News about the Government hiving off the internet for Public Service officers made many people anxious. (even people not affected by it like the non-public service officers are equally if not more anxious than those affected)

No Internet how to do work? How to open links in the emails? You can still receive my email or not? Eh I though we moving towards a Smart Nation initiative, how is closing off the internet smart?

The move to separate Web access for public sector employees is a “calibrated approach” that aims to close off one big source of cyberattacks – the Internet.

In fact, the Government is “taking a leap forward” to close off one of the bigger sources of online attacks afflicting governments today – Mr Chai Chin Loon, Director of Cyber Security Group at IDA

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Here were some other equally important things that Mr Chai said. (Source)

We tried using software to manage the risk  – it failed.

The IDA cybersecurity chief said while there are software offerings that offer access management, these are riskier options. “There are inherent weaknesses because of the complexity of the code; I’ve yet to see a piece of software that has no bugs in it,” he explained.

The threat is at our doorsteps – There is no other way

Governments are constantly attacked, and for Singapore, “billions of attacks” are detected each year.

He cited the example of the 2015 breach of the US Office of Personnel Management, which resulted in the theft of Social Security numbers and other information about current and former government workers, applicants, contractors and spouses of those who underwent background checks for security clearance. The hack affected 22.1 million people, up from the initial 4.2 million when the breach was first reported. “These are authoritative data, personal data that were stolen,” said Mr Chai, adding that if this happened in Singapore, “I don’t think we can survive it”.

Do public service still have access to the internet? – YES. YES. YES.

Adaptability is key. While public service could access internet on their work stations (i.e same computer as their emails) they now have to use another computer to access the internet. It requires a change in work flow but it is necessary for security reasons. Hardly a major disruption our opinion because we still have access to the internet via our hand phones anyways.

Public service can survive the jibes but Singapore may not survive the aftermath of a cyberattack  #truth

It is alright. Words and Memes do not break bones. Security is the core foundation of Smart Nation. No point being a Smart Nation if our systems are open and vulnerable

 

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