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More cybersecurity cooperation between Singapore, US in public, defence and financial sectors

More cybersecurity cooperation between Singapore, US in public, defence and financial sectors

US Vice President Kamala Harris meets Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a bilateral meeting at the Istana in Singapore on Aug 23, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Evelyn Hockstein/Pool)

SINGAPORE: The United States and Singapore have signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) to expand cooperation on cybersecurity, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Monday (Aug 23).

The MOUs cover cybersecurity in the public, defence and financial sectors.

They come as US Vice President Kamala Harris is on a three-day official visit to Singapore, where she is looking to deepen bilateral cooperation in multiple areas including defence and cybersecurity.

The first MOU was signed by Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) chief executive David Koh and director of the US’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Jen Easterly. It builds on a similar MOU signed in 2016.

This MOU will establish cooperation in areas like regular exchange of information on cyber threats, coordination of response to cybersecurity incidents, and joint cybersecurity training and exercises, CSA said in a statement on Monday.

It also covers mutual guidance on prevailing cybersecurity trends and best practices, joint cooperation in capacity building activities as well as raising cybersecurity awareness among respective constituents.

Mr Koh said Singapore and the US share “deep mutual interests” in improving cybersecurity cooperation, particularly as cybersecurity has become a “key enabler” for both countries to utilise the benefits of digitalisation to grow their economies and improve lives.

Ms Easterly said the borderless nature of cyber threats makes international collaboration a “key part” of the current US administration’s approach to cybersecurity.

“The MOU allows us to strengthen our existing partnership with Singapore so that we can more effectively work together to collectively defend against the threats of today and secure against the risks of tomorrow,” she said.

CSA said the MOU will expand into new areas of cooperation, like critical technologies as well as research and development.

CYBERSECURITY IN DEFENCE AND FINANCIAL DOMAINS

Separately, Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the US’ Department of Defense also signed an MOU on cyberspace cooperation, aimed at institutionalising cyber cooperation between both defence establishments.

Signed on Aug 20, the MOU will improve cooperation in information sharing, ops-to-ops and technical exchanges, as well as collaboration in regional capacity building efforts.

"Such cooperation and engagements are professionally valuable, and help to build mutual understanding, and facilitate info-sharing and collaboration between trusted partners in capacity-building efforts," MINDEF said in a statement on Monday.

The Memorandum of Understanding concerning cooperation in cyberspace was signed by Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong, Commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command Admiral John Aquilino and Commander of the US Cyber Command General Paul Nakasone. (Photo: MINDEF)

A third MOU on cybersecurity cooperation was signed between Singapore’s Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the US’ Department of the Treasury, aimed at maintaining and strengthening bilateral institutional ties.

The MOU, which was signed on Aug 11, will cover information sharing related to the financial sector. This includes cybersecurity regulations and guidance, cybersecurity incidents, and cybersecurity threat intelligence.

There will also be staff training and study visits, as well as competency-building activities including the conduct of cross-border cybersecurity exercises, MAS said in a statement on Monday.

Source: CNA/ga
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