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Update: Singapore to work with UK for secure cyberspace

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The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the UK Cabinet Office, agreeing to cooperate on four key areas.

Singapore has committed to work together with the United Kingdom to ensure a secure cyberspace for both countries.

The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the UK Cabinet Office, agreeing to cooperate on four key areas.

Both countries' computer emergency response teams (CERT) will collaborate to enhance responses to cybersecurity incidents.

Under the agreement, the joint cyber research and development collaboration between the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Singapore's National Research Foundation will also be extended, with funding doubled from S$2.5 million to S$5.1 million for cybersecurity academic research over three years.

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Both will also work to develop talent and build awareness, with Singapore collaborating with UK Cyber Security Challenge for a local edition of the new massive multiplayer online game (MMOG) -- Singapore will become the first international partner to licence an area of the MMOG.

The fourth area involves the sharing of best business practices in the protection of systems, quality of cyber security products/services and technical services.

Said David Koh, chief executive of CSA who signed the agreement: "This MOU paves the way for both Singapore and the UK to work closely together towards building a safe and reliable cyber space through enhanced research, talent development and information exchange. We look forward to bringing these initiatives to fruition in the coming months."

UK cyber security firm Darktrace welcomed the announcement, given how the growing frequency andsophistication of cyber-attacks has shown the importance of closer collaboration between countries.

“The stakes are higher than ever," said Darktrace CEO Nicole Eagan, who was part of UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s trade delegation.

“This agreement between Britain and Singapore is indicative of a growing trend towards international co-operation to combat cyber threats," she said. "The old systems and the old approaches to cybersecurity simply don’t work anymore, whether that’s individual countries trying to go it alone or whether it’s organisations thinking they can keep intruders out of their networks.”

More details on the MOU will be finalised during the next UK-Singapore Cyber Dialogue planned for later this year as well as the CERT-CERT engagement scheduled in September 2015, CSA said.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Mr Cameron. Yaacob Ibrahim, the minister in charge of cyber security, was also present at the ceremony.

Note: The article was updated to include the quote by Darktrace CEO Nicole Eagan.

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