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Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Defence, Heng Chee How, and Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Health, Dr Janil Puthucheary, recently visited the Critical Infrastructure Defence Exercise (CIDeX) 2023, underscoring the government’s commitment to fortifying national cybersecurity.

Image credit: mindef.gov.sg

The exercise, held at the National University of Singapore School of Computing, witnessed over 200 participants engaging in operational technology (OT) critical infrastructure defence training.

Organised by the Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS) and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), with support from iTrust/SUTD and the National Cybersecurity R&D Laboratory (NCL), CIDeX 2023 marked a collaborative effort to enhance Whole-Of-Government (WoG) cyber capabilities. The exercise focused on detecting and countering cyber threats to both Information Technology (IT) and OT networks governing critical infrastructure sectors.

This year’s edition boasted participation from DIS, CSA, and 24 other national agencies across six Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) sectors. With an expanded digital infrastructure comprising six enterprise IT networks and three new OT testbeds, participants operated on six OT testbeds within key sectors—power, water, telecom, and aviation.

CIDeX 2023 featured Blue Teams, composed of national agency participants serving as cyber defenders, defending their digital infrastructure against simulated cyber-attacks launched by a composite Red Team comprising DIS, CSA, DSTA, and IMDA personnel. The exercises simulated attacks on both IT and OT networks, including scenarios such as overloading an airport substation, disrupting water distribution, and shutting down a gas plant.

The exercise provided a platform for participants to hone their technical competencies, enhance collaboration, and share expertise across agencies. Before CIDeX, participants underwent a five-day hands-on training programme at the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)’s Cyber Defence Test and Evaluation Centre (CyTEC) at Stagmont Camp, ensuring readiness for cyber defence challenges.

On the sidelines of CIDeX 2023, the DIS solidified cyber collaboration by signing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with key technology sector partners, expanding its partnerships beyond the earlier agreement with Microsoft earlier in the year.

Senior Minister Heng emphasised the importance of inter-agency cooperation, stating, “CIDeX is a platform where we bring together many agencies throughout the government to come together to learn how to defend together.” He highlighted the collective effort involving 26 agencies and over 200 participants, acknowledging the significance of unity in cybersecurity.

Dr Janil echoed this sentiment, emphasising CIDeX’s role in the Whole-of-Government (WoG) cyber defence effort. He remarked, “Defending Singapore’s cyberspace is not an easy task, and it is a team effort.”

He commended the strong partnership between the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore and the Digital and Intelligence Service, recognising the exercise as a crucial element in strengthening the nation’s digital resilience and national cybersecurity posture.

By leveraging collaboration, innovation, and a robust defence strategy, Singapore aims not just to protect its critical infrastructure but to set a global standard in cybersecurity practices.

CIDeX 2023 serves as a compelling embodiment of Singapore’s unwavering dedication to maintaining a leadership position in cybersecurity practices. This strategic exercise underscores the nation’s commitment to cultivating collaboration and fortifying its resilience against continually evolving cyber threats.

Beyond a training ground for sharpening the skills of cyber defenders, CIDeX 2023 encapsulates the government’s profound commitment to adopting a robust, collaborative, and forward-thinking approach to safeguarding the integrity and security of the nation’s critical infrastructure in the dynamic landscape of the digital age.

According to predictions from a global cybersecurity company, the financial sector witnessed increased cybercriminals targeting online payment processing systems in 2020. This phenomenon is becoming more significant as the shopping process transforms into the online realm, making this sector highly vulnerable to cybercrimes. Especially as Christmas and New Year approach, where shopping intensifies substantially, cybercriminals see this moment as a golden opportunity to launch their dangerous actions.

In light of this challenge, amidst the holiday shopping season, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection (OCCIP) is arming consumers with valuable insights on how to stay cyber-secure and avoid falling prey to online scams. In a positive light, this advisory not only recognises the challenges posed by the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in cybercrimes but empowers individuals to take proactive measures to protect themselves.

This holiday season, as people immerse themselves in the festive spirit, OCCIP urges Americans to stay vigilant, be proactive, and respond immediately if targeted by scammers or fraud. Rather than emphasising the negative aspects of potential cyber threats, OCCIP’s approach is geared towards equipping consumers with the knowledge and tools to navigate the digital landscape securely.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for OCCIP, Todd Conklin, emphasises the need for consumers to exercise caution and critical thinking during online transactions. He noted that every year, cybercriminals are getting more creative to take advantage of consumers, and this year is no different with the rise of AI. However, Conklin encouraged individuals to approach online deals discerningly instead of fostering fear. The advisory recommends thinking, researching, and consulting with trusted individuals before purchasing, cultivating a positive and empowering mindset.

To further emphasise the positive message, the OCCIP advisory raises awareness about potential risks and offers a comprehensive set of constructive tips for consumers. In empowering individuals with self-efficacy, the advisory aims to instil confidence in consumers as they navigate the online marketplace during the festive season.

