SINGAPORE (Sept 19): Singapore revealed Wednesday it will fully fund the $30 million budget for the Asean-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence (ASCCE) over the next five years until 2023.

However, the city state says other Asean member states and dialogue partners, including the US and Australia, are welcome to contribute via co-funding or by sending trainers.

“We have deliberately scoped the ASCCE to cover policy, strategy and legislation, as well as operations. It reflects our conviction of aligning cyber diplomacy efforts with operational issues,” says Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Cybersecurity, S Iswaran, at the opening of the Asean Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity.

The ASCCE will have three principal functions, serving as a cyber think-tank and training centre, a computer emergency response team centre, and a cyber range training centre.

It will conduct research and provide training in the areas from international law to cyber strategy, legislation to facilitating cyber threat and attack-related information and best practices, among others.

Seen as an expansion of the Asean Cyber Capacity Programme (ACCP) which was launched two years ago, the ASCCE will be housed within the premises of the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore CSA).

Singapore in 2016 launched the $10 million ACCP to help fund efforts to deepen cyber capacities across Asean.

“We believe that this alignment will facilitate coordination towards a unified Asean perspective, so that we can better secure our collective regional interests at international platforms,” says Iswaran.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean at the opening of the third annual Singapore International Cyber Week on Tuesday announced the setting up of the ASCCE to build the region’s cybersecurity capacity.

See: Singapore to spearhead fight against online threats with regional cybersecurity centre

“Cyber-attacks are no longer a question of if, but when and how far or how deep they can get in our systems,” Teo said.