New Centre aims to foster stronger regional collaboration with Interpol, computer emergency response teams, Internet service providers and enterprises to advance global fight against cybercrime
SINGAPORE – 16 February 2015 – Microsoft today officially launched its new Cybercrime Satellite Centre in Singapore, one of five globally including in Beijing, Berlin, Tokyo and Washington. Set up as a satellite extension of the Microsoft Cybercrime Center in Redmond, USA, the Centre in Singapore will serve as the regional hub for Microsoft to undertake cybercrime and cybersecurity initiatives in the Asia Pacific region, through public-private partnerships and cross-industry collaboration. The Centre will support all major Southeast Asian countries as well as Australia, India, Korea and New Zealand. The launch ceremony was officiated by Mr S Iswaran, Singapore Minister in Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs.
Cyber borders are blurring with cybercriminals located worldwide, making it increasingly challenging for any one organization to fight cybercrime alone. Rising sophistication in cybercrime and its devastating impact on governments, industry and individuals has also made the sharing of cyber threat intelligence key to an effective cybersecurity ecosystem.
In line with Microsoft’s commitment to create a safer digital world by disrupting cybercrime and reducing digital risks, Microsoft works closely with the Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore, industry partners, law enforcement, computer emergency response teams (CERTs), Internet service providers (ISPs), enterprises and academia to advance strong cybersecurity capabilities and practices.
“We know that people won’t use technology they don’t trust. At Microsoft, building trust is in our DNA. Today, we are taking another step forward in our efforts to protect people and organizations in the Asia Pacific with the launch of the Cybercrime Satellite Centre in Singapore. It will be an important hub for us to advance our cybersecurity work throughout the region. Through the Centre, we will bring strategic threat intelligence sharing more directly to regional key stakeholders and drive deeper collaboration on cybersecurity with our Digital Crimes Unit in fighting malware and reducing digital risk in Asia Pacific,” said Cesar Cernuda, President, Microsoft Asia Pacific.
One of the core priorities for the Centre is to reduce malware-related infections in Singapore and the Asia Pacific region, by collaborating with third-party partners under Microsoft’s Cyber-Threat Intelligence Program. The program leverages strong community based relationships and collaboration to collectively analyze and assess existing local and regional cybersecurity threats. It will develop detection, identification, notification and threat remediation programs to benefit governments, organizations and individuals.
A second focus is to create deeper awareness about rising cybercrime threats, enhance the understanding of the value of trusted digital platforms and cloud computing, as well as build global best practices on preventive measures for a safer internet ecosystem. This will be driven primarily by Microsoft through the provision of strategic support to customers and partners in fostering robust IT governance models and helping with threat intelligence capabilities delivered through the cloud.
“We welcome Microsoft’s move to open this Cybercrime Satellite Centre in Singapore in response to the growing cybercrime challenges we see today. Criminal syndicates are becoming more sophisticated and adept at taking advantage of our increasingly networked society. In Singapore alone, a 2013 report cited that the average direct cost of cybercrime per victim was four times the global average and almost double that of the previous year. Through actions like malware forensics and working with law enforcement to take down botnets, Microsoft’s Cybercrime Centre will be an important addition to the cyber defence ecosystem here, helping businesses and individuals to protect their most valued digital assets,” said Ms Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.
Cybercrime is a booming business for organized crime groups all over the world. A study published by International Data Corp (IDC) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) in March 2014 revealed that businesses worldwide will spend nearly US$500 billion in 2014 to deal with the problems caused by malware on pirated software, and the figure for enterprises in Asia Pacific amounts to almost US$230 billion. Meanwhile, individual consumers in Asia Pacific are expected to spend US$11 billion because of security threats and costly computer fixes. The study was released as part of Microsoft’s “Play It Safe” campaign, a global initiative to create greater awareness of the connection between malware and piracy. Details of the study can be found on the Play It Safe website.
“Rising sophistication in cybercriminal activities is leading to newer ways to break into computer systems to obtain personal details such as identity, private information, passwords, money, and confidential and sensitive business and financial information. The Microsoft Digital Crime Unit’s primary focus is on putting an end to these malicious acts to keep personal and financial data safe and secure. The Satellite Centre in Singapore further extends our international reach against cybercrime and supports Microsoft’s ongoing efforts to fight malware crimes, reduce digital risks and protect vulnerable populations online,” said Keshav Dhakad, Regional Director, Digital Crimes Unit, Microsoft Asia.