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Ramping Up Cyber Security in Indonesia

With the increasing number of data breaches and security threats, cybersecurity has become a major concern for the world’s major developing countries. Cybersecurity threats not only endanger a country’s business ecosystem but also have implications for its growth and stability in various aspects. Securing cybersecurity at the regional and national level is very crucial to ensure minimised hindrances against the country’s growth and economic aspects.

Indonesia, the country with the fourth-fastest growth in internet users in the world, faces both great opportunities and significant threats as digital technology and the internet advance. However, according to the Indonesian government’s cyber and crypto agency, Badan Siber dan Sandi Negara (BSSN), Indonesia is becoming a victim of an increasing number of cyber-attacks, with over 423 million recorded by the end of 2020. Without solid cybersecurity systems, the 150 million internet users in Indonesia are at risk of being caught up in a tragic cybersecurity issue.

Strengthening the legal and policy fundamentals of cybersecurity and cryptology is essential if Indonesia is to grow its digital economy, embrace the fourth industrial revolution, and protect critical infrastructure and information security assets.

To combat these attacks, Indonesia’s government had recently partnered with a leading cybersecurity solutions vendor in an effort to strengthen the country’s cybersecurity capabilities and fend off mounting threats. Badan Siber dan Sandi Negara recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to improve cybersecurity capacity development and institution building within the country’s government sector. Broadly, the MoU covers collaborating through knowledge-sharing, capacity-building, cybersecurity training and joint programs to build cyber awareness in Indonesia.

The move comes amid a period of growing risk of cyber-crime in Indonesia. The cyber-security enterprise claims that its solutions alone have stopped over 9.6 million internet-borne malware attacks which almost infected users in Indonesia.

Preventive and repressive measures have been taken to prevent and mitigate the risk of cyber-crime as Indonesia accelerates its overall digitalisation, but such risks continue to develop and must also be addressed by raising cybersecurity awareness.

In order to manage these cyber-security issues, the government must consider other initiatives, such as improving the development of machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing, which continuously make these institutions more vulnerable to a variety of cyber-attacks.

Moreover, Indonesia’s cybersecurity industry is underdeveloped. Foreign hardware and software products still dominate its market. Only the local consulting industry has grown well, providing services such as digital forensics and security.

The National Cyber and Crypto Agency needs to collaborate with various institutions to develop a road map for the industry’s development. Such a goal necessitates long-term research and planning, as well as substantial capital investment.

Dynamics between the military and police, rival security agencies, and civil-military relations have undermined strategic clarity and policy coherence in a variety of national security policy areas such as counterterrorism, maritime security, and cyberspace.

Cybersecurity defence in depth is not going away. Organisations will never have a single silver bullet that will completely eliminate the risk of a cyber-attack, but rather will have multiple technologies and processes in place to help ensure those threats are minimised. To increase the effectiveness of Indonesia’s cybersecurity initiatives, the government must make them more specific and, in collaboration with all stakeholders, continuously socialise them.

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