Singapore calls for Asean cooperation in cyber security
Singapore asked Asean nations last week to tighten their cooperation on cyber security to prevent internet crime, during a meeting with Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency (CSA).
During the week-long 9th Asean Journalists’ Visit Programme in Singapore, 13 journalists from Asean nations were briefed by agency staff on cyber security to promote security within their own workplaces.
CSA Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) Mr Ng Hoo Ming told the visiting group they were working with cyber security sectors in Asean by sharing experiences at the regional meeting. But some agencies had not sent enough representatives to the meeting so the CSA hoped that more agencies would participate and share lessons learnt in order to bolster cyber security in Asean.
“The world today is more connected than ever. Once we are online, we are all at risk of cyber threats such as phishing, malware attacks, attacks targeting critical systems, to advanced persistent threats,” Mr Ming said.
Last year, the CSA saw the impact of the WannaCry and notPetya malware attacks which affected 150 countries around the world, including Asean countries. Singapore itself was recently hacked on the healthcare institution, SingHealth, where the personal particulars of 1.5 million people were illegally accessed and copied.
“Hence, it’s critical that we get cyber security right so that we do not all become victims, and our people can reap the full benefits that technology promises. Combating cyber threats requires close cooperation with our international and regional partners,” he said.
At the Asean summit held in Singapore in April this year, regional leaders issued a joint statement on cyber security cooperation, in recognition of the growing urgency and sophistication of transboundary cyber threats.
The agency said the level of capacity in cyber security in the region is not the same so capacity building is needed in countries with less experience. Singapore is arranging meetings with these countries’ media to share experiences and lessons learnt in the field.
Assistant Manager at CSA Ms Stacey Hong said cyber security was a transboundary issue and could not be assigned neatly to a particular area of responsibility.
She explained that a secure and resilient rules-based cyberspace is a key enabler of economic progress and better living standards. Regional effort cooperation amongst Asean member states and ongoing norms discussions is important for Asean to work together to develop a rules-based order for cyberspace in the region.
The CSA also promoted the Computer Emergency Respond Team, known as CERT, which has teamed up with regional countries to alert them to cybercrime and other problems related to cyber security in Asean. They will work together on sharing information on the problem and continue to make public announcements to protect their devices.
The CSA was formed in April 2015 to provide dedicated and centralised oversight of Singapore’s cyber security functions with sector leads to protect Singapore’s critical services. It also engages with various industries and stakeholders to heighten cyber security awareness as well as to ensure the holistic development of Singapore’s cyber security landscape.