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Microsoft launches 1st APAC public sector cybersecurity executive council

To effectively combat cyberattacks in the region, technology giant Microsoft formed a coalition that will enable governments to build cyber defenses to protect organizations and nations. The Asia Pacific Public Sector Cyber Security Executive Council brings together a coalition of policymakers and technology and industry leaders, to share best practices to address cyberthreats.

The council is composed of 15 policymakers from Brunei, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, and supported by cybersecurity professionals from Microsoft.

“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, GM, Public Sector, Microsoft Asia Pacific. “The announcement is the first step toward defending our communities in cyberspace.”

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Based on a report from cybersecurity solutions firm Kaspersky, APAC has become the most targeted by ransomware with engineering and manufacturing as top sectors affected by cyberattacks.

Microsoft aims to accelerate public-private partnerships in cybersecurity while promoting a broader sharing of threat intelligence to be better positioned to respond in the event of attacks. At the forefront of the council’s vision is the drive to build a community where threat intelligence, technology, and resources can be shared in a timely and open manner. The council is set to meet virtually on a quarterly basis to maintain a continuous exchange of information on cyber threats and cybersecurity solutions.

Cyberdefense strategies

With most technology infrastructure owned and operated by private companies, Microsoft realizes that it is also mission critical that governments form coalitions with leading IT companies to lead effective cyberdefense strategies and safeguard the region against attackers.

As part of the Asia Pacific Public Sector Cyber Security Executive Council, government agencies and state leaders will join a forum that includes Microsoft and its ecosystem of cybersecurity industry advisors. The forum will feature Microsoft security certification training, workshops, and hands-on lab sessions, with the goal of driving improvements to the digital skills of the workforce to reduce the talent gap in cybersecurity across the participating nations. 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.