Southeast Asian nations agree to strengthen cybersecurity

Southeast Asian nations have agreed to adopt cybersecurity rules following major data breaches in the region. Ministers in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations have agreed to 11 voluntary, non-binding norms of responsible behavior to strengthen cybersecurity; they have also agreed to regional capacity-building efforts to implement these norms. The norms include proposals for individual states to not knowingly allow their territory to be used neither to commit “wrongful acts using information and communications technology” nor to damage critical technological infrastructure.

Southeast Asia has seen a rise in major cyber-heists in recent years, including funds stolen from Bangladesh’s Central Bank and a breach of SingHealth, Singapore’s largest public healthcare group. Singapore’s status as a hyper-connected financial hub has made it a particularly attractive target for hackers.