The Republic on Tuesday (Oct 11) announced the launch of its S$10 million ASEAN Cyber Capacity Programme aimed at enhancing the cybersecurity resources and know-how among fellow Southeast Asian member states.
Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said at the ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity that the money will pay for resources, expertise and training, so that the countries will be equipped to drive and take ownership of their respective cybersecurity agenda.
“More specifically, the programme will provide the resources to broaden the scope of capacity building activities and better hone technical skills and incident response,” Dr Yaacob, who is also the Minister-in-charge of Cybersecurity, said. “It will also support discussion and consultancy work in areas such as the formation of national cybersecurity agencies, formulating cybersecurity strategies, and even legislation.”
He added: “The flexibility of the ACCP funding allows us to channel efforts to where they are most needed and can be most effective.”
SIGNING ON WITH CYBERGREEN
The Minister also announced at the conference that Singapore is a sponsor of the global initiative CyberGreen. The project aims to give countries awareness of the state of cyber health and potential vulnerabilities within their borders and, with the information, they can take preventive action to deal with these risks, he said.
“The better a country’s cyber health, the ‘greener’ it will be,” Dr Yaacob said. “Over time, CyberGreen will develop robust cyber health metrics. These will allow practitioners and policy-makers to assess how our countries, and ASEAN as a whole, are progressing on the cybersecurity front.”
He said because of Singapore’s sponsorship, all ASEAN member states will be able to access CyberGreen for free and get a “first cut report” on the state of their countries’ cyber health status.
The Minister also expressed his hope that more countries will join the global initiative.
Dr Yaacob also noted it is “timely” for ASEAN to start dialogue on cyber norms, as these conversations “contribute to international peace and stability in cyberspace, and foster an environment of trust”.
“Singapore will be pleased to work with fellow member states and dialogue partners to develop (Southeast Asia’s) regional understanding of cyber norms, and arrive at an ASEAN position,” he said. “This ASEAN perspective can be our joint contribution to global conversations.”