As ASEAN Chair, Singapore pulled out all the stops for the third instalment of the Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW) on 18-20 September. Themed “Forging a Trusted and Open Cyberspace”, the premium event connected more than 8000 international cyber experts, policy-makers, academics, and industry leaders. Here are the key takeaways from the event.
ASEAN subscribes to 11 non-binding behaviour norms
The “ASEAN way” has always been able to blend a principles and a norms-based approach. Even for an issue, such as cybersecurity, that can polarise responses, this has allowed ASEAN members to collaborate. The ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity (AMCC) participants subscribed to 11 of the voluntary, non-binding norms recommended in the Report of the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts (UNGGE) back in 2015, demonstrating the region’s strong commitment to creating a more stable and secure cybersecurity framework and promoting socio-economic development.
Ramp up in cybersecurity capacity building in ASEAN
Singapore announced a SGD 30 million (USD 22 million) investment into the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre for Excellence (ASCCE) to respond to the current gap in the talent pool in the cybersecurity industry. The ASCCE will serve as a Cyber Think-Tank and Training Centre, a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Centre, and a Cyber Range Training Centre. Together with the much-anticipated ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre that launched in Bangkok on 14 September, the region is set to benefit from a slew of cybersecurity talent over the next few years.
Simultaneously, the Cybersecurity Agency of Singapore (CSA) announced the creation of the Singapore-UN Cyber Programme in partnership with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). The organisations will conduct an annual Norms Awareness Workshop and Cyber Policy Scenario Planning Workshop for representatives from the ASEAN member states. On a related note, the UNODA have developed a norms implementation toolkit with model policies, lessons, and resources.
Singapore open to work with private sector to enhance cybersecurity efforts
During the “Leadership Breakfast Roundtable on Regional Cybersecurity” held by the Cybersecurity Coalition for APAC (CCAPAC), CSA, and the US government, as well as over the course of the SICW, there was an active call among regulators, industry, and civil society for greater multistakeholder engagement on the issue of cybersecurity.
Singapore has already invited industry providers to develop innovative solutions to address specific cybersecurity challenges under its “Cybersecurity Industry Call for Innovation” initiative and launched a Government Bug Bounty programme calling for both international and local white-hat hackers to test selected, Internet-facing government systems and identify vulnerabilities.
Author: Seha Yatim, Policy Analyst, Access Partnership