Unified Asia Approach To Cybersecurity: Public-Private Partnership To Combat Cyber Threats

Siem Reap, Cambodia, May 23, 2024 – Leaders from the Philippine Cybersecurity and Data Protection Communities of Practice, attending the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Technical Working Group joint meeting, emphasized the critical need for unified efforts between government and private sector entities to combat cyber threats across the Asia region.

Emphasizing a Unified Approach

Lito Averia, President of the Philippine Computer Emergency Response Team (PH-CERT), highlighted the necessity for a cohesive "whole-of-Asia" and "whole-of-society" approach. "A harmonized strategy among government and private sector leaders in ASEAN, Japan, and other regional countries is essential to combat cyber threats," Averia stated. "The shared nature of these threats, which target digital infrastructure and Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) across nations, underscores the urgency of this collaboration."

ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Community Alliance (AJCCA) attend the 2nd ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Working Group Meeting
Officers and Board Members of the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Community Alliance (AJCCA) attended the 2nd ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Working Group Meeting on May 22, 2024, in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to discuss cybersecurity partnerships and joint initiatives in the region with their government counterparts in ASEAN. In the photo are (from L-R): Mr. Farwan, Chairman of the Indonesia Network Security Association (IdNSA); Mr. Sam Jacoba, Vice President of the Philippine Computer Emergency Response Team (PH-CERT); Mr. TS Tahrizi Tahreb, Co-Founder of RawSEC Malaysia Cybersecurity Community; Dr. Hiroshi Esaki, President of the Japan Network Security Association (JNSA); Dr. Rudi Lumanto, AJCCA Chairman; Phannarith Ou, President of the Information Sharing and Analytic Center (ISAC) of Cambodia; Seiichi Ito, Chairman of the International Relations Committee of JNSA; Dr. Mohammad Salman of the University of Indonesia; Lito Averia, Founder and President of PH-CERT; and Dr. Khanh Vu, Vice President of the Vietnam Information.

Proposing an Information Exchange Network

Sam Jacoba, Founding President of the National Association of Data Protection Officers of the Philippines (NADPOP) and Vice President of PH-CERT, discussed the increasing frequency of cyber attacks on government digital ecosystems and CIIs. He proposed the establishment of an Information Exchange Network, envisioned as a cyber weather station to receive, verify, and disseminate threat alerts across the region. "In addition to creating robust information-sharing frameworks, it is imperative that countries continue to develop and upskill their cybersecurity workforce," Jacoba noted.

Addressing the Workforce Gap

For the Philippines, PH-CERT and NADPOP estimate a need for 180,000 trained and validated cybersecurity professionals to protect the nation's CIIs effectively. They also emphasized a similar requirement for professionals trained in Data Privacy, Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) to ensure comprehensive protection and resilience against cyber threats.

Participation in the AJCCA Meeting

PH-CERT and NADPOP are participating in the fifth board meeting of the newly-formed ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Community Alliance (AJCCA). This event, occurring alongside the 2024 2nd ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Working Group Meeting, is organized and hosted by the Cambodian government.

Focus on Regional Collaboration

The 2nd Joint Government-Industry-Academia (J-GIA) CA meeting between AJCCA and government cybersecurity representatives from ASEAN and Japan underscores the critical importance of regional collaboration. The focus is on the five pillars of the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI), published by the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU): Legal, Technical, Organizational, Capacity Building, and Cooperation.

Future Initiatives

Averia and Jacoba announced that forthcoming joint initiatives between government and private sector entities will be a primary outcome of these quarterly regional meetings. These initiatives aim to address key gaps in the GCI Cybersecurity Pillars for each country and the region as a whole.

Benefiting Citizens

"When government and private sector organizations collaborate to combat cyber threats, the primary beneficiaries are the citizens," Averia emphasized. "We are already witnessing the positive dynamics and impact of this cybersecurity community within the region."

Jacoba added, "These meetings are fostering a regional force for good, providing a shield for countries and citizens against threat actors, who are increasingly using AI in their attacks. We invite all active Communities of Practice in the region to collaborate with AJCCA, as threat actors are highly organized. In these times, a whole-of-region, whole-of-society, and whole-of-community cooperation is essential to effectively respond to cyber threats."


Organized at the turn of the century, the Philippine Computer Emergency Response Team (PH-CERT) is a non-stock, non-profit organization institutionalized in March 2001 by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Republic of the Philippines. Its primary purpose and advocacy include increasing awareness of Information Security and Cybersecurity, developing an inclusive InfoSec and Cybersecurity workforce, and adopting InfoSec and Cybersecurity standards and best practices to uplift their practice in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region.


The National Association of Data Protection Officers of the Philippines (NADPOP) is the first community of Data Privacy, Data Protection, and Cybersecurity practitioners in the Philippines. Established by the SEC in 2018, NADPOP is a non-stock, non-profit organization with a vision of a Cyber, AI, and Data Resilient Philippines. It aims to transform the Philippines into a Global Center of Excellence in Data Privacy, Data Protection, and Cybersecurity by inspiring, empowering, and prospering Data Privacy, Data Protection, and Cybersecurity professionals in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region.


The ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Community Alliance (AJCCA) is a collaborative initiative formed by nine leading cybersecurity communities from ASEAN nations and Japan. AJCCA is dedicated to enhancing cybersecurity capabilities, information sharing, and mutual support among its member nations to address the evolving challenges in the digital landscape. AJCCA’s vision is a dynamic and resilient cybersecurity community in the region through trustworthy and respectful collaboration.

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