Microsoft has launched the first Asia Pacific Public Sector Cyber Security Executive Council, bringing together policy makers from government and state agencies, as well as technology and industry leaders.
The Asia Pacific region currently experiences a higher-than-average encounter rate for malware and ransomware attacks, at around 1.6 times higher than the rest of the world. The council aims to build a strong communications channel for addressing these cyber threats and sharing best practices across the participating countries.
Joining the council are 15 policy makers from Brunei, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, supported by cybersecurity professionals from Microsoft. The council is set to meet virtually on a quarterly basis to maintain a continuous exchange of information on threats and solutions.
“Cybersecurity is an important national agenda that cannot rely solely on the back of the IT team,” said Haji Amirudin Abdul Wahab, CEO of CyberSecurity Malaysia. “It should be a priority and responsibility of all individuals, as we continue to see cybercriminal activities rise exponentially with the proliferation of data and digital connectivity. This coalition certainly establish stronger partnerships with industry leaders and practitioners that allow us to fortify our security postures and combat cybercrime.”
As part of the council, government agencies and state leaders will join a forum that includes Microsoft and its ecosystem of cybersecurity industry advisors. The aim of the forum is to share best practices, learn from Microsoft security certification trainings, dedicated workshops, and hands-on lab sessions, with a goal of driving improvements to the digital skills of the workforce to reduce the talent gap in cybersecurity across the participating nations. This will build on existing efforts to strengthen cybersecurity partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region, including through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise.
“Cyberthreats and attacks are inevitable in this interconnected world, which is why our collective strength and collaboration as a community is imperative,” said Sherie Ng, general manager of public sector for Microsoft Asia Pacific. “Today’s announcement is the first step towards defending our communities in cyberspace and I’m excited to announce the launch of the first APAC Public Sector Cybersecurity Executive Council with the founding members that include government leaders, policymakers, regulators, industry stakeholders across the region.”