Gobind: Cyber security top priority

He says a nation will only be able to maximise the benefits of the digital economy and IR4.0 if security and trust are protected

by DASHVEENJIT KAUR/ pic by BERNAMA

ASEAN countries need to make cyber security a top priority amid increasing cases of cyber attacks in the region, said Communication and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo (picture).

“Our digital development needs to embrace cyber security as a high priority. A top-down strategy is vital to inculcate a culture of cyber security throughout our nations and to provide adequate protection to our citizens,” Gobind said in his speech at the 4th Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW) 2019 yesterday.

“Some of the essential actions which we as a region can undertake immediately include: Approach security as a strategic investment and introduce trust as a competitive advantage; place emphasis on or to demand a robust cyber security strategy in measuring, controlling and responding to digital threats at national level as well as a regional level.

“Adopt more flexible and ubiquitous security measures when utilising emerging technologies which are clearly lacking in any security frameworks; Instil information sharing as a strategic asset to create trust toward effective collective action to secure our digital future,” he added.

Despite embarking on various digital transformation efforts, according to Gobind, there are still many parts of the security landscape which remains afterthought.

“This is not surprising since security is considered by many as an added expense or at worse, one which slows down innovation efforts,” he said.

A nation, he said, will only be able to maximise the benefits of the digital economy and Industry Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) if security and trust are protected.

He believes that a risk-based approach is needed to identify and implement appropriate security controls and measures.

“At the same time, such controls and measures need to be balanced with ease of use and the preservation of the privacy of our citizens,” he said.

According to the ITU Measuring the Information Society Report in 2018, 51% of the world’s population is online.

During the same year, the GSMA further reported that globally there were now 9.1 billion Internet of Things connections and 60% smartphone adoption.

“These numbers mark a growing dependency on the Internet — not only by consumers, but by various business sectors and governments. As this dependency increases so do the threats, vulnerabilities and risks to the network.”

“As we stand on the precipice of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the inevitable transformation of many traditional sectors through the leveraging of Information and Communications Technologies, we need to anticipate the possible risks that will follow,” he added.