Pacific Forum and Australia’s DFAT to elevate cybersecurity capacity in Southeast Asia through Cyber ASEAN project

Pacific Forum, in partnership with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Cyber and Critical Tech Cooperation Program, is proud to launch Cyber ASEAN: Advancing Cyber Competency and Resiliency in Southeast Asia. A flagship project of Pacific Forum’s Cybersecurity and Critical Technologies program, Cyber ASEAN is a capacity building and development initiative that aims to support the region’s development of its own cybersecurity assessment framework to protect and strengthen critical national infrastructure. 

Through a series of local and regional workshops and in-depth research, Cyber ASEAN will engage key stakeholders from government, private sector, academia, and civil society groups among its four pilot countries: the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Guided by the principles of pragmatism, community-building, and agency, Cyber ASEAN  builds on and feeds into the current cybersecurity processes and initiatives of ASEAN and the United Nations.

Virtual meeting attendees

To formally launch the project, in February 2023, Cyber ASEAN held its first virtual Experts Meeting that convened leading cybersecurity experts, practitioners, and enthusiasts to examine the technical, policy, strategic, and development gaps in the region’s cybersecurity landscape. The two-day virtual roundtable emphasized the value of building trust, cultivating inclusion, and ensuring sustainable impact throughout the design and implementation of this project.  

In the coming months, Pacific Forum, in close collaboration with the project’s expert advisors and in-country experts, will conduct local consultations in Manila, Hanoi, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur to obtain comprehensive inputs and feedback from target audiences to develop the Cyber ASEAN framework.

During the consultations, the project team will dive deeper into the unique cybersecurity context of the four partner countries in relation to their distinct challenges, opportunities, and priorities. Overall, the local meetings are intended not only to generate cross-cutting insights but also to lay the groundwork for long-term partnerships among stakeholders in the cybersecurity policy community.

Learn more about Cyber ASEAN and stay abreast of its activities and research through the project website:  The project website will also soon include an interactive feature to showcase the region’s cybersecurity threat and policy landscape.