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Cyber security and how we need to prepare for the future

Prajwal Bekkyem
12th Jun 2016
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With the advent of "smart living" and the leaps and bounds that technology takes almost on a day by day basis, it becomes important to think about how secure our digital footprint is in our work and personal lives, all of which is connected. Vigilance and security becomes just as important as the technology that it revolves around in our day-to-day exchanges in the world.

If one takes a step back and counts the transactions of data that one undertakes on a daily basis, and then multiplies it exponentially in the global context, the staggering size of it all, comes into perspective.
YourStory-Cyber-secuity-startups

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But that's a discussion for another day. The point of this article is to take one country, one developed economy, technologically advanced on the global stage and see what learnings can be taken away from things that went right or wrong on a national level.

Singapore and its smart vision:

This tiny island nation is and has been one of the fastest growing commercial hubs in the world. But how it is changing the way e-governance and unified citizen registry in the context of cyber security is what sets it apart from other countries.

Their five-year plan includes a national operating system of 100 million unified smart objects. Objects range from all the five million smartphones carried by its citizens to simple objects like traffic signals.

The minister in charge of the "Smart Nation" initiative, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, has some grand schemes. He has put his money where his mouth is when it comes to challenging authorities like Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore to implement his ideas.

And this is why it is going to work…and be secure:

1. Rolling out fibre to every home has been happening simultaneously over that past few years.

2. Bandwidth is not a problem.

3. Grants and investments are given to startups that have solutions contributing to the Smart Vision initiative.

4. Initiatives like the Cyber Security Awareness Alliance and the Cyber Security Bill (to be tabled in 2017) add to the "Security for all" approach.

Although other governments have a long way to go, we can take some learnings from what the Singaporean Government is doing, and apply it to densely populated countries (like India).


Related read: What startups in India can learn from Singapore’s founder Lee Kuan Yew


Areas of concern:

Growth is inevitable and so is the risk involved. Here are some key areas of concern that might help any government/individual/company that aims to be abreast in vigilance when it comes to their cyber security.

1. Cloud services and their apparent security flaws. For example, insecure API's, denial of service, malicious insiders, data loss, etc.

2. Application security; Mobile device environments going live beset with bugs, software vulnerabilities, and hacker-exploitable elements.

3. Incident management; We are moving from a "What if" mindset to “now that it has, what next?" kind of approach. Incident management should be part of any C-Level discussion today.

In conclusion, evolving our approach to cyber security, combined with government policies and regulations that protect every citizen and company's right to security, will help us keep ourselves in tandem with economies like Singapore.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory)


Related reads: ‘What will you do for my website’s security?’ Asked no startup CEO ever!

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Authors
Prajwal Bekkyem
Prajwal Bekkyem is a Managing Partner at Chronos LLP, a boutique business facilitating firm that specialises in single sponsor meetings, investor introduction and product/service launches. Their core sectors of expertise include BFSI, Energy, Hospitality, Infrastructure, Pharma, Retail and Security.

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