Microsoft and Cyber Security Agency of Singapore Join Forces for Enhanced Cybersecurity

Discover the strengthened collaboration between Microsoft Singapore and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore to enhance cybersecurity and international partnerships.

As part of the Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW) 2023, Microsoft Singapore and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) have announced an expansion of their ongoing partnership. This collaboration will see both organizations commit to bolstering cybersecurity foundations and safeguarding Singapore’s digital space while also extending their reach into international alliances. Together, Microsoft and CSA are poised to enhance the exchange of information, analysis, and intelligence related to cyber threats, vulnerabilities, malicious activities, and incidents. Their goal is to create a more comprehensive database of threats and weaknesses.

Furthermore, this joint effort will provide support for cooperative investigations and operations to address incidents affecting critical information infrastructure systems within Singapore. The aim is to identify and dismantle malicious infrastructure that could be exploited for cybercrime or other digitally-enabled offenses. This transnational collaboration will span global, regional, and national cybersecurity initiatives, and it will involve capacity-building through joint workshops and training sessions focusing on Microsoft’s security solutions and its unique position in the security landscape, thanks to its investments in security research, innovation, and the global security community.

Tom Burt, Corporate Vice President of Customer Security and Trust at Microsoft, emphasized the significance of this long-term partnership with the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore. He highlighted the shared commitment to enhancing cybersecurity and resilience to foster trust and security in the digital realm. Burt also stressed the importance of international collaborations in harnessing collective capabilities, including emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, to combat evolving cyber threats.

Singapore faces an increasingly complex cybersecurity landscape, which has eroded trust in technology and underscored the pressing need for improved cybersecurity defenses. For instance, in the Microsoft Digital Defense Report 2023, Singapore, along with other nations in the South China Sea region, was identified as a target for intelligence collection. Singapore also ranked among the top 10 countries affected by cracked versions of Cobalt Strike, a tool exploited by cybercriminals to escalate and expand their access after compromising a victim’s system.

The report drew on Microsoft’s substantial investments in security research and its global security community, which consists of over 10,000 security and threat intelligence experts working together to combat a staggering rate of over 4,000 identity attacks per second. These experts leverage artificial intelligence to analyze more than 750 billion signals per second, providing insights to protect against digital threats and criminal cyber activities.

In the face of these challenges, cybersecurity defenders are pushed to innovate and collaborate more closely than ever to ensure a resilient online ecosystem. Singapore has emerged as one of the governments in the Asia-Pacific region that has renewed its focus on regulating critical infrastructure, with advancements in both cybersecurity risk requirements and cyber incident reporting.

David Koh, Chief Executive of CSA, emphasized the collaborative nature of cyber defense and the crucial role that major tech companies play in shaping the digital landscape. He expressed his anticipation of working closely with Microsoft to advance their shared mission of creating a safer cyberspace for all users.

Aside from partnering with various stakeholders in the public and private sectors to drive innovation and enhance security, Microsoft is also dedicated to building a skilled cybersecurity workforce. This effort is channeled through its “Let’s Skill Up” program, offering tailored learning paths to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based on their employees’ needs. To date, this nationwide initiative, coupled with Microsoft Learn courses, has benefited over 21,000 individuals who have acquired new skills in data, AI, cloud computing, and security.

Microsoft’s commitment to the CSA extends to its role as an Advocate Partner in the SG Cyber Safe Partner Programme. Their joint efforts are aimed at helping businesses adopt security innovations, achieve certification, and acquire security skills at scale, including through the Cyber Essentials mark certification and the more recent Cloud Companion Guides, which assist businesses in mitigating cloud-specific security risks and reducing their vulnerability to cyberattacks.

Recognizing the growing use of artificial intelligence by malicious actors to launch sophisticated cyberattacks, Microsoft has responded by introducing the Microsoft Security Copilot, currently in a private preview for select customers. This tool combines Microsoft’s extensive threat intelligence with AI capabilities to assist security professionals in detecting and responding to threats more swiftly. Microsoft’s range of defense solutions also includes Microsoft Defender for Cloud, a cloud-native platform designed to safeguard cloud applications against cyber vulnerabilities.

The deepening collaboration between Microsoft Singapore and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore represents a significant stride towards fortifying the nation’s cybersecurity landscape and fostering global security alliances. With the ever-evolving and complex nature of digital threats, this partnership demonstrates a shared commitment to building a safer and more resilient digital ecosystem, not only in Singapore but on the international stage. As technology continues to advance, it is these proactive, cooperative efforts that will empower defenders to stay ahead of cyber adversaries and ensure that the digital world remains a secure space for all users.