Strengthening national cyber defence through collaboration

The need for global collaborations is growing in the cybersecurity landscape.
The ever-changing cybersecurity landscape is evolving, and therefore collaborative approaches between organisations are of utmost importance

In today’s digital world, organisations face significant challenges when it comes to cybersecurity due to the increase in sophisticated threats and attacks. These advanced attacks have made safeguarding digital assets a top priority for a number of businesses, with many effectively implementing cybersecurity measures into their business practices and actively addressing the growing risks. 

With the cybersecurity landscape continuously changing, it can be like navigating a minefield; not to mention the substantial financial implications that are involved. This is why many organisations are turning towards a more collaborative approach, as it allows them to share the costs and distribute the workload more efficiently.

The positives of international collaboration

International collaborations are growing, and the need for global cooperation among nations, international and regional organisations, and other institutions, is accentuated by the borderless and ever-evolving complexity of cyber threats. Essentially, any actor, be it a nation or a non-governmental organisation, following its cybersecurity objectives, needs cooperation from a wide array of international partners.

It was announced that as part of Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW) 2023 and in order to strengthen the Republic’s national cyber defence, Singapore's Cyber Security Agency (CSA) is partnering with Microsoft and Google. Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the signing of separate agreements with both tech companies at the Singapore International Cyber Week event. 

The CSA discussed how the memorandums of understanding will enable cyber threat intelligence sharing, joint operations to deal with cybercrime, exchanges on emerging technologies like AI, and capacity-building efforts. The partnership underlines Singapore's commitment to a secure cyberspace and its willingness to work with key industry players. 

The Deputy Prime Minster stated that it is in the interests of big tech companies to build a digital domain that is secure, trusted and inclusive so that they can maximise their reach and impact.

“By working in partnership with the public sector, both sides can realise synergies and achieve better outcomes… We must encourage more of such public-private partnerships, to develop win-win solutions that safeguard and expand the public good,” he adds.

Why is it a collaborative effort?

The Deputy Prime Minister emphasised the importance of public-private partnerships, with the aim of creating secure, trusted, and inclusive digital domains. As well as this, nations and key industry players have a shared obligation to establish a resilient and safe digital environment.

These collaborations further Singapore's dedication to maintaining close cooperation with key players, with the agency expressing its willingness to welcome additional partnerships with other significant industry players. Google’s Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy for Asia-Pacific, Michaela Browning, says that the company is proud to deepen its commitment to building greater cyber resilience in Singapore.

“Generative AI will present novel security risks, including misinformation and cyber threats, but will also become the foundation for a new generation of cyber defences through advanced security operations and front-line intelligence, if we are bold and responsible with its development and regulation.” 

Microsoft Singapore managing director Lee Hui Li says: “Such international collaborations will enhance our customers’ trust in the digital domain as we leverage collective capabilities and innovate with AI to combat emerging cyber threats.”

Additionally, Singapore is launching the SG Cyber Leadership and Alumni Programme; a training initiative to meet the global demand for cyber education, offering courses at various levels and increasing networking opportunities. To support this program, Singapore will extend its funding commitment for cyber capacity building from 2024 to 2026. 

“As we navigate the digital revolution, we must remain focused on the end goal of enabling a safer, more prosperous, and more inclusive world,” Keat explains. “We must collectively lean forward to learn from and collaborate with one another, and shape the emerging digital order to be trusted, secure and inclusive.”

Both Google and Microsoft expressed their commitment to enhancing cyber resilience in Singapore, with a focus on utilising AI to combat emerging cyber threats. 

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