Singapore’s public sector locks down on USB device usage

Public servants will only be able use authorised USB storage devices.

Singapore’s public service agencies will bar its employees from using unauthorised USB devices from July 25.

According to Singapore newspaper Today, agencies will maintain their own pool of devices that meet minimum security requirements. These will then be shared and distributed to staff on a “working need basis”.

The new policy is part of an ongoing initiative in the public sector to beef up IT security.

It follows on the back of a previous “Internet separation policy” which prevents public servants from accessing the internet from their individual workstations. Instead, staff must use common computers or government-issued tablet to get on to the World Wide Web.

“We will continue to educate all public officers on the evolving cyber-risks and stay responsive and alert to the cyber threat landscape," said a spokesman from the Government Technology Agency of Singapore.

Singapore also recently began public consultation on a proposed Cybersecurity Bill, which sets out responsibilities for owners of critical information infrastructures in sectors such as banking and finance.

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