Cloud key to Singapore's Smart Nation Platform

NetworksAsia staff
03 Nov 2014

Speaking at the opening of CloudAsia 2014, IDA Singapore assistant chief executive, Khoong Hock Yun said that Singapore will look increasingly to the cloud on its journey to be a smart nation.

The Cloud will be crucial to achieving Singapore's "Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, All the time" goal of collecting and comprehending data for better services for the nation, he said.

Singapore reaffirmed its commitment to the cloud with a number of announcements around the technology like the its Cloud Service Provider Registry (CSP Registry) with near-real-time analytics, and the world's first Multi-Tier Cloud Security Singapore Standard last year to help users gain clarity over security provisioning by CSPs

CSP registry

Announced at CloudAsia 2014, the additions will give potential cloud consumers more information on performance and availability of an operator on top of current existing static listings via the registry. This offers interested customers almost real-time analytics on how various cloud services are faring to aid them when making a choice on which CSP to use.

Currently with six vendors in the registry, The CSP Registry was conceived to engender trust through transparency for the benefit of cloud adopters by making available online information about CSPs. This was facilitated by services such as a self-disclosure form and information on a CSP's Multi-Tier Cloud Security Singapore Standard (MTCS SS) certification.

IDA is collaborating with Dynatrace (formerly known as Compuware), who will provide the free use of software tools and expertise for this monitoring, and encourage operators to make pertinent information available on the CSP Registry as well.

Enhancing cloud security with MTCS

Security, however, continues to be one of the largest impediments to cloud adoption, Khoong said, which was why the IDA and the Singapore Standards Council, under the aegis of SPRING Singapore, launched the world's first Multi-Tier Cloud Security Singapore Standard (MTCS SS) last year to help users gain clarity over security provisioning by CSPs.

The MTCS SS provides specifications for CSPs to give clarity around their security service levels for customer understanding, while also increasing the level of accountability and transparency from them. Local CSPs which are keen to adopt the MTCS SS can tap on SPRING's Capability Development Grant based on their eligibility to cover up to 70% of qualifying project costs.

"The new accreditation programme provides a stringent set of criteria to ensure that certification bodies conduct good certification practices in accordance with international best practices. CSPs which are certified against the MTCS SS by accredited certification bodies will provide greater assurance on cloud security to cloud users," said Steven Tan, SPRING's group director (Quality & Standards).

While adopting the MTCS is voluntary, certification by a Certification Body will be a requirement for CSPs participating in future public cloud service bulk tenders from the Government. IDA has received 13 industry proposals for its next tender which is currently under evaluation.

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