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Singapore: Nurturing Regional Cyber Resilience

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NUS and a Temasek-backed cybersecurity firm, with support from the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), held the inaugural APAC Congress that aims to catalyse innovation in the regional cyber landscape. The milestone event is a key outcome of the partnership between the NUS-CSA CyberSG Talent, Innovation and Growth (TIG) Collaboration Centre and the cybersecurity firm established last year.

Bringing together over 200 participants, including Chief Information Security Officers as well as representatives from government agencies, academia and start-ups, the invitation-only congress highlighted the critical role of cybersecurity in ensuring economic resilience, national security and societal well-being. The congress featured insightful discussions, including keynote presentations, panel discussions and an Innovation Showcase spotlighting leading cybersecurity start-ups, including several supported by NUS.

Professor Chen Tsuhan, NUS Deputy President (Innovation and Enterprise) commented that as Asia becomes a global economic powerhouse, the key to strengthening cyber resilience lies in building a strong cybersecurity ecosystem driven by innovation and talent. He believes the partnership with the cybersecurity firm on the CHARTER initiative marks a significant step in gathering cyber professionals in the APAC region to address strategic challenges.

In her speech, Guest-of-Honour Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity, underscored the importance of a whole-of-ecosystem effort that includes partnerships with the industry and academia to sustain trust within the digital domains.

Image credits: National University of Singapore, News

In her opening remarks, Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity, emphasised the significance of cybersecurity and highlighted a “whole-of ecosystem” effort needed to build and maintain trust in the digital realm.

“By now, cybersecurity has become a global imperative. In every aspect of our lives where there is a digital dimension, there will also be concerns about cyber risks. Likewise in Singapore, where digital developments are relatively advanced, we have learnt to value cybersecurity and to prioritise the development of strong capabilities,” said Mrs Teo.

Cybersecurity professionals face a complex and ever-evolving cyber landscape, influenced by global economic pressures and geopolitical differences. The fireside chat, featuring Mr Bilahari Kausikan, Chairman of the Middle East Institute at NUS, provided insights into navigating these challenges. One suggestion was the potential for forming coalitions among like-minded countries to tackle specific cybersecurity issues collaboratively.

What makes a cyber ecosystem thrive? Is it about nurturing a skilled workforce? Or does it also involve strategic investments to fuel the growth of innovative solutions and start-ups? These questions were explored in-depth during a panel discussion moderated by Professor Simon Chesterman, NUS Vice Provost (Educational Innovation). The panel of cyber experts from government agencies, academia, and the industry discussed the three elements essential for building a thriving cyber ecosystem –  talent, capital and innovation.

At the Innovation Showcase, the CyberSG TIG Collaboration Centre team shared insights on various Talent, Innovation and Growth initiatives aimed at growing the cybersecurity ecosystem. This includes supporting cybersecurity companies to expand their reach beyond Singapore.

Notably, it was announced by Mrs Josephine Teo at the congress that the CyberSG TIG Collaboration Centre will be leading a delegation of Singapore cybersecurity companies to London in June 2024 to understand common cybersecurity problems, forge connections and broaden their business reach.

Additionally, two NUS-supported cybersecurity start-ups presented their innovative solutions at the showcase. One demonstrated its continuous application security verification platform, empowering developers to address security vulnerabilities in both web and mobile applications. The other showcased how its holistic, real-time risk management tools enable enterprises to make informed cyber risk decisions.


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