New Bill Proposed to Beef Up Cyber Security

A new Cyber Security Bill has been proposed on Monday (10 Jul), and will be introduced and debated in Parliament later this year.

The new law would require a bank to report any cyber attack within hours and will take precedence over banking and privacy rules that forbid the sharing of confidential information. Failure to alert a proposed Commissioner of Cyber Security and share information with Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency (CSA), if an investigation ordered, can lead to a fine or jail term.

The Bill aims to blur the line between cyber threats to the public sector and the private sector by plugging security gaps in critical information infrastructure (CII), such as those used to run banking, telecoms, transport, healthcare and energy essential services.

As compared to the current legislation – Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act which focuses more on cybercrime, the new Bill oversees the cyber security of (essential services) as a whole, said CSA chief executive David Koh.

The Bill will also confer power on the CSA’s chief as Commissioner of Cyber Security to investigate threats and incidents to ensure essential services are not disrupted in the event of a cyber attack.

The Bill comes on the back of the recent WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware attacks in Singapore, as well as cyber attacks during elections overseas (like that of France and the United States). For the first time, the Cyber Security Bill spells out proactive measures which aim to minimise disruption to essential services when such attacks happen.

Depending on the offences, the maximum penalty is a $100,000 fine or a jail term of up to 10 years.

The Bill is the fruit of almost two years of work by the CSA and its introduction follows last October’s announcement of a high-level cyber-security strategy that will see Singapore increase its infocomm technology budget for cyber-security spending to 8 per cent, up from 5 per cent before. The Bill is going through a public consultation that ends on August 3 2017

Source: “New Bill proposed to beef up cyber security” (The Straits Times, 11 July 2017)

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