Moreover, the OCCIP advisory takes a proactive stance by furnishing victims of fraud with practical steps to mitigate damages and losses. This approach is strategically designed to reassure individuals that, even in the unfortunate event of falling prey to a scam, there are actionable measures they can promptly undertake to rectify the situation and minimise the impact on their finances.

The OCCIP recognises the evolving landscape of cyber threats, especially with cyber criminals’ increased integration of artificial intelligence. By acknowledging the challenges posed by AI-driven phishing attacks, the advisory positions itself as a warning system and a guide for consumers to navigate the complexities of an online environment fraught with potential risks.

As part of its positive outreach, OCCIP emphasises the importance of trusting one’s instincts and not succumbing to pressure while making online transactions. The advisory suggests that if an online deal appears too good to be true, it likely is. This messaging aims to empower consumers with the confidence to make informed decisions and resist the tactics employed by cybercriminals.

OCCIP provides the public with a copy of the advisory in the cooperative mindset of sharing information. This transparency and openness foster community and shared responsibility in tackling cyber threats. Through this stride of individuals to report fraud incidents to the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3), OCCIP promotes a collective effort in combating cybercrimes.

This news underscores that the responsibility for addressing the cyber threat is not solely on individuals but is a collective effort that people must tackle together. As the U.S. prepares for its festive holidays, other countries must also emphasise the importance of collectively addressing the cyber threat during this upcoming season. By implementing these measures collaboratively, OpenGov believes that cybersecurity measures will foster a safer online environment for everyone.

All institutions rely on IT to deliver services. Disruption, degradation, or unauthorised alteration of information and systems can impact an institution’s condition, core processes, and risk profile. Furthermore, organisations are expected to make quick decisions due to the rapid pace of dynamic transformation. To stay competitive, data is a crucial resource for tackling this challenge.

Hence, data protection is paramount in safeguarding the integrity and confidentiality of this invaluable resource. Organisations must implement robust security measures to prevent unauthorised access, data breaches, and other cyber threats that could compromise sensitive information.

Prasert Chandraruangthong, Minister of Digital Economy and Society, supports the National Agenda in fortifying personal data protection with Asst Prof Dr Veerachai Atharn, Assistant Director of the National Science and Technology Development Agency, Science Park, and Dr Siwa Rak Siwamoksatham, Secretary-General of the Personal Data Protection Committee, gave a welcome speech. It marks that the training aims to bolster the knowledge about data protection among the citizens of Thailand.

Data protection is not only for the organisation, but it also becomes responsible for the individuals, Minister Prasert Chandraruangthong emphasises. Thailand has collaboratively developed a comprehensive plan regarding the measures to foster a collective defence against cyber threats towards data privacy.

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society and the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) will expedite efforts to block illegal trading of personal information. Offenders will be actively pursued, prosecuted, and arrested to ensure a swift and effective response in safeguarding the privacy and security of individuals’ data.

This strategy underscores the government’s commitment to leveraging digital technology to fortify data protection measures and create a safer online environment for all citizens by partnering with other entities.

Further, many countries worldwide share these cybersecurity concerns. In Thailand’s neighbouring country, Indonesia, the government has noticed that data privacy is a crucial aspect that demands attention. Indonesia has recognised the paramount importance of safeguarding individuals’ privacy and has taken significant steps to disseminate stakeholders to gain collaborative effort in fortifying children’s security.

Nezar Patria, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Communication and Information of Indonesia, observed that children encounter abundant online information and content. It can significantly lead them to unwanted exposure and potential risks as artificial intelligence has evolved.

Patria stressed the crucial role of AI, emphasising the importance of implementing automatic content filters and moderation to counteract harmful content. AI can be used to detect cyberbullying through security measures and by recognising the patterns of cyberbullying perpetrators. It can also identify perpetrators of online violence through behavioural detection in the digital space and enhance security and privacy protection. Moreover, AI can assist parents in monitoring screen time, ensuring that children maintain a balanced and healthy level of engagement with digital devices.

Conversely, the presence of generative AI technology, such as deep fake, enables the manipulation of photo or video content, potentially leading to the creation of harmful material with children as victims. Patria urged collaborative discussions among all stakeholders involved in related matters to harness AI technology for the advancement and well-being of children in Indonesia.

In the realm of digital advancements, cybersecurity is the priority right now. Through public awareness campaigns, workshops, and training initiatives, nations aim to empower citizens with the knowledge to identify, prevent, and respond to cyber threats effectively. The ongoing commitment to cybersecurity reflects the country’s dedication to ensuring a secure and thriving digital future for its citizens and the broader digital community.

In a significant move aimed at fortifying the nation’s technological landscape, the Vietnam Authority of Information Security (AIS) has underscored the non-negotiable nature of cybersecurity in the current digital landscape.

