Mutual trust is needed to strengthen the digital economy

Given the endless number of digital tools available, building a reliable infrastructure is essential, said Chhem Siriwat, director of the Cambodia-based Asian Vision Institute.

“Browsing the Internet, connected from personal and corporate mobile devices, creates sites vulnerable to cyber threats and attacks,” he said. “The more interconnected we are, the more vulnerable we are.”

Literacy and digital skills are also critically important, he added. Any employee who uses mobile devices connected to the Internet or any other application and platform should have a basic understanding of how to ensure secure communications.

Digital technology has been recognized as one of the keys to realizing the ASEAN 2025 vision of creating a “politically coherent, economically integrated and socially responsible community” in Southeast Asia.

With a population of 655 million, the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations had a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $3 trillion last year and a total revenue of $3.3 trillion in 2020, making it the sixth largest economy in the world. . At current growth rates, it is on track to become the fourth largest by 2030.

Internet and mobile phone penetration rates in Southeast Asia are among the highest in the world, with around 80% of the population using the internet and mobile phone accounts exceeding 100% of the population in most country.

Digital touches every aspect of our lives and its role will only grow in importance. A 2020 report from Huawei and Oxford Economics showed that GDP would increase by $20 for every dollar invested in digital technologies.

However, the big question is how well equipped the population is to safely navigate the digital economy in the face of rising cyber threats.

Cybersecurity has become paramount for businesses and individuals as digital transformation, internet usage and the value of digital assets soar.

In a recent webinar hosted by the Kuala Lumpur-based KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific, experts from various industries discussed how governments and organizations can build public trust through security transformation , along with solutions and resources to lay the foundation for truly secure digital. coming.

“The digital economy is growing rapidly with digital transformation taking place across many key economic sectors. We are not only seeing the transformation in business, but also in education, healthcare and many other spheres of human life,” said KSI President Michael Yeoh.

“It is crucial to strengthen cybersecurity and trust in the digital economy. This will help establish a fair and cohesive environment in which all parties can address cybersecurity challenges together.

If the cornerstone of the digital economy is data, its heart is digital trust. In its Global State of Information Security survey of 3,000 business leaders, consultancy PwC said businesses, regulators and consumers need new mechanisms to build trust as that they address emerging challenges in business, risk management and compliance.

The information and communication technology (ICT) industry in Southeast Asia should develop globally accepted and industry-led security standards and best practices, security assurance solutions safety and conformity assessment systems, Mr. Yeoh said.

Cybersecurity threats, he said, have plagued the past two years of the Covid-19 pandemic as more and more activities from shopping to school moved online. “Mutual trust is the key to moving us forward in building a better, more sustainable and progressive world,” he said.

Mohamed Anwer Mohamed Yusoff, Head of Industry Engagement and Collaboration with CyberSecurity Malaysia, said cybersecurity is too important to be left to IT teams alone. This should be a strategic priority in every organization, with industry players collaborating to raise fundamental awareness of digital risks.

“Trust must be built link by link as well as the importance of governance, integrity and innovation in building trust,” he said during the webinar.

He said Malaysia should join the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace. To date, only three ASEAN states – Cambodia, the Philippines and Singapore – have joined the group.

Paris Call is an international group that seeks to deal with new online threats, based on nine common principles for securing cyberspace.

Sharlene Thiagarajah, CEO of Research and Development at Telekom Malaysia, highlighted the need for an infrastructure that allows all players to respond very quickly and with agility to disruptions. This requires a smart foundation that creates value by providing visibility and control.

An infrastructure that allows all players to react very quickly and with agility to disruptions is critical, says Sharlene Thiagarajah, CEO of Research and Development at Telekom Malaysia. PROVIDED

Resilient systems help businesses maintain operations in the event of cyberattacks and recover quickly in the event of a disruption.

As the leader of a research-driven telecommunications giant, Ms. Thiagarajah believes that having the right talent development team – for example, chief security officer, chief data officer and chief data officer confidentiality – as well as raising employee awareness and responsibility for cybersecurity through training will enable companies to manage risks. This will in turn contribute to strengthening the digital economy at national and regional levels.

A trade-off between security and convenience is always in play when using apps and technology platforms. Social media platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Line have become essential tools for workplace communication and collaboration, but with increased risk to information privacy.

Thailand ranks 87th in the world when it comes to dangers associated with internet browsing. Among its ASEAN peers, the Philippines ranks sixth, Malaysia seventh, Vietnam 19th, Indonesia 66th and Singapore 154th, according to Kaspersky, the international IT security provider.

For Huawei Technologies, building trust through enhanced education and collaboration is key, said Paul Scanlan, Chief Technology Officer.

“If you want to grow the economy and transform the industry, you need education, collaboration and building mutual trust,” he said. “There is a lot of misinformation and we lack consistent information that would allow people to make the right decisions. Once we have that, we need collaborations between a multitude of actors.

In a digital and intelligent world made possible by 5G, the cloud and artificial intelligence, a secure and reliable cyberspace is essential to a country’s economy and the livelihoods of its inhabitants. Accordingly, it is important to increase cyber resilience and it must be proactive, he added. Bangkok Post

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