Preventing the next privacy breach

Preventing the next privacy breach

Information and communication networks have become a fundamental part of Singapore's critical infrastructure.

Vast amounts of personal data are collected and processed by commercial organisations over these networks daily. This inevitably raises the risk of privacy breaches, when data is accessed or disclosed without proper authorisation.

Now, this scenario has come to pass after the personal data of more than 300,000 customers of karaoke chain K Box was posted online ("K Box members feeling angry and insecure"; yesterday).

I am worried that criminals could use the data to commit identity theft. K Box customers should monitor their credit reports and billing statements, and report any unusual activities to the police immediately.

The incident serves as a timely reminder to companies to safeguard their customers' data. They must invest in better cyber security measures, such as developing and enforcing IT policies across their networks and data protection systems, and using software to detect and block the leak of personal data in the event of a cyber attack.

The Government, through the Infocomm Development Authority, regularly engages the private sector on cyber security issues through platforms such as seminars and SME Infocomm Resource Centres. I hope more companies will take advantage of these platforms to strengthen their cyber defences.

Teh Qin Chuan

This article was first published on September 18, 2014.
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