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Vietnam Calls for Stronger Information Security on Mobile Devices

In Vietnam, as citizens gradually grow accustomed to using smart devices for most daily activities like online shopping, distance working and learning, and accessing public services, the identification and prevention of cyber-attacks have become a top priority for the government.

Smartphones have been an essential equipment piece for Vietnamese people to participate in digital transformation, the Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Information Security Association (VNISA), Tran Minh Triet, recently stated. It is, therefore, necessary to closely monitor different cyber-attack methods on smartphones and be more cautious when launching applications on them.

Triet noted that every province and municipality should develop its own strategic plan for information security, corresponding with its actual digital transformation status and capacity. More piloting schemes should be carried out to check whether important information systems can survive major incidents. A safe and secured digital economy must be established, he added.

A press release by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) quoted an official as saying that unless information security is effectively guaranteed, there will be trouble achieving comprehensive digital transformation as citizens will encounter information leaks (loose confidentiality) or unworking applications (application unavailability).

Because of a sharp increase in computer and mobile device use in Vietnam, the country has become a lucrative target of cyber criminals. In addition, a large number of the population unwittingly installs cracked software, a consequence of a lack of awareness about cyber criminals and cybercrime tactics.

Statistics from the Authority of Information Security, under MIC, reveal that among over 7,600 cyber-attacks in Vietnam in the first 7 months of this year, there were 4,703 malicious code attacks, 4.3 times as many as interface change attacks. Each month, more than 760,000 Vietnamese IP addresses are in botnets, many of which are official IPs of state agencies and organisations.

These figures have shown the essence of information security maintenance when the government is carrying out digital transformation nationwide so that citizens can see the reliability of a digital environment that is honest, civilized, and healthy. When the digital government is formed, any telecoms or information technology failures (data loss, information leak) might lead to disasters and an operation stall in state units, further resulting in social disorders. There must be new thinking in the strategy to ensure cyber security at all levels from the government to state units, businesses, and individuals, the release added.

Currently, the total number of domestic cybersecurity specialists available is only 50,000 against the demand of 700,000, meaning a severe shortage of manpower in the country’s data security sector. As per MIC, cybersecurity specialists are now the most sought-after in the labour market.

The government issued a decision last month approving the Strategy on National Cyber Security and Safety. It is a legal document to detail necessary tasks and responsibilities to ensure information security for the national digital transformation process. Through the strategy, the country will foster digital trust and build an honest, civilized, and healthy network environment. It will prevent and combat law violations in cyberspace and enhance technological mastery and autonomy to actively cope with cyberspace challenges.

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