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Vietnam encourages domestic development of cybersecurity products

Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

The government’s mission for cybersecurity is to protect Vietnam’s sovereignty and prosperity in cyberspace, and according to Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung, “digital trust” will be a decisive factor for the move from the real to the virtual world.

By domestically developing and manufacturing cybersecurity products based on open platforms, technology firms will be able to foster this digital trust among their consumers. Many countries have stated that they will only use open technologies, especially when building key national infrastructure.

Vietnam has developed 5G technology based on Open RAN standards, and its 5G network will also use open-source, a favourable move for Vietnam cybersecurity firms, a press statement has noted. Cybersecurity firms need to cooperate closely with ICT product and service development companies so that the products, services, and systems can be secured at the highest level.

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) is encouraging cybersecurity firms to have new approaches in both technology and marketing to popularise cybersecurity products and services.

A report found that in 2017, 5.1 Petabytes of big data were revealed. In 2019, a British energy firm was scammed for US$243,000. In 2020, information from about 500,000 Zoom accounts was put up online for sale.

In Vietnam, three million DDoS attacks were recorded by state-run enterprise Viettel in the last year. As many as 156 organisations and 306 government offices were attacked. There were four phishing attacks targeting banks, which affected around 26,000 banking service users.

Businesses and governmental organisations around the world are making big investments in information security. The global cybersecurity market had an estimated value of US$168 billion in 2019.

Though budgets have decreased because of COVID-19, many organisations have kept investments on information security unchanged. The pandemic has prompted many businesses to shift to working online. The cybersecurity market scale is predicted to be US$215 billion in the next two years.

Industry analysts believe that technological solutions on networking security, 5G, and internal network security, as well as the ones on automation, will receive the most investment. The protection of users’ identity is also becoming more important.

The proportion of information security products made here has been increasing rapidly in the last five years. In 2015, domestically-made products only accounted for 5%, the present figure is 91% and will be 100% in 2021.

The revenue from domestic cybersecurity products compared with foreign products increased from 18% in 2015 to 39% in 2019, and it is expected to reach 45% by the end of the year. Cybersecurity products and services are predicted to generate VND1.9 trillion (about US$ 82 million) in revenue this year.

The government has tasked MIC to develop and master Vietnam’s ecosystem of cybersecurity products that serve e-government, smart cities, and important national information systems. The ministry has affirmed that cybersecurity is the prerequisite condition for e-government development and digital transformation.

According to the Authority for Information Security (AIS), in 2019, the investments in information security accounted for 5% of investments in IT. MIC is trying to increase the figure to 10% this year. Meanwhile, spending on cybersecurity in 2021 is predicted to be three or four times higher than in 2020.

The head of the agency said it will build a system to assess and inspect information security in accordance with international standards. It will assess 300-500 information security versions in 2021-2025. This is expected to help shorten the time for assessment, saving money for cybersecurity firms.

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