(From left) Jacqueline Poh, IDA's managing director, and Ashar Aziz, founder, vice chairman of the board, CTO and chief strategy officer of FireEye ,at the opening of the COE at AXA Tower on Wednesday (15 Junuary 2014).
FireEye, in partnership with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), has opened its first Asia Pacific Centre of Excellence (COE) at the AXA Tower in Singapore.
Doubling as FireEye's regional headquarters, the centre will house more than 100 cyber security professionals in Singapore over the next two years.
The centre seeks to grow manpower capabilities in the area of cyber security to deal with cyber threats. This is in line with Singapore's National Cyber Security Masterplan 2018. The masterplan aims to "have a ready pool of cybersecurity experts to help manage the new cyber environment with increasing threats," said Jacqueline Poh, IDA's managing director, at the launch of the COE on Wednesday (15 January 2014).
According to Ashar Aziz, founder, vice chairman of the board, CTO and chief strategy officer of FireEye, the first step of preventing security breaches is to understand the hackers. The COE will thus help organisations "understand the region's unique cyber attack tools and techniques."
FireEye will deliver training programs that are in line with Singapore's National Infocomm Competency Framework (NICF) at the centre. These programmes include the Dynamic Threat Intelligence, Detection Efficacy Analytics and Threat Response.
IDA and FireEye will also work closely to build partnerships with local ICT companies. IDA will "facilitate collaboration between the Institutes of Higher Learnings and local ICT companies... to develop at least 10 new malware detection and prevention application tools [on FireEye's Threat Protection Platform] to manage Advance Persistent Threats (APTs)," said Poh.
AP's security landscape in 2013
According to a FireEye study, Asia Pacific as a region is found to be two times more likely to be targeted by advanced cyber attacks than the global community in 2013. The launch of the COE is thus timely.
"Asia is a logical battleground for cyber attacks," said Ashar. This is because three of the top five patent offices, which represent over 45 percent of all patents filed worldwide, are now located in the region, according to the 2012 World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) report. By stealing information about a product that is an advanced stage, the cybercriminal could bring a similar product to market at much lower cost and effort.
The study also unveiled that South Korea and Japan were the top two countries in Asia that are most targeted during the past year. Advanced cyber attacks that specifically targeted the two countries were found to exploit the Internet Explorer SetMouseCapture Vulnerability and Internet Explorer CDisplayPointer Vulnerability.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.