15 policy makers and private technology agencies have been banded together to achieve herd-immunity against incessant cyberattacks in the region.

A coalition of policy makers from government and state agencies, as well as technology and industry leaders, has been formed to fight cybercrime in the Asia Pacifc region (APAC).

The first Asia Pacific Public Sector Cyber Security Executive Council brings together 15 policy makers from Brunei, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, supported by cybersecurity professionals from Microsoft, the firm that initiated this project. The three founding members are: CyberSecurity Malaysia, National Information Society Agency Korea, and National Cybersecurity Agency Thailand.

This collective aims at accelerating public-private partnerships in cybersecurity, while promoting a broader sharing of threat intelligence to preempt and manage cyberattacks. The council is set to meet virtually on a quarterly basis to maintain a continuous exchange of information on cyber threats and cybersecurity solutions.

Public-private partnerships matter

As part of the council action plan, government agencies and state leaders will join a forum that includes Microsoft and an 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.

Members of the Asia Pacific Public Sector Cyber Security Executive Council will share experiences and knowledge pertaining to cyber threats and will work to drive greater collaboration and cooperation between countries. This effort will build on existing efforts to strengthen cybersecurity partnerships in the Asia-Pacific, including through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and Global Forum on Cyber Expertise.

Said Sherie Ng, General Manager, Public Sector, Microsoft Asia Pacific: “Cyberthreats and attacks are inevitable in this interconnected world, which is why our collective strength and collaboration as a community is imperative … Our joint mission is to build a strong coalition, to strengthen our cyber security defense.”

With most technology infrastructure owned and operated by private companies; the firm believes that it is mission critical for governments to form coalitions with leading tech companies to lead effective cyber-defense strategies and safeguard our region attackers.

APAC continues to experience a higher-than-average encounter rate for malware and ransomware attacks: 1.6 and 1.7 times higher respectively than the rest of the world.