The Singapore government has announced the formation of the Cyber Security Agency (CSA). The agency will be part of the Prime Minister’s Department and responsible for overseeing the country’s cyber-security operations and capabilities.

Scheduled to commence operations on 1 April, the CSA will also work with the private sector to bolster the local IT security ecosystem. Singapore is one of the most connected countries in Asia and the CSA is designed to provide dedicated, centralised oversight of national cyber-security functions. The establishment of the CSA follows a number of cyber-attacks in Singapore in recent years, including one on the Prime Minister’s Office by an activist group, and a security breach that affected more than 1,500 SingPass accounts used to access e-government services.

The CSA will replace the functions of the Singapore Infocomm Technology Security Authority as well as assuming some of the tasks currently undertaken by the ICT regulator, the Infocomm Development Authority.

Cyber-security has become a priority for governments and private sector organisations around the world. The latest initiative by the Singapore government follows in the footsteps of the Singapore “National Cyber Security Master Plan 2018”. Key initiatives announced in that plan included the establishment of a “Cyber Watch Centre” that would deploy tools and techniques to improve the overall effectiveness of security monitoring for the public sector. A “Threat Analysis Centre” has also been created that utilises state-of-the-art analytical tools to monitor large volumes of data from a wide range of sources, and provides public agencies with detailed cyber threat analysis, advisory services and recommendations so that they can take preventive action.

The establishment of the CSA follows last year’s opening of an Interpol centre in Singapore which focuses on fighting cyber-crime. Global aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, is also reported to be opening a cyber-security centre in Singapore, its first such facility outside the United States.