Building cyber hygiene capacity in Asia

Cybersecurity is a global issue

A system or network vulnerability exploited on the other side of the world can quickly cause implications across geographical boundaries, directly impacting the critical infrastructure Americans rely on for their way of life. For this reason, the CISA Global Strategy calls for capacity building with our international partners to make cyberspace safer and more secure for their citizens—and ours.

In March, CISA conducted a series of first-of-their-kind capacity-building engagements overseas in Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia. The cyber hygiene workshops focused on highly interdependent sectors, including national defence, banking, business, aviation, and shipping sectors.

During the workshops, CISA cybersecurity and vulnerability management experts covered information technology/operational technology (IT/OT), industrial control systems, threat actors, threat intelligence, cyber-attack frameworks, workforce development tools, and case studies of common attacks. Major themes that emerged during the workshops included the need to develop greater cooperation between IT/OT; raise awareness of phishing and other attack vectors within organizations; and develop the public sector cybersecurity workforce.

To advance these longstanding strategic partnerships in Southeast Asia, CISA and the U.S. State Department worked closely with Thailand’s National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA), the Philippine Department of Information and Communications Technology, and Indonesia’s National Cyber and Crypto Agency. Indonesia is the largest member state in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which develops mutually beneficial dialogues, cooperation, and partnerships on behalf of its member states. Indonesia is also home to the ASEAN secretariat. Thailand and the Philippines are long-time treaty allies of the United States, and many major American financial firms rely on core business processing, such as call centres and back-office operations, outsourced to the Philippines.

Thailand’s NCSA Secretary General Amorn Chomchoey expressed deep appreciation to CISA for the workshop, noting that it was his “dream” to enhance collaboration between his agency and CISA.

Fleur-de-lis Nadua, the Philippine Department of Information and Communications Technology planning officer, who leads the secretariat for the country’s National Cybersecurity Inter-Agency Committee added, “There’s so much to learn from CISA. What we worked on this week is very useful for Philippine cybersecurity and for protecting critical infrastructure.”

The workshops not only helped our international partners build their capacity to extend our collective defence, but also heightened our partnerships in Southeast Asia, helping us build a secure and resilient cyber ecosystem across the globe.



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