of them.

“The committee is confident that these measures will significantly enhance data security,” said Mr Teo.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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