Senior Director, Southeast Asia, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Vice President, Cyber Policy and Operations, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
October 25, 2023
The escalating sophistication of cyberattacks can pose an existential challenge for business and governments alike. In today’s rapidly evolving security landscape, public and private sectors can't afford to be complacent. Cyberattacks are now among the top risks that government and business leaders face.
With that stark reality in mind, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce attended this month’s Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW), together with thousands of other business and government representatives from around the world.
The problem we assembled together to tackle is growing: Nearly 4,000 new cyberattacks occur every day around the world. Every 14 seconds, a company falls victim to a ransomware attack. This year, the average cost of a data breach in the United States is $9.48 million, with similar losses elsewhere.
Fittingly, the theme of this year’s SICW was “Building Trust and Security in the Emerging Digital Order.” A shared commitment to trust, security, and international law unites us all in a shared purpose to defend the open, interoperable, and reliable internet. That underpinned the U.S. Chamber’s message to business and government leaders as we led this year’s delegation to SICW.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation, represents many of the world’s leading cybersecurity and technology companies inventing and investing in cutting-edge technologies to make the world safer and more resilient to cyberattacks.
As the frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks increase, our members are committed to deepening cybersecurity spending, adopting technical consensus standards, and partnering with governments on developing risk-based, outcome-focused cybersecurity plans.
We know that strong cybersecurity requires international collaboration and true public-private partnership. U.S. Chamber member companies have unique insights into the cyber threat landscape and can enhance security and reliance when fused with government intelligence.
A critical technology for cybersecurity and the digital economy is and will increasingly be artificial intelligence, which will revolutionize global economies and societies and is projected to increase global economic growth by $13 trillion by 2030. However, for this vast potential to be realized, governments and technology companies must ensure that appropriate protections are enabled to manage potential risks.
In anticipating the future of critical and emerging technologies and their role in a digital society, we must collectively take steps today to defend tomorrow. This requires a shift in technology development from “first to market” to “first to security.” As artificial intelligence, next-generation telecommunications networks, and connected consumer electronics are developed, security must play a foundational role at the outset. Companies must design and innovate with security in mind to make it harder for attackers to exploit our increasingly digital society.
We commend the governments of the U.S. and Singapore for their commitment to cross-border data transfers. Data mobility with trust and privacy protections supports economic growth and makes it easier to defend against cyberattacks. Not only is the free flow of data critical to cybersecurity, it is economically significant and a driver for international trade, especially in the financial services, healthcare, and shipping industries.
Unfortunately, we have observed governments turn inward on the free flow of data. The U.S. Chamber will continue to champion data governance supportive of both free trade and digital trade. We hope the governments attending SICW will look to Singapore and the U.S. as model leaders that have created trust-based frameworks to support the seamless, responsible movement of information across borders.
Singapore is a leader in this space. Under the leadership of Josephine TEO, Singapore’s Minister for the Ministry of Communication and Information, and David KOH, the chief executive of the Cyber Security Agency (CSA), Singapore has expanded its cyber infrastructure, securing its reputation as a small city-state with an outsized impact as a global cybersecurity forerunner. Just last year, Singapore established its fourth military branch, the Digital and Intelligence Service, aimed at threats in the digital domain and capitalizing on emerging digital technologies.
Singapore, with its leadership and commitment to digital defense, provides an inspiring backdrop for this critical yearly discussion. We need to carry forward the spirit of collaboration and the imperative of trust-building in our digital age. The journey to a safer and more secure digital future is one we must all undertake together, fortified by the lessons and experiences shared at this month’s pivotal Cyber Week.