Emphasising the indispensability of robust cybersecurity measures, the AIS recommended stringent adherence to these protocols across agencies, institutions, and businesses. In today’s digital landscape, the confluence of telecommunications and IT has redefined the contours of security, compelling institutions and businesses to recalibrate their approach to information security.

Image credits: Vietnam Ministry of Information and Communications

A workshop dedicated to IT and information security held in Hanoi spotlighted the criticality of information security investment for the digital future. A collaborative effort between AIS, Viettel Cyber Security, and IEC Group, the summit aimed at empowering institutions and businesses to proactively anticipate risks and navigate confidently through the complexities of the digital landscape.

Highlighting the severity of the situation, Nguyen Son Hai, CEO of Viettel Cyber Security observes that the digital transformation wave brings a torrent of information security risks. Viettel Threat Intelligence, for instance, reported 12 million hacked accounts within Vietnam, with 48 million data records compromised and traded in the cyberspace market. Moreover, the stark reality is that numerous entities remain unaware of being under cyberattack.

Financial fraud looms large on this precarious horizon. An alarming revelation showcases the exploitation of 5,800 domain names masquerading as commercial banks, e-wallets, manufacturing firms, and retail giants, posing a severe threat to users’ assets through deceitful means.

Ransomware, an escalating menace, presents formidable challenges to organisations and businesses. Its disruptive potential can cripple entire operations, with cybercriminals extorting exorbitant sums, sometimes reaching millions of dollars, from their victims.

Nguyen Son Hai highlighted the 300 GB of encrypted organisational data published on the Internet, indicating that the actual figures are likely higher, underlining the gravity of the situation.

Tran Dang Khoa from AIS stressed the perennial existence of information security risks, underscoring the urgent need for effective solutions. He outlined five pivotal criteria for cybersecurity solutions: legality, effectiveness, appropriateness, comprehensiveness, and a crucial emphasis on utilising solutions originating from Vietnam.

The paramount importance of legal compliance within cybersecurity frameworks cannot be overstated. Organisations providing online services bear a heightened responsibility to ensure compliance, as information security is mandated by law. Straying from these regulations can render entities liable in the event of security breaches.

Despite substantial investments in sophisticated protection systems, the efficacy of these measures remains questionable if they cannot detect and avert cyberattacks. The challenge lies in optimising system efficiency while rationalising costs – an arduous task that cybersecurity firms endeavour to address.

Khoa acknowledges the need to address existing vulnerabilities alongside fortifying against new threats. Neglecting existing risks within systems, and waiting for opportune moments for cyber assailants, poses significant dangers. Pre-emptive measures must focus on rectifying known vulnerabilities before investing in additional protective tools.

Khoa highlighted that vulnerabilities often emanate not from direct cyberattacks but from individuals within organisations possessing inadequate technological proficiency. Exploiting these individuals can cascade attacks throughout systems, amplifying vulnerabilities exponentially.

Empowering all personnel within organisations with robust cybersecurity knowledge and skills emerges as a pivotal defence mechanism. Khoa accentuated the criticality of imparting such knowledge to safeguard information systems comprehensively.

Furthermore, advocating for the utilisation of ‘Make in Vietnam’ products, solutions, and services assumes significance. Homegrown solutions tailored to address the specific intricacies of Vietnamese organisations offer unique advantages. These domestic solutions not only offer timely support but also demonstrate a deep understanding of local challenges, aiding in swift problem resolution.

As businesses and institutions navigate this dynamic digital terrain, the proactive integration of these strategies is pivotal in safeguarding against the multifaceted threats that loom large in the era of digital proliferation.

In a gathering in New Delhi that reflected the significance of the issue, the Secretary of the Department of Financial Services (DFS), under the Ministry of Finance, spearheaded a comprehensive discourse. The focus was on unveiling the challenges and strategising against the burgeoning threats of cybercrime in the financial services sector, particularly the surge in online financial fraud incidents.

Critical issues discussed encompassed the imperative need for enhanced coordination among police, banks, and financial entities for real-time tracking and blocking of defrauded funds. Additionally, strategies to tackle the proliferation of mule accounts, augment response times to handle alerts on online financial frauds, and establish regional/state-level nodal officers were highlighted.

Image credits: Press Information Bureau

The meeting also emphasised the necessity of a central registry for merchant onboarding and KYC standardisation, as well as the importance of whitelisting digital lending apps through stakeholder consultation. Progress updates on implementing recommendations, such as setting up the Digital India Trust Agency (DIGITA) and the proposed legislation known as the ‘Banning of Unregulated Lending Activities (BULA) Act,’ were also on the agenda.

Lastly, an overarching consensus emerged: all stakeholders, including banks and financial institutions, must prioritise customer awareness and sensitisation programs to bolster digital payment security.

