Singapore is Rocking The Cyber

Supertree Grove in SingaporeWhen it comes to The Cyber, as the lamentable US President refers to all things internet-related, Singapore is rockin' it. The city state just published a new draft cyber bill that will further its ambitions and cement its status. Singapore intends to be the world's first Smart Nation; it ranks third in the Global Financial Centres Index; and it just nailed the top spot in the Global Cybersecurity Index for 2017. And it is the home of the stunning, fantastical, high tech Supertrees.

The tiny island nation is integrating technology into every aspect of its citizens' lives, and staking its future (as a leading Financial hub) on building a national technology infrastructure known as the Smart Nation project. With all its eggs in the Cyber basket, it's no surprise the country is implementing a comprehensive law to strengthen cybersecurity and protect essential services.

Critical Information Infrastructures
The essential services are provided by 11 Critical Information Infrastructures (CII) that include land, sea, and air transportation, healthcare, security and emergency services, media, info/communications, banking/finance, government, energy, and water. The law consolidates power within the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) which is tasked with providing a consistent, nation wide regulatory framework 
across the CII sectors.

The new regulations would require operators of CIIs to safeguard their systems, ensure continuous functioning of their infrastructure, participate in cybersecurity exercises and audits, and immediately report any cyber incidents or threats. Organizations will have to appoint an "owner" that will be responsible for ensuring their organization meets all safeguard requirements.

The intent is to emphasize "ownership" of protective measures by specific, high level individuals within each organization rather than as a general company level responsibility. With C-suite involvement there will be more attention, budget, and visibility focused on cybersecurity than when it is shuffled off to the IT department to manage.

Broad Powers
The Cyber Security Agency will have sweeping investigative and enforcement powers, and the authorization to take preventive actions when deemed necessary. The CSA can require people to assist in an investigation, and to provide information about computers and systems. The CSA may also confiscate computers and systems as needed to combat a threat.

Substantial penalties can be imposed for offenses. In the case of a breach, organizations, and in some cases responsible persons within an organization can face a maximum of a $100,000 fine or 10 years imprisonment, depending on the offence. Not cooperating with an investigation, or providing false information merits significant criminal penalty.

Licensing Vendors
An interesting aspect of the proposed law will require licensing of cybersecurity service providers, making Singapore one of a very few countries to regulate such companies. Service providers would fall into 2 licensing buckets - investigative and non-investigative. Penetration testing for example, would fall into the first bucket, and managed security operations into the second.

Now, how about those Supertrees!
Singapore also aims to become the City in a Garden and the futuristic Supertrees are a convergence of nature and technology that's symbolic of this remarkable little nation.

There are 18 Supertrees in the Gardens by the Bay - 12 in the Supertree Grove and 2 groups of 3 located elsewhere in the gardens. Some are 50 meters high, and smaller ones are 25 meters. The trunks' living skins are planted with 163,000 plants from over 200 species specially selected for their beauty and suitability for vertical planting.

The stunning canopies provide shade during the day and put on a dazzling show of light and sound at night. The man-made forest is only a part of the 250 acre park that showcases flora and fauna from around the world.

Read more about the Gardens in CNN's article.

And click this beautiful image from the Garden by the Bay website to see and learn more.

Gardens by the Bay Supertree Grove