MCI response to PQ on trend of cyber scams and hacks in last five years
Parliament Sitting on 1 February 2021
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
67. Miss Cheryl Chan Wei Ling: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) whether the Ministry can share statistics from 2015-2020 of cyber attempts made to (i) scam non-natural persons and (ii) hack into financial or non-financial accounts of non-natural persons; and (b) what actions have the Ministry taken to protect locally registered organisations or companies.
Cyber attempts to scam and hack are chargeable offences under the Computer Misuse Act or other relevant laws. Between 2015 and 2020, the Police received about 1,900 reports of cyber attempts made to scam non-natural persons such as companies and organisations. Over the same period, the Police also received more than 8,000 reports on unauthorised attempts to access computer material. The Police however does not specifically track whether these attempts are targeted at companies.
Besides relying on our regulations and enforcement efforts, it is also important to increase cybercrime awareness in the private sector through structured engagement, and to establish key partnerships to achieve operational effectiveness in combating cybercrime. To this end, the Police set up a public-private industry platform – the Alliance of Public PrivAte Cybercrime sTakeholders (APPACT) comprising technology giants such as Facebook and Google, telecommunications companies, web hosting companies, banks, e-commerce platforms and fintech companies.
The Government is also committed to supporting enterprises and organisations in mitigating the cybersecurity risks that come with digitalisation. To raise the national cybersecurity posture in Singapore, the Cyber Security Agency launched the Safer Cyberspace Masterplan last year, which aims to raise the general level of cybersecurity in Singapore for individual users, communities, enterprises, and organisations. The Masterplan comprises three thrusts: one, securing our core digital infrastructure; two, safeguarding our cyberspace activities; and three, empowering our population.
Under the third thrust of this Masterplan, CSA aims to enhance cybersecurity awareness and increase the adoption of appropriate cybersecurity measures amongst enterprises and organisations. To this end, CSA is rolling out toolkits that enterprises and organisations can use as a ready resource for cybersecurity education. To enhance cybersecurity adoption, enterprises and organisations can leverage on Security-as-a-Service solutions, which will be made available to companies under Enterprise Singapore’s Productivity Solutions Grants and IMDA’s SMEs Go Digital Programme.
While the Government will take the lead to drive efforts toward a safer cyberspace, everyone has an important role to play. Businesses must safeguard their systems by building up their cybersecurity capabilities and putting in place digital risk management measures. To avoid falling prey to scams, businesses are also advised to adopt measures such as verifying any request for payment instructions or bank account details. Together, we can build a safer and more secure cyberspace.