Singapore steps up its cybersecurity capability

December 1, 2022
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Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Wisconsin’s expertise in technology—with research offices of Microsoft, Google, and academia—could give the state a boost in potential business with Singapore.

Singapore is ramping up efforts to fight cyberattacks with the creation of the Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS)—the government’s fourth military branch, along with the army, navy, and air force.

Established in October 2022, the DIS will gather intelligence and defend Singapore from cyberthreats, and it can hire and train its own digital forces. No financial allocation has been announced yet, but Singapore’s Ministry of Defense expects to spend a total of $12 billion in 2022, a 6.5% increase over the previous year.

Main units of the DIS are:

  • Intelligence (deals with counterterrorism, imagery, and early warning systems)
  • Cybersecurity task force (operates and safeguards computers and communications for the Ministry of Defense)
  • Digital defense (develops electronic protection and psychological defense capabilities)
  • Training (responsible for developing the DIS workforce in areas such as imagery analysis and open-source research)
  • Digital operations and technology center (a center of excellence for digital expertise)

Singapore is a high-value, advanced market in information and communications technology. It houses about 60% of the Asian regional headquarters of tech giants such as Microsoft and Google, and it serves as the research and development hub of Dell’s edge computing and IBM’s blockchain innovation center. Singapore has become an increasing target for cyberattacks and, as a result, spends more than any other Southeast Asian nation on defense and security.

The Singapore cybersecurity market is expected to reach $889 million in 2022, according to the U.S. International Trade Administration (ITA).

Singapore is even more focused on cybersecurity than usual because the government is migrating its information technology systems to the commercial cloud, aiming to get 70% of eligible government systems there by 2023, and plans for 5G deployment to cover the nation by the end of 2025.

The new DIS presents opportunities for Wisconsin companies in the information and communications technology sector to present their solutions and services.

For Wisconsin companies that supply telecommunications equipment, the U.S. and Singapore have a mutual recognition arrangement on telecom equipment certification, according to the ITA. The agreement lets telecom equipment that has passed tests in the U.S. to be exported to Singapore without the need for further testing, inspection, or certification in Singapore.

Wisconsin businesses can use GeBIZ, the Singapore government’s one-stop e-procurement portal, to register, search for, and bid on government procurement opportunities.




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