Microsoft launches cybercrime centre in Singapore

  • Centre to foster stronger regional collaboration with Interpol
  • One core priority is to reduce malware-related infections in Asia Pacific

Microsoft launches cybercrime centre in Singapore

MICROSOFT Corp has officially launched its new Cybercrime Satellite Centre in Singapore, one of the five globally including in Beijing, Berlin, Tokyo and Washington.

Set up as a satellite extension of the Microsoft Cybercrime Centre in Redmond, United States, 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 company said in a statement.

The Singapore centre will support all major South-East Asian countries as well as Australia, India, South Korea and New Zealand.

Microsoft said it 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.

“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 MIcrosoft Asia Pacific president Cesar Cernuda.

One of the core priorities for the centre is to reduce malware-related infections in the Asia Pacific region, by collaborating with third-party partners under Microsoft’s Cyber-Threat Intelligence Programme.

The programme leverages community-based relationships and collaboration to collectively analyse and assess existing local and regional cybersecurity threats, Microsoft said.

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 strategic support to customers and partners in fostering robust IT governance models and helping with threat intelligence capabilities.

“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," said Jacqueline Poh, managing director of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).

"Through actions like malware forensics and working with law enforcement to take down botnets, Microsoft's Cybercrime Satellite Centre will be an important addition to the cyberdefence ecosystem here, helping businesses and individuals to protect their most valued digital assets,” she added.

Cybercrime is a booming business for organised 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 would 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.

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