Attendees, including the Secretary of Telecom and high-ranking officials from multiple sectors such as DFS, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Department of Revenue (DoR), Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), Department of Telecom (DoT), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Indian Cyber Crime Co-ordination Centre (I4C), National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), as well as leading banks and financial institutions like State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, and others, converged for this pivotal discussion.

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) from the Ministry of Home Affairs shared a concerning presentation. They highlighted the escalating statistics of digital payment frauds culled from the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal (NCRP), shedding light on the diverse sources of financial frauds and the intricate modus operandi adopted by cybercriminals. This included exploring the challenges impeding efforts to counter these financial cybercrimes.

The meeting was not just a gathering of minds, but it explored preparedness. Participants assessed the readiness of banks and financial institutions to confront the escalating challenges posed by cyber threats in the financial domain. They delved into the rising trend of digital payment frauds and crafted a focused strategy to combat these attacks and scams head-on.

Moreover, key players like the State Bank of India (SBI), PayTM, and Razorpay showcased their distinct strategies for mitigating such fraudulent activities. SBI presented its Proactive Risk Monitoring (PRM) strategy, while representatives from PayTM and Razorpay shared their successful best practices.

Key takeaways from the deliberations included noteworthy statistics: 70 lakh mobile connections implicated in cybercrime/financial frauds were disconnected via digital intelligence platforms. Furthermore, a staggering Rs. 900 crore of defrauded money was safeguarded, benefiting approximately 3.5 lakh victims.

The meeting chaired by the DFS Secretary served as a pivotal juncture to fortify India’s financial sector against cyber threats. Collaboration among various agencies unveiled potent measures, disconnecting implicated mobile connections and safeguarding substantial defrauded funds. The discussions culminated in a roadmap to shield citizens from the insidious web of financial frauds, showcasing a unified resolve to combat cyber threats in the country’s financial ecosystem.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of the global economy, digital transformation has become a key driver of growth and competitiveness. Indeed, embracing this transformative wave is not just a choice but a necessity. The key to unlocking Indonesia’s vast potential lies in adopting a skills-first approach to learning, where the workforce is equipped with the digital skills needed to thrive in the 21st-century economy.

Indonesia, with its diverse culture and abundant resources, stands at a crossroads of opportunity. However, to harness this potential fully, the country must transition into a digitally-driven economy. The pandemic has underscored the importance of digitalisation, making it imperative for businesses and individuals alike to adapt to the new normal. Embracing digital transformation is not only about survival but also about ensuring sustainable and inclusive growth.

While the vision of unlocking Indonesia’s potential through digital transformation is promising, some challenges must be addressed to ensure successful implementation; and one of the primary challenges is the digital divide.

To overcome this barrier, concerted efforts are needed to expand digital infrastructure and provide affordable access to technology, especially in remote and underserved areas. Government initiatives, public-private partnerships, and community-based programmes can play a pivotal role in bridging this gap.

Additionally, the education system must undergo a significant overhaul to align with the demands of the digital era. This involves revising curricula to include not only technical skills but also critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. Encouraging multidisciplinary approaches and project-based learning can help students develop a holistic skill set that prepares them for the challenges of the digital workforce.

As Indonesia steers towards embracing digital transformation through skills-first learning, the trajectory of its economic and social development is poised to undergo a significant shift. A digitally skilled workforce not only attracts foreign investment but also fuels innovation and entrepreneurship domestically. The country can position itself as a hub for technological innovation, creating a vibrant ecosystem that fosters collaboration between startups, established enterprises, and research institutions.

Likewise, the benefits of digital transformation extend beyond economic considerations. Improved healthcare, enhanced public services, and increased connectivity can contribute to an overall improvement in the quality of life for Indonesian citizens. Smart cities, sustainable practices, and resilient communities can be nurtured through the integration of digital technologies into various facets of daily life.

The OpenGov Breakfast Insight held on 28 November 2023 at The Westin Jakarta discussed strategies to leverage emerging technologies for development and growth while acquiring digital skills to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving market in Indonesia.

Opening Remarks

Mohit Sagar∶ Indonesia’s job market is rapidly transforming due to digital advancements

Mohit Sagar, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of OpenGov Asia recognises Indonesia’s foray into digital transformation, signalling a transformative phase poised for substantial economic growth. Digital transformation, the integration of digital technologies into all aspects of society, Mohit agrees, is essential to propelling the nation into a new era.

The surge in smartphone adoption, expanding internet accessibility, and a burgeoning middle class are propelling the country’s digital economy at an astonishing speed. However, he underscores that this shift must go beyond adopting gadgets. It must become a fundamental shift in how businesses operate, governments function, and citizens lead their lives.

Highlighting the importance of digital transformation in Indonesia is crucial, especially in enabling economic growth, enhancing efficiency, and improving overall quality of life. This hinges on the citizens’ capability to comprehend, utilise and optimise digital innovation and technology.

