The Quad commits to strengthening cybersecurity in software, supply chains

The United States, Australia, and its Asian partners—India and Japan—have agreed to work on several cybersecurity initiatives on software, supply chain, and user data.

The countries’ leaders, who convened in Tokyo on May 24, 2022, have met annually four times since the revival of the alliance—formally called the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or simply the Quad—during the 2017 ASEAN Summits in Manila, Philippines.

A year ago, they supported regional countries to build cybersecurity resilience and counter disinformation. The group also assisted the Indo-Pacific in countering the growing ransomware threat and countering cybercrime.

US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida issued a joint statement, stating their renewed commitment to deepening cooperation in addressing some pressing challenges currently facing the Indo-Pacific region: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, infrastructure, climate change, peace and stability (in light of the Ukraine invasion), and cybersecurity.

“In an increasingly digital world with sophisticated cyber threats we recognize an urgent need to take a collective approach to enhancing cybersecurity,” the White House said. “To deliver on the Quad Leaders’ vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, we commit to improving the defense of our nations’ critical infrastructure by sharing threat information, identifying and evaluating potential risks in supply chains for digitally enabled products and services, and aligning baseline software security standards for government procurement, leveraging our collective purchasing power to improve the broader software development ecosystem so that all users can benefit.”

The Quad also plans to create a Quad Cybersecurity Partnership. They will coordinate “capacity building programs” within the region and launch a Quad Cybersecurity Day to “help individual Internet users across our nations, the Indo-Pacific region, and beyond to better protect themselves from cyber threats.”

The White House said the Quad will meet again next year in Australia.

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