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Cybersecurity policy makers stress need for cybersecurity capacity building

Cybersecurity policy makers stressed the need for cybersecurity capacity building and investments in education in achieving cybersecurity preparedness to combat cyber threats.

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Cybersecurity policy makers stressed the need for cybersecurity capacity building and investments in education in achieving cybersecurity preparedness to combat cyber threats.

This was discussed in the 2nd Asia Pacific Online Policy Forum hosted by Kaspersky and attended by more than 1,000 C-level officers from various sectors, top government officials, and media to tackle policies and strategies needed to withstand emerging cybersecurity challenges.

Dr. Greg Austin, professor of Cyber Security, Strategy and Diplomacy at University of New South Wales, underscored the shortage in cybersecurity skills needed in the success of digital transformation efforts and security strategies.

“Globally we are not making enough cybersecurity professionals,” said Dr. Austin, adding that “most countries are not prepared to make investments in education for the cybersecurity ambitions they talk about. Digital transformation and defense’s capacity building must include educational transformation.”

Austin also mentioned that The Australian Cyber Security Strategy 2020 will invest $26-million for education out of the total $1.67-billion budget allocated for over 10 years to achieve the vision of creating a more secure online world for Australians, their businesses, and the essential services upon which they all depend.

Indicating his support for the transformation of the education sector, Austin suggested that graduates from colleges and universities should be exposed to real-life simulations, exercises, and red teaming to increase their skills and knowledge about cybersecurity.

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Azleyna Ariffin, principal assistant director at the National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA) of Malaysia, also expressed the need for cybersecurity experts and that it should be part of a nation’s strategy.

Ariffin cited the need for cybersecurity expertise especially now that there is an exponential rise in technology use and the number of threats amidst the still on-going pandemic. “We also need to focus on developing skills and knowledge in cybersecurity so that it will be a more effective cooperation if we share the same level of skills and understanding with regards to threats and cybersecurity,” she said.

This is among the key priorities of Malaysia Cybersecurity Strategy 2020-2024, announced last October, with an allocated budget of $434-million and five pillars to improve the cybersecurity management and capability of the country.

Ariffin also emphasized the need to increase awareness for the mass public regarding the dangers lurking online. She noted that NACSA is partnering actively with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia in Malaysia to spread the message strategically. 

Nur Achmadi Salmawan, director of National Critical Information Infrastructure: National Cyber and Crypto Agency (BSSN), meanwhile, shared that BSSN also involves several government agencies, the academia, and the society to spread cybersecurity awareness among Indonesians.

Salmawan noted that BSSN launched in December last year the Draft National Cyber Security Strategy for the country aimed to combat technical threats and even social threats in Indonesia.

‘Social media becomes the weapon for organizations and individuals to manipulate information for their own interest. It is important to inform people how to use the internet correctly and safely,” he said.

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Meanwhile, Nguyen Huy Dung, vice minister of Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) relayed the steps conducted in Vietnam to secure its cyberspace, which include the establishment of national cybersecurity law, standards, and blueprint across government and private organizations.

Dung presented the four-layer of protection model in Vietnam which involves an in-house team (first layer), 24/7 cybersecurity services by a professional provider (second layer), an independent security audit (3-layer), and an independent monitoring by the National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC) of Authority of Information Security, Ministry of Information and Communications (4-layer).

Dung also cited the “Review and remove malware nationwide in 2020,” a campaign conducted from September to December 2020 by the NCSC of the Authority of Information Security which resulted to the number of Botnet IPs nearly halved and over 1.2-million computers scanned, detecting more than 400,000 of those infected by malware. Kaspersky is a partner in this initiative.

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