Earlier this month, the regional ministerial conference held in Singapore had announced the ASEAN Cyber Capacity Programme (ACCP), which cost nearly US$10 million. Being in effect from April 2017, this 5-year initiative aims to enhance the cyber security practices and know-how among ASEAN state members.
In my opinion, the official launch is a bold and feasible move to tackle cyber-crimes – the Achilles’ heel for the development of this dynamic market. ASEAN countries previously did not raise enough awareness among offices and private companies, not to mention having swift, united response in case of cyber threats. However, the increasing significance of this economic bloc, together with the influx of foreign investors, has demanded better approaches and legislations. ACCP will be the first joined initiative to provide the foundation or the common ground for regional cooperation in three areas: cyber capacity building, cyber space awareness and cyber norms.
As the money, training and resources are invested in corresponding areas; ACCP not only helps state members develop their own nationwide agenda, but also establishes an ASEAN position to contribute to the global cyber security conversations. I hope this positive and timely collaboration will bring ASEAN’s cyber space a leap closer to the global standard and, therefore, attract more foreign companies to safely invest in the region.