US and Singapore sign agreement to bolster cybersecurity across government agencies

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Jessica Haworth

24 August 2021 at 15:43 UTC

Updated: 24 August 2021 at 17:05 UTC

Memorandum of Understanding will strengthen knowledge sharing practices

The US and Singapore have signed an agreement to enhance cooperation and knowledge sharing about cyber threats targeting financial agencies.

A Memorandum of Understanding on Cybersecurity Cooperation was signed, the US announced yesterday (August 23), to deepen “cooperation in new domains to deal with the challenges of the 21st century”.

The agreement was confirmed during Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to the city state. 

READ Singapore to introduce mandatory data breach notification law

A government press release said:

“Specifically, the MoU enhances cooperation between the US Treasury and the Monetary Authority of Singapore in the following areas:

  • “Information sharing relating to the financial sector including cybersecurity regulations and guidance, cybersecurity incidents, and cybersecurity threat intelligence;
  • “Staff training and study visits to promote cooperation in the area of cybersecurity; and
  • “Competency-building activities such as the conduct of cross-border cybersecurity exercises.”

Information exchange

The US and Singapore have exchanged information on cyber threats since 2018, the statement explains.

Secretary of the US Treasury Janet Yellen said the two countries share “common goals of maintaining strength and stability, as well as operational and cyber resilience in each country’s economy and financial system”.

Managing Director of MAS Ravi Menon said: “This MoU between the Treasury and MAS will be particularly useful in the areas of cyber threat information sharing and cross-border cybersecurity exercises.

“It will also help cement what is already a strong and fruitful partnership between the two institutions.”

Tighten up

The US has bolstered the cyber defenses of federal agencies in recent years. For example, President Joe Biden enacted an executive order mandating that US vendors that supply the government with software must inform them of any security breaches.

Meanwhile Singapore, which enacted its Cybersecurity Act in 2018, has also tightened security within its government, for example by establishing a framework for the legal oversight and maintenance of national cybersecurity.

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