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Singapore's public officers to be prohibited internet access on work computers

17/06/2016 by Pascal CALOC


In a bid to prevent breaches and raise cyber defences, the Singaporean Government has made the bold decision to restrict internet access on public officers' work computers.

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), which acts as the Government Chief Information Officer, revealed that it has already started to separate internet access from the work stations of a "selected group of public service officers."

All public service officers' work computers will be brought under the new strategy within a year, the statutory board confirmed.

The move is an attempt to make the Government network more secure. The Cyber Security Agency (CSA) said it is working with the new Government Technology Agency GovTech to carry out their respective functions securely and effectively.

Officers will still be able to surf the internet on separate computers or mobile devices – either belonging to the individual or provided by their organisations – and the move will not impact on officers' ability to work, IDA said.

CSA chief executive David Koh explained: "The specific actions that are prohibited in this instance are actions that attackers want Government employees to do, such as clicking on a link in a spear-phishing email, thereby allowing attackers to use the internet surfing channels to exfiltrate stolen information."

Some services like Gmail, Dropbox and WeTransfer have already been blocked, according to sources at Channel NewsAsia.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education has already made changes to ensure that all teachers work on a separate network that will not be connected to the Government Enterprise Network.



cyber security, government, Singapore

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