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IoT, digital transformation require Vietnam to focus on cybersecurity

Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

The development of the internet of things (IoT) in Vietnam has forced authorities and businesses to pay attention to cybersecurity. Industry experts discussed challenges and solutions at a summit in Ho Chi Minh City, earlier this week.

As IoT grows rapidly, the number of cyberthreats and criminals also increases, the Deputy Director-General of Ministry of Information and Communication’s Authority of Information Security said.

According to the Ministry of Public Security’s Department of Cyber and High-Tech Crime Prevention, the number of prosecutions related to cybersecurity reached 500 in the 18 months ending in June this year. The number of violations was 1,000.

A large number of no-name IoT devices used in the country, such as cameras, pose a threat to cybersecurity. Digital transformation is happening across Vietnam and the country needs to focus on security.

The government should develop a national strategy for IoT. It should create specific policies and regulations that govern the standards for IoT products. This will prevent unsecured products from entering the country.

Vietnam also needs to develop a skilled IT workforce to enable local manufacturers to make quality IoT products and to raise people’s awareness of security while using smart devices.

The Deputy Director of the Department of Cyber High-Tech Crime Prevention suggested that administrative and legal authorities should co-operate with IoT service providers and users to manage and protect information. Users have a responsibility to provide information to authorities to prevent cybercriminals.

He also called for improving co-operation between authorities and IoT providers in other countries to share information on cybercriminals.

Delegates at the conference expressed their concerns about security during data transformation and data sharing between provinces and cities.

The government has instructed the MIC to draft a decree on the sharing of information between cities and provinces by 2020 with an emphasis on balancing sharing and security.

Earlier this month, the Authority of Information Security requested all state offices, organisations, and businesses to scan and uninstall any possible malware released by a large-scale Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attack to the country’s cyberspace.

The Authority discovered a new APT attack from a server outside of Vietnam aiming at information systems in state offices and critical information infrastructure in the country. Therefore, it immediately put in a request for all related organisations to strictly monitor connections to foreign servers that are releasing malware to timely stop these links. The Authority has already published a list of these servers.

The annual Smart IoT and Cyber Security Summit themed ‘toward a secure and connected world’, was hosted by the MIC in collaboration with the International Events & Consulting Group and Vietnam Internet Association.

Around 1,000 delegates from the MIC, HCM City, local, and international cybersecurity expert agencies, and business executives attended the event.

It also featured an exhibition on IoT and cybersecurity with 20 stalls set up by leading companies from Vietnam and other countries such as VNPT, Viettel Cyber Security, Mobifone, Canon, Cisco, and Parasoft.

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