Singapore wants to cut off internet access for civil servants as a way to protect itself against cyber-attacks and espionage. It is reported that some ministries have already been disconnected from the Web. However, experts question the move and say that it will not improve cyber security all that much.
Singapore is well-known as a nation with some of the most advanced technology out there. Despite all this, it was recently surfaced that it is working on implementing a policy to suspend web access for civil servants. The policy should be in place by May next year.
Security experts say that there are great risks that the policy will decrease productivity among public servants. The disconnection will basically cut them off from the customers they have to serve. And the result in terms of cyber security? It might just slightly improve the defensive wall against attacks and espionage.
Other experts, however, tend to agree with the authorities and say that governments do not have many other options that to resort to this solution. According to cyber security company FireEye, Southeast Asian organizations stand an 80 percent higher chance of being hit by attacks than the global average.
Air-gapping is a network security measure used in national security agencies and other areas. However, it is not so common in government administrations. It’s not a bullet-proof measure. In 2015, researchers in Israel have shown how you can hack an air-gapped device using a GSM network, a feature phone, and electromagnetic waves. Furthermore, human decision is a big factor in loosening cyber security.
Much to everyone’s surprise, the decision was not triggered by an attack. Instead, the move was based on the realization that there was a lot of data needed to be secured and that the threat is real. Civil servants will still be allowed to surf the web, but they will do so on separate devices, either personal or agency-issued.
Because there are concerns that the employees’ productivity will drop after the disconnection from the web, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore ensures skeptics that it is working to find efficient solutions to keep the work process at the current level.
What do you think about the fact that Singapore wants to cut off internet access for civil servants? Is it a smart decision?
IMAGE SOURCE: BT