IT security needs to be 'more progressive'

Infocomm security needs to be user-friendly and yet be tapped upon to power new business models, says Singapore government official.
Written by Vivian Yeo, Contributor

SINGAPORE--The public sector, businesses and IT users need to adopt a "more progressive" or positive perspective in dealing with infocomm security, according to a local government official.

Despite the pervasiveness of IT, many still believe that security is inconvenient or threatens the user experience, associate professor Ho Peng Kee, Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs, pointed out Tuesday at the Governmentware 2008 conference and exhibition. The three-day event is an annual platform for the public and private sectors to discuss developments in the IT security space.

"The Singapore approach sees infocomm security not as a problem, but as an opportunity," noted Ho. "When coupled with greater innovation, infocomm security can enable organizations to evolve new business models, realize cost savings or even generate new revenue streams."

Cyber threats, added Ho, are not only growing but attackers are also increasingly packaging "attack software to be truly user friendly and give a rewarding experience to non-expert users".

"There is very little that countries can do to stop this trend, except to harden their IT infrastructure using IT defenses that must be equally user-friendly and easy to deploy," he said. The infocomm security experience should be a positive experience for all, whereby users do not need to feel undue pain and anguish."

Addressing cyber threats to national security will continue to require cooperation from both public and private sectors, said Ho. To that end, the senior minister of state announced a partnership between Microsoft and the Singapore Management University. The software giant will inject expertise and help develop undergraduate curriculum in areas such as computer forensics, to help boost the capabilities of potential IT security professionals.

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