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Vietnam improves security for cyberspaces

Vietnam saw significant improvements in its cybersecurity landscape in 2020 despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A recent press release quoted data from a global cybersecurity firm that showed that Vietnam ranked 19th worldwide in 2020 in the number of cyber threats, a decrease of 14.2% to 64.35 million. As per the report, 39.1% of Vietnamese online users were attacked last year as the country fell two places in the list of the most attacked countries and territories. Last year, it detected 268.51 million local threats in Vietnam or infections where users are attacked by malware spread offline through removable USB drives, CDs, and DVDs. This was a 27.8% drop.

Some 64.6% of Vietnamese users are affected by offline threats, the eighth highest in the world. In 2019, the country had ranked sixth. Malaysia had the highest number of web threats in Southeast Asia with 48.75 million. Singapore had the lowest number of offline incidents in the ASEAN with 4.41 million, the report said.

Viruses cost Vietnam over US$1 billion last year, cybersecurity firm Bkav said in a report in January. Last year, Vietnam saw significant improvements in its cybersecurity landscape despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to a coordinated campaign by the government and private partners.

According to industry experts, enterprises and organisations in Vietnam should pay more attention to the importance of threat intelligence for all industries, which can help further boost their defenses against sophisticated cyberattacks. Nguyen Khac Lich, Deputy Director of the Authority of Information Security under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) said that cybersecurity is a national priority.

“Ensuring cybersecurity is considered a key factor for successful digital transformation and sustainability, and an important part that cannot be separated from the digital transformation journey,” he added. “We are facing increasingly dangerous and sophisticated cyberattacks. Each agency, organisation, business, and user must always be ready to respond to threats in cyberspace.”

Under the national digital transformation programme by 2025 and vision towards 2030, Vietnam aims to be among the 30 leading countries in cybersecurity and safety. The Party Central Committee issued Resolution No. 52-NQ/TW in September 2019 on a number of policies and guidelines regarding the country’s engagement in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with an emphasis on building robust digital infrastructure.

The government also aims to put Vietnam among the top 50 countries in terms of e-government by 2030, while the digital economy is to contribute 30% to GDP. More than 80% of the population is to have e-payment accounts over the course of the next decade. Digital transformation is an inevitable trend among businesses in the context of integration and COVID-19, according to experts. Vietnam was one of the first two countries worldwide to organise online trade promotion conferences amid the pandemic, helping enterprises approach partners and markets while remaining at home.

Last year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and other ministries, localities, and business associations organised more than 500 international trade promotion conferences virtually. As a result, over one million transactions were conducted and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese firms assisted in trade promotions around the world. The banking and finance sector has also taken strong steps forward in digital transformation