During the Singapore International Cyber Week, held in October 2022, the Singapore Government announced that it has set up an inter-agency counter-ransomware task force to better tackle ransomware, which has become a growing worry among businesses in the city-state. The Task force pools representatives from different sectors, such as technology, cybersecurity, financial regulation and law enforcement domains, and is expected to help develop and make recommendations on possible policies, operational plans and capabilities to improve Singapore’s counter-ransomware efforts. The task force would also look at the coordinating of Singapore’s international engagement strategy in fighting ransomware, as well as push for greater international cooperation in cybersecurity, financial supervision and cross-border law enforcement operations.
Ransomware has been a growing concern for businesses in Singapore, with the number of ransomware cases in rising by 54% between 2020 and 2021. Such ransomware attacks were capable of disrupting government agencies and cripple essential services in a country, and such attackers are often based overseas and leverage jurisdictional boundaries to move illicit assets and evade legal consequences.
As part of various strategies to ward off ransomware attacks, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) plans to rate businesses’ internet hygiene. The Internet hygiene rating is based on the average adoption of Internet security best practices and globally recognized baseline Internet standards and security controls. Businesses will be given a green tick, yellow tick or red cross, depending on how many Internet best practices they have implemented, and is expected to help consumers make informed choices to better safeguard their digital transactions from cyber threats.