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Singapore-U.S. Joint Exercise Strengthens Cyber Cooperation

A cross-border cybersecurity exercise was conducted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the United States Department of the Treasury (Treasury). The exercise allowed both agencies to put existing protocols for information exchange and incident response coordination for cyber incidents involving banks operating in both jurisdictions to test and strengthen them.

Given the increasing cyber threats targeting financial services, as well as the interconnectedness of the financial ecosystems in Singapore and the U.S., timely coordination, and cooperation during a cyber incident with cross-border implications are essential for prompt action and successful recovery of the affected operations.

As Singapore and the U.S. are major international financial hubs where several globally systemically important banks operate, the cyber resiliency of these institutions in the respective countries has systemic implications for global financial stability, according to the Assistant Managing Director (Technology) of MAS, Vincent Loy.

The exercise represents a significant milestone in the Treasury and MAS’ ongoing and close collaboration to strengthen their collective cybersecurity preparedness and safeguard financial stability.

On the other hand, Todd Conklin, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection at the Treasury, stated that this exercise represents an effort to strengthen cybersecurity cooperation and their ability to communicate in the event of a significant cross-border incident.

He added that they appreciate the cooperation of their Singaporean partners in making this feasible. Daily, they are reminded that cyber threats transcend all national borders, as threat actor activities have grown exponentially. Due to the interdependence of their financial systems, they can only be as robust as their weakest endpoint.

After the exercise, Treasury and MAS talked about what they had learned, how they could improve future exercises, and how they could include other international partners. They also looked into other ways to improve cybersecurity cooperation, such as holding bilateral workshops on cybersecurity policies and protocols.

Cyber exercises are crucial because it gives enterprises and agencies a chance to evaluate their cybersecurity policies, enhance incident response coordination, and discover system vulnerabilities. Organisations may improve their cyber resilience, be ready for real-world scenarios, and lessen the potential effect of cyber catastrophes by simulating cyber-attacks.

Additionally, cyber exercises give different organisations and jurisdictions a chance to collaborate and share information, which is essential in addressing cyber threats, which frequently have cross-border repercussions.

In addition, negotiations on a new and contemporary UK-Singapore Bilateral Investment Treaty (UKSBIT) have begun between Singapore and the United Kingdom (UK).

Singapore and the UK are both investor-friendly countries with significant and expanding stakes in each other’s markets, according to Minister-in-Charge of Trade Relations S Iswaran. By implementing a new UKSBIT that offers updated protections for Singapore investors entering the UK and vice versa, they can further solidify this crucial investment connection.

Both parties are going to discuss how to promote and facilitate two-way investment flows. The UK-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, the Digital Economy Agreement, and the Green Economy Framework are only a few examples of the recent bilateral economic cooperation that has gained significant momentum.

The old bilateral investment treaty, which went into effect in 1975, will be replaced by the new UKSBIT. To modernise the investment protection offered and, where necessary, investigate investment facilitation support, it will include strong and current laws on the treatment of investments and investors from Singapore and the UK.

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