Singapore ranks 10th in global cybersecurity: study

The study revealed that Singapore is the best prepared country for cyberattacks.

Singapore rounded off the top ten best cybersecurity countries which was largely dominated by European countries with an overall score of 15.13, according to a study by consumer information provider Comparitech.

The study, which looked at 60 countries based on seven criteria such as the percentage of mobiles and computers infected with malware and the number of attacks in by cryptominers in 2018, found that Singapore was the most prepared country with a score of 0.925. On the other hand, its percentage of mobiles infected with malware (8.18%) and number of attacks by cryptominers (1.61%) weighed on the country’s ability to place higher up in the rankings.

In terms of up-to-date legislations which looked at both existing and drafted laws covering seven categories such as national strategy, military, content, privacy, commerce and crime, Singapore received a score of four. Countries received a point for having legislation in a category, or half a point for a draft.

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Countries were given a point based on where it ranked between the highest-ranking and lowest-ranking countries for each criterion. Countries with the least cyber-secure scores were given 100 points, whilst the most cyber-secure were allocated zero, the study noted. 

“As before, some countries scored well in one category but had other scores that brought their average up,” Comparitech explained. “These include Ukraine, which had the lowest financial malware rate, and Sri Lanka and Algeria, which had the lowest telnet attack scores.”

Japan, which ranked as the most cyber-secure country on the back of its low percentage of mobiles and computers infected with malware (1.34% and 8.3%), was still found to be less prepared for cyber attacks compared to France that came in second.

Algeria and Indonesia came out as the least cyber-secure countries globally with an overall score of 55.75 and 54.89, respectively. This is due to their lack of up-to-date legislations and high percentage of mobiles and computers infected with malware.

“Despite some countries having clear strengths and weaknesses, there is definite room for improvement in each and every one,” Comparitech said. “Whether they need to strengthen their legislation or users need help putting better protections in place on their computers and mobiles, there’s still a long way to go to make our countries cyber secure.”

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Singapore has been stepping up its efforts to address cybersecurity, especially after it witnessed the largest data breach in July 2018 which saw the personal details of over 1.5 million Singaporeans exposed. The cyberattack resulted in the Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) which is the central IT agency responsible for the country’s healthcare sector axing two managers and imposing fines on five senior management members.

In December 2018, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) launched a $30m cybersecurity capabilities grant to support cybersecurity advancement per firm in the financial sector. Likewise, the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced on 25 January 2019 it would develop a new multi-year cybersecurity roadmap to secure Singapore’s telco connectivity infrastructure.

The Lion City was hit by another cyberattack in January 2019 wherein the records of as many as 14,200 people with HIV saw their details leaked online. The HIV-registry data was leaked by US citizen Mihky K. Farrera Brochez who was deported from Singapore after serving jail time for fraud and drug-related offenses.  

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