Singapore’s new Cybersecurity Act set to improve security culture across Asian utilities

Singapore’s upcoming Cybersecurity Act is expected to heighten levels of cyber risk awareness among water, power and oil & gas utilities in Singapore and in other parts of Asia, according to a Black & Veatch security expert.

“As we’ve seen across the world’s banking and financial sector, utilities in Asia are now also realizing the need to build a security risk culture beyond the IT department,” said Dave Mayers, Senior Managing Director of Black & Veatch’s global Security, Risk & Resilience practice. “Singapore’s Cybersecurity Strategy does a good job underlining the importance for critical utilities to adopt a cybersecurity framework across the entire organization.”

Operations at critical human infrastructure facilities (power, water and oil & gas) are modernizing throughout Asia as the region’s economies and populations continue to grow. While advances in technology are enabling utilities to realize substantial operational benefits, the advent of smart grids, smart metering and Internet of Things (IOT) poses increasing security threats to utility assets and operations.

“While advances in smart grids and IoT technologies greatly enhance utility management, they are introducing new interdependencies and vulnerabilities across utilities’ entire asset and distribution portfolio,” said Harry Harji, Senior Managing Director of Black & Veatch’s management consulting business in Asia. “With such fast paced development, infrastructure owners need to secure their assets from sophisticated cyber attacks as well as physical threats through their front door.”

The comments come as Black & Veatch’s management consulting business launched its Security, Risk and Resilience offering in Singapore and Asia today. The company advocates a holistic, risk-based approach that focuses on utility resilience in the face of threats such as natural disasters, terrorism and cyber security.

Black & Veatch combines more than 100 years of physical infrastructure security design and construction capability with recognized subject matter expertise in utility cybersecurity, program development and implementation.

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