29 September 2022

On 29 August 2022, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (“CSA”) released Singapore Cyber Landscape 2021 (“SCL 2021”), a publication that reviews Singapore’s cybersecurity situation in 2021 against the backdrop of global trends and events. SCL 2021 highlights that ransomware and phishing attacks that continued to threaten organisations and individuals in 2021.

Compared to 2020, the number of ransomware cases in Singapore in 2021 increased by 54% and affected mostly small and medium enterprises (“SMEs”) from sectors such as manufacturing and IT. CSA observed that ransomware groups targeting SMEs in Singapore utilised the Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) model. There was also an increase in phishing cases in 2021, with social networking firms making up more than half of the spoofed targets. Other key malicious activities in 2021 highlighted in SCL 2021 included malicious command and control servers and botnet drones, website defacements and cybercrime. Online scam cases made up the top cybercrime category in Singapore.

Anticipated cybersecurity trends

SCL 2021 also highlighted several cybersecurity trends to watch such as decreased global reliance on Western technology due to increased geopolitical tensions, non-State actors playing a larger role in geopolitical conflicts, rise of crypto-based scams and the targeting of critical Internet of Things (IoT) devices in ransomware attacks.

CSA’s efforts to strengthen collective cybersecurity posture

According to SCL 2021, CSA’s initiatives to combat new and emerging cyber threats included the following:

  • Launching of the SG Cyber Safe Programme in 2021 to help enterprises in Singapore better protect themselves in the digital domain and raise their cybersecurity posture.
  • Working with the Info-communications Media Development Authority to offer SMEs pre-approved cybersecurity solutions under the SMEs Go Digital Programme.
  • Setting up the Critical Information Infrastructure (“CII”) Supply Chain Programme to enhance the security and resilience of Singapore’s CII sectors.
  • Re-launching the “Better Cyber Safe Than Sorry” national cybersecurity awareness campaign later in 2022, focusing on raising awareness and driving adoption of good cybersecurity practices.

Reference materials

The following materials can be found on the Ministry of Communications and Information website www.mci.gov.sg: