While cyber attacks could occur at any time, few State offices, organisations and enterprises have designated cyber security experts on staff.
Cyber security managers and experts discuss how to prevent cyber attacks and ensure information safety at the 2017 Viet Nam Information Safety Day. VNS Photo
Threats to information safety and cyber security are becoming more and more serious as technology progresses and Internet becomes increasingly popular, experts said last week at the 2017 Viet Nam Information Safety Day conference.
Speakers expressed concern that in the latest edition of the International Telecommunication Union’s Global Cyber Security Index, Viet Nam ranks 101st out of 165 nations in terms of being vulnerable to cyber attacks.
“Low awareness of cyber security among high-ranking officials, system operating staff and people is the major obstacle to cyber security in Viet Nam,” said Le Manh Ha, vice chairman of the Government Office and secretary general of the National Committee for Information Technology Application.
While cyber attacks could occur at any time, few State offices, organisations and enterprises have designated cyber security experts on staff, he revealed.
“We must have human resources for cyber security because it has great implications for socio-economic development and even national security,” he said. “Cyber security experts must be hired and paid high wages.”
Authorities estimate that around 72 per cent of mobile devices in Viet Nam are infected by viruses.
“The figure once again shows low awareness of cyber security among people who use mobile devices,” said Hoang Minh Tien, deputy director of the Ministry of Information and Communications’ Department of Information Security.
To improve the situation, Ha suggested that the Government encourage and support the development of cyber security human resources at companies.
“We should not wait for protection from authorities. Enterprises should protect themselves first by investing in cyber security human resources.”
According to a report from cyber security company Symantec, Viet Nam was among the world’s top 10 countries hardest-hit by cyber crime.
It still has a relatively poor record of tracking down the cyber threats it faces: Viet Nam was responsible for 2.16 per cent of global threat detections in 2016, up from 0.89 per cent in 2015.
It also suffered the largest number of cyber attacks of any country last year. It ranked second in terms of attacks on Internet of Things devices with 15 per cent of such attacks hitting Vietnamese devices, only behind China’s 17 per cent.
“Traditional cyber security problems like ransomware, malware and spam are still common,” said Dr Vo Van Khang, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Information Security Association’s southern office. “But cyber security for Internet of Things devices, industrial control systems and the smart city should get special attention.”
He said related authorities should complete the legal framework for information safety and cyber security, invest in and create a mechanism for training and fostering human resources, and make agency heads accountable for cyber security.
“Enterprises should invest more in cyber security and work more with cyber security organisations and enterprises to improve their knowledge and acquire experience.”
Speaking at the event, Tran Vinh Tuyen, vice chairman of the city People’s Committee, said HCM City would pay more attention to securing information safety and improving cyber security in the context of that the smart city project is going to launch soon.
Assoc Prof Dr Duong Anh Duc, director of HCM City’s Department of Information and Communications, said: “HCM City is going to become a smart city where every bit of information will be transparent and easily accessible by local authorities, enterprises, partners and the public. It means more targets for cyber attacks and more information to take advantage of [by criminals]. We consider establishing the cyber security centre - one of the four important elements of the smart city project.”
The theme of the conference was “Intelligent Security in Smart Connected World”.