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  • Lawrence Ng

Singapore and US Agree on Coordinated Cyber Threat Response, Joint Cybersecurity Training

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

Singapore and the United States signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) that will cover the two countries’ actions towards cybersecurity threats.

Credit: AFP

This happened as U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris recently visited Singapore on official business with the intention to strengthen bilateral cooperation in various areas including defence and cybersecurity.

Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) Chief Executive David Koh and the U.S.’s Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Jen Easterly signed the first MOU, which will require both nations to facilitate regular communication of cyber threats data, coordinate cybersecurity incident response and carry out joint cybersecurity training and exercises.

According to Koh, the agreement will let the two countries pave the way for a safer cyber environment. "This expanded MOU is a testament of our shared vision to work together towards a stable, secure, resilient and interoperable cyberspace. We look forward to continuing our work with the U.S. to strengthen cybersecurity cooperation between our countries."

The official explained how cybersecurity is an important element that allows both nations to maximise digitalisation to improve their economies and their citizens’ lives.

Aside from the aforementioned contents, the MOU will also necessitate mutual guidance on cybersecurity trends and practices, joint cooperation in capacity building activities and cybersecurity awareness efforts for the constituents of Singapore and the U.S.

Commander of the United States (US) Indo-Pacific Command Admiral John Aquilino (left), Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong (centre) and Commander of the US Cyber Command General Paul Nakasone (right). Credit: MINDEF

On the other hand, Singapore’s Ministry of Defence and the U.S. Department of Defense signed the second MOU. The accord will institutionalise cyber cooperation between both countries’ defence organisations. Specifically, it will reinforce collaboration in information sharing, regional capacity building initiatives as well as military-to-military and technical exchanges.

The last MOU on cybersecurity cooperation was signed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It details that both parties will work towards enhancing the share of information related to the finance sector such as cybersecurity regulations, guidance, incidents and cybersecurity threat intelligence. The deal also entails the Treasury and MAS to conduct staff training, study visits and competency-building activities.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen emphasised the importance of the treaty, stating its impact on the economy.

"The United States and Singapore have a longstanding bilateral partnership. In our interconnected world, Treasury and MAS share common goals of maintaining strength and stability, as well as operational and cyber resilience in each country’s economy and financial system. The cybersecurity cooperation agreement will serve to improve the cyber resilience of both countries’ financial systems," said Yellen.


Written by Sophia Lopez

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