In light of this, the urgency of acquiring digital skills cannot be overstated. In a job market evolving at a breakneck pace, individuals equipped with digital skills stand at a vantage point, securing employment and propelling their careers forward. The consequences of lagging in this digital race are stark, posing a risk of job displacement and a potential slide into obsolescence across industries, from healthcare to finance.

Adaptability, perpetual learning, and the relevance of skills in the swiftly evolving digital landscape take centre stage in this educational revolution. Enter Skills-First Learning is an innovative educational approach prioritising practical skills over conventional academic qualifications. This groundbreaking method aims to equip individuals and the workforce with the precise skills needed to flourish in the digital age.

Indonesia’s job market is undergoing a radical metamorphosis, propelled by the swift march of digital technologies. Conventional job roles are shape-shifting, creating a new wave of digital-centric positions. Automation and artificial intelligence are reshaping the private sector and infiltrating government jobs, streamlining administrative tasks and service delivery.

Citing the Indonesian government’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology’s projection of a need for up to 9 million digital talents by 2030, Mohit underscores the critical need for upskilling to meet the surging requirements of the digital age.

“In e-commerce, proficiency in digital marketing, data analysis, and e-commerce platform management is paramount,” says Mohit. “Fintech demands expertise in digital payments, blockchain, and risk management. Also, cybersecurity professionals need skills to shield digital assets from evolving cyber threats.”

The public sector, a cornerstone of societal development, must lead by example in embracing digital technologies. Government agencies grappling with skills gaps must bridge these divides to ensure effective digital transformation, necessitating collaboration with private industries and academia.

Moreover, as AI integration expands, ensuring transparency becomes paramount, aligning its use with public sector objectives, overseeing performance, and ensuring ethical deployment.

“Identifying existing skill gaps, tailoring training programmes, fostering digital literacy, and promoting a culture of continuous learning are the keystones to navigating Indonesia’s digital future successfully,” Mohit concludes. “The journey is difficult, but the destination promises unprecedented growth and innovation.”

Welcome Address

Chad Al-Sherif Pasha∶ Upskilling of individuals is important to face digital transformation

Chad Al-Sherif Pasha, Senior Advisor and Head of APAC at Coursera for Government offers a thought-provoking analysis that projects a seismic shift in the employment paradigm by 2027. Anticipating a substantial transformation affecting approximately 28% of current employment, he underscores the pressing need for upskilling and adaptation to stay abreast of the accelerating digital environment.

Chad perceives this transformative wave not as a mere obligation to stay relevant in an ever-evolving job market, but as a gateway to thriving in the face of advancing technology and the imperative for industry transformation, offering a realm of new opportunities to unfold.

This dynamic environment, he notes, necessitates strategic planning in skills development – an essential for both confronting challenges and capitalising on opportunities that will unfold in the future.

At the core of preparing for this imminent digital transformation is upskilling. Upskilling not only provides a competitive edge but also serves as a gateway to innovation and a deeper comprehension of the changing dynamics in the market.

Strategic planning, as understood by Chad, involves a proactive approach to skills development. Recognising the trends in digital transformation and identifying the forthcoming skills requirements allows individuals and organisations to position themselves adeptly to meet the demands of the future.

“This involves the implementation of adaptive learning approaches and educational solutions tailored to the constantly evolving needs of industries,” Chad explains

Coursera, a pioneering platform in the digital education sector, plays a pivotal role in this paradigm shift. Through its diverse array of programmes and courses, Coursera contributes significantly to preparing individuals and organisations to grapple with the challenges posed by digital transformation. The platform provides access to relevant and regularly updated educational content spanning various disciplines and skills vital in today’s digital era.

Being a leader in online learning, Coursera not only facilitates access to global educational resources but also dynamically adapts its learning approaches to align with the needs of individuals and organisations amid the rapid changes in the world of work.

Chad’s role encompasses Coursera for Government, where he has organised programmes tailored to assist government agencies and organisations in readying their workforce for the ongoing digital transformation.

This initiative revolves around building a learning ecosystem that is responsive and meticulously aligned with industry needs, thereby continuing to support endeavours aimed at enhancing relevant skills and knowledge.

The significance of Coursera in supporting upskilling and reskilling extends beyond individual career development. It also contributes to organisations building teams that can adeptly navigate the dynamic business environment, fostering adaptability and innovation.

Coursera acts as a strategic partner in advancing education and skills development in the digital era. By consistently offering innovative and responsive educational solutions, Coursera is actively shaping the future of education, one that is more inclusive, accessible, and relevant for all.

“As individuals and organisations plan a holistic skills development strategy, they not only brace themselves for the challenges of the future with confidence and readiness,” Chad explains. “They also play a pivotal role in making a positive contribution to the development of society and the global economy in this era of profound digital transformation.”

Closing Remarks

Acknowledging the valuable insights from participants, Chad extended words of encouragement and motivation, emphasising the importance of dedicated upskilling and reskilling efforts. Highlighting the dynamic nature of a rapidly evolving world, he underscored the necessity for ongoing skill enhancement to stay relevant and competitive, advocating for a positive approach to meet these demands.

Chad emphasises the importance of proactively developing skills in the era of ongoing digital transformation. He pointed out that by continuously enhancing skills, individuals not only keep up with technological advancements but also position themselves as innovators and leaders, adept at understanding and implementing innovations.

He reaffirmed Coursera’s commitment to aiding individuals in their learning endeavours. With access to top-tier educational resources globally, Coursera stands as an essential tool in nurturing a workforce that is adaptable and ready to tackle change head-on.

“Coursera for Government reiterates its commitment to being a dependable partner for individuals and organisations navigating the complexities of digital transformation,” confirms Chad. “We are committed to the pivotal role in empowering individuals and organisations to excel in an era marked by ongoing change and innovation.”

Mohit emphasises the dynamic nature of the workforce, underscoring its continuous need to adapt to the rapid changes in today’s digital landscape. In this era of digital transformation, he acknowledges that workforce management extends beyond technical skills, encompassing vital attributes such as agility, creativity and adaptability.

Organisations need to prioritise a deeper understanding of workforce needs and skill growth as the cornerstone for crafting enduring policies that will positively shape forthcoming industrial and technological progressions.

Investing in skills development and human resources is pivotal for maintaining a relevant and productive workforce. Hence, continuous learning, ongoing training, and leadership development are integral components of a successful workforce management strategy.

“Success in overcoming the challenges of digital transformation for any organisation does not hinge solely on adopting the latest technology, but equally on cultivating an innovative work culture,” he concludes. “An agile, skilled, and innovative workforce stands as the linchpin in steering market dynamics towards triumph during the digital transformation era.”

Amid the relentless surge of cybersecurity threats, governments and technology agencies must embrace heightened awareness and implement meticulous data protection strategies. The escalating cyber threats necessitate a proactive stance, where staying one step ahead is crucial to safeguarding crucial information assets.

In this dynamic digital landscape, where information is a commodity, governments must acknowledge the evolving nature of cyber threats and continuously fortify their cybersecurity measures. Rapid technological advancements bring new challenges, requiring adaptive and innovative solutions to balance potential vulnerabilities.

Collaboration between government bodies, regulatory agencies, and technology experts is paramount in fostering a collective defence against cyber threats towards data privacy. Sharing insights, intelligence, and best practices creates a robust cybersecurity ecosystem capable of anticipating and mitigating emerging risks.

To secure public information and ensure data privacy, Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, the Minister of Digital Economy and Society, has initiated measures to combat leaks and the illicit trade of personal information. Recognising the situation’s urgency, the Minister outlined a comprehensive plan divided into three periods—30 days, six months, and 12 months.

During the first 30-day period, the Office of the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDC) established the Personal Data Violation Surveillance Centre to investigate public information disclosures promptly. The operations conducted this November inspected 3,119 government and private sector agencies. The PDPC detected data leaks in 1,158 cases, leading to corrective actions taken by the agencies in 781 instances. Notably, three issues of personal data trading were uncovered, prompting investigations and prosecutions in collaboration with The Police Technology Crime Investigation Headquarters.

Simultaneously, the PDPC, under the directive of the Police Technology Crime Investigation Headquarters, expedited inspections of 9,000 agencies within the next 30 days. This initiative targeted government agencies deemed critical information infrastructure (CII), including those in the energy, public health, government services, finance, and banking sectors.

During the inspections, the cybersecurity systems of 91 agencies were examined. Of these, 21 were identified as having high levels of risk, prompting corrective actions by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

The third measure involves collaborative efforts between the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), NBTC, and relevant agencies such as the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Thai Industries, Thai Bankers Association, Thai Life Assurance Association, Thai Hotel Association, and the media sector network. The objective is to raise awareness about personal data protection and prevent potential risks from inadequate security procedures. This includes knowledge-sharing sessions on maintaining cybersecurity through Cybersecurity Awareness Training. The collaborative initiative emphasises preventing intrusion from outsiders, securing system settings, and enforcing the law within the purview of the authorities.

For the subsequent six-month period, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society and the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) will expedite efforts to block illegal trading of personal information. Offenders will be actively pursued, prosecuted, and arrested to ensure a swift and effective response in safeguarding the privacy and security of individuals’ data.

This strategy underscores the government’s commitment to leveraging digital technology to fortify data protection measures and create a safer online environment for all citizens by partnering with other entities.

OpenGov Asia reported that Thailand is strategically addressing escalating cybersecurity concerns with a multi-faceted approach involving tech, partnerships, specialised task forces, public relations efforts and training programmes to fortify cyber resilience and foster innovation.

The Minister of Digital Economy and Society, Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, along with Professor Wisit Wisitsaratha, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, and ministry executives from affiliated agencies, recently conducted a meeting to review strategies to address cybercrime problems, notably personal data leaks. Thus far, Thailand has generated several ideas concerning cyber threats, particularly in financial cybersecurity. Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong has initiated several steps and frameworks to address these issues:

Cybersecurity has become a major concern throughout the Asia Pacific region. The emergence of unprecedented digital technology has reconstructed the organisational landscape. Both private and public enterprises are required to adapt to remain competitive amidst technological transformations swiftly. However, this development coincides with the rise of cybersecurity instabilities. Cyber threats, often challenging to address, persist as a significant issue for countries, especially in Thailand.

Image credits: mdes.go.th

As a nation in the Asia Pacific region fully committed to a massive digital transformation, Thailand consistently endeavours to tackle cybercrime prudently. Proposing solutions to fortify infrastructure, Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, the Minister of Digital Economy and Society, says they must ensure further strength and resilience against potential cyber threats.

In light of this, Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong, along with Professor Wisit Wisitsaratha, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, and ministry executives from affiliated agencies, conducted a meeting to explore strategies to address cybercrime problems, notably personal data leaks.

Thus far, Thailand has generated several ideas concerning cyber threats, particularly in financial cybersecurity. Mr Prasert Chandraruangthong has initiated several steps and frameworks to address these issues:

Establish the Anti Online Scam Operation Centre (AOC) as a Stop Service to monitor, prevent, and suppress online theft. Leveraging technology such as an Intelligent Assistant (IA) and a data-driven platform, they analyse and predict suspicious activities, collaborating with banks and telecom providers for efficient citizen assistance.

Create a war room under AOC to promptly address issues like frozen financial accounts, aiming for resolution within an hour of victim notification. Collaboration with relevant agencies and setting KPIs and timelines for bank operations is planned.

Form specialised teams (Special Taskforce) to promptly address financial fraud, online gambling, and related issues.

Enhance cooperation with major online platforms to prevent fraudulent advertisements. Collaborate with mobile companies to identify and block suspicious numbers.

Implement proactive public relations efforts, closely cooperating with law enforcement agencies, domestically and internationally, to apprehend cybercriminal leaders and recover victims’ assets. Advocating for legal amendments to adapt to evolving technology and online threats.

Additionally, to raise awareness beyond policymakers, the Thailand Digital Government Academy (TDGA) has collaborated to provide training. This initiative aims to educate participants about the importance of self-security in the cyber world.

Cybersecurity is not solely a technical issue but a shared responsibility. It requires cross-sector collaboration, proactive measures to stay ahead of emerging threats, and ongoing education and awareness.

Thailand maintains an optimistic outlook on the prospects of developing a fortified cybersecurity ecosystem underpinned by collaborative endeavours. The nation envisions this system not only as a shield for safeguarding critical infrastructure but also as a catalyst for driving innovation, nurturing trust, and catalysing economic growth within the burgeoning digital era. The comprehensive measures undertaken to combat cybercrime within Thailand stand as a resounding testament to the country’s steadfast commitment to fortifying its resilience in the face of evolving technological challenges.

Furthermore, these strategic initiatives underscore Thailand’s proactive stance and preparedness to embrace the ongoing digital transformation. By acknowledging the critical need to address cybersecurity concerns and proactively engaging in comprehensive actions, Thailand is positioning itself as a nation ready to navigate the complexities of the digital landscape.

This preparedness not only highlights a focused approach to combatting cyber threats but also signals a broader commitment to leverage technological advancements for the nation’s progress and sustained development in the digital age.

A research initiative spearheaded by the University of Wollongong (UOW) has secured a substantial grant of AU$445,000 under the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects Scheme. The primary focus of this project is to enhance the security protocols for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, in the face of potential adversarial machine-learning attacks. The funding underscores the significance of safeguarding critical and emerging technologies, aligning with the strategic vision of the Australian Government.

Heading the project is Distinguished Professor Willy Susilo, an internationally recognised authority in the realms of cyber security and cryptography. Professor Susilo, expressing the overarching goal of the research, emphasised the deployment of innovative methodologies to fortify UAV systems against adversarial exploits targeting vulnerabilities within machine learning models.

Collaborating on this ambitious endeavour are distinguished researchers from the UOW Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences. The team comprises Associate Professor Jun Yan, Professor Son Lam Phung, Dr Yannan Li, Associate Professor Yang-Wai (Casey) Chow, and Professor Jun Shen. Collectively, their expertise spans various domains essential to the comprehensive understanding and mitigation of cyber threats posed to UAVs.

Highlighting the broader implications of the project, Professor Susilo underscored the pivotal role UAV-related technologies play in contributing to Australia’s economic, environmental, and societal well-being. From facilitating logistics and environmental monitoring to revolutionising smart farming and disaster management, the potential benefits are vast. However, a significant hurdle lies in the vulnerability of machine learning models embedded in UAV systems to adversarial attacks, impeding their widespread adoption across industries.

The project’s core objective revolves around developing robust defences tailored to UAV systems, effectively shielding them from adversarial machine-learning attacks. The research team aims to scrutinise various attack vectors on UAVs and subsequently devise countermeasures to neutralise these threats. By doing so, they anticipate a substantial improvement in the security posture of UAV systems, thus fostering increased reliability in their application for transport and logistics services.

Professor Susilo emphasised that the enhanced security measures resulting from this research would play a pivotal role in bolstering the widespread adoption of UAVs, particularly in supporting both urban and regional communities. This is particularly pertinent given the multifaceted advantages UAVs offer, ranging from efficiency in logistics to rapid response capabilities in disaster management scenarios.

The significance of the project extends beyond academic realms, with Deloitte Access Economics projecting profound economic and employment impacts. The Australian UAV industry is expected to generate a substantial 5,500 new jobs annually, contributing significantly to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product with an estimated increase of AU$14.5 billion by 2040. Additionally, the research outcomes are anticipated to yield cost savings of AU$9.3 billion across various sectors.

The ARC Linkage Program, which serves as the backbone for this collaborative initiative, actively promotes partnerships between higher education institutions and other entities within the research and innovation ecosystem. Noteworthy partners in this venture include Sky Shine Innovation, Hover UAV, Charles Sturt University, and the University of Southern Queensland, collectively contributing to the multidimensional expertise required for the project’s success.

The UOW-led project represents a concerted effort to fortify the foundations of UAV technology by addressing critical vulnerabilities posed by adversarial machine-learning attacks. Beyond the academic realm, the outcomes of this research hold the promise of reshaping Australia’s technological landscape, ushering in an era of increased reliability, economic growth, and job creation within the burgeoning UAV industry.

In an era marked by escalating cyber threats, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is spearheading a pioneering initiative to fortify the resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Over the past few years, the frequency and impact of cyberattacks have surged, disrupting vital operations across various sectors. Notable incidents, such as the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, have underscored the vulnerability of critical infrastructure, prompting a proactive response from CISA.

Recognising the evolving threat landscape, CISA is thrilled to unveil a groundbreaking pilot programme tailored to provide cybersecurity shared services on a voluntary basis to entities within critical infrastructure sectors. The initiative comes in the wake of escalating cyber-physical attacks that have demonstrated the potential to disrupt essential functions and, in extreme cases, threaten human life.

Having served as a managed service provider for the federal civilian government, CISA is leveraging its experience and expertise to extend support to non-federal organisations grappling with cybersecurity risks. Empowered by a new congressional authority, CISA aims to deliver enterprise cybersecurity solutions that enhance the resilience of critical infrastructure and contribute to risk reduction, cost savings, and standardisation.

A vital component of this programme is deploying CISA’s Protective Domain Name System (DNS) Resolver to pilot participants. Formerly exclusive to federal civilian agencies, this proven and cost-effective solution utilises U.S. government and commercial threat intelligence to preemptively block systems from connecting to known or suspected domains. The success of CISA’s Protective DNS service is evident in its prevention of nearly 700 million connection attempts from federal agencies to malicious domains since 2022, effectively mitigating risks associated with common cyber threats like ransomware, phishing, and malicious redirects.

By expanding the accessibility of its highly scalable Protective DNS service, CISA is extending critical cybersecurity protections to “Target Rich, Resource Poor” entities within the critical infrastructure landscape. This strategic move aims to provide essential safeguards that have proven instrumental in reducing enterprise risk across federal government agencies.

The ongoing pilot programme involves the identification of critical infrastructure entities interested in adopting CISA-provided commercial shared services. This phase serves to stress-test service delivery mechanisms, demonstrate the scalability of cybersecurity services, and establish CISA’s ability to efficiently acquire, deploy, and operate these services on a large scale. As part of its ‘Target Rich, Resource Poor’ strategy, CISA is collaborating with entities in healthcare, water, and K-12 education sectors during the initial phase, with plans to extend services to up to 100 entities by the end of the year.

In addition to technical deployment, CISA is fostering engagement through roundtables and information sessions with critical infrastructure partners across all sectors and regions. This proactive approach aims to comprehensively understand their unique needs, challenges, and existing capabilities, allowing CISA to tailor its shared services effectively. The insights garnered from these discussions, combined with the results of the Protective DNS pilot, will guide efforts to enhance support for the nation’s critical infrastructure organisations.

As the designated Cyber Defence Agency for the United States, CISA believes that delivering cost-effective, scalable, and innovative cybersecurity solutions to critical infrastructure entities is crucial to fulfilling its national cyber mission. The dynamic nature of the cyber threat environment underscores the urgency of collective cyber defence, and CISA stands ready to meet the evolving challenges, supporting entities in safeguarding the digital backbone of the nation.


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