MAS, US Treasury pledge deeper collaboration in cybersecurity in new MoU

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the US Treasury have inked a series of memorandums of understanding (MOUs) to widen their collaboration in cybersecurity across defence, financial, and research and development.

Three MOUs as part of US Vice President Kamala Harris’ three-day visit to the Asian nation this week. The agreement between the US Treasury Department and the MAS “recognizes the importance of deepening cooperation in new domains to deal with the challenges of the 21st century,” the Treasury Department said.

The initiative will encompass further information sharing, joint exercises, training, and competency development. The agreement is designed to enhance bilateral cooperation by improving information sharing related to the financial sector around regulations and guidance and cybersecurity incidents and threat intelligence, staff training and study visits to promote cooperations well as competency-building activities – such as cross-border cyber exercises.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said, “The United States and Singapore have a long-standing bilateral partnership. In our interconnected world, Treasury and MAS share common goals of maintaining strength and stability, as well as operational and cyber resilience in each country’s economy and financial system. The cybersecurity cooperation agreement will serve to improve the cyber resilience of both countries’ financial systems.”

Ravi Menon, who heads Singapore’s Monetary Authority, added, “Close cooperation is essential to ensure the cyber resilience of our financial systems. This [agreement] between the Treasury and MAS will be particularly useful in the areas of cyberthreat information sharing and cross-border cybersecurity exercises.”

Another agreement, between the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore “will enhance information exchange on cyberthreats and defensive measures, increase coordination for cyber incident response and enable cybersecurity capacity building across Southeast Asia,” the White House said.

The two government agencies will look to include new areas of cooperation in critical technologies as well as research and development, amongst others.

CISA Director Jen Easterly said, “Cyber threats don’t adhere to borders, which is why international collaboration is a key part of the … administration’s approach to cybersecurity. The [agreement] allows us to strengthen our existing partnership with Singapore so that we can more effectively work together to collectively defend against the threats of today and secure against the risks of tomorrow.”

Chief executive at Singapore’s Cyber Security Agency David Koh said that the agreement “is a testament of our shared vision to work together toward a stable, secure, resilient and interoperable cyberspace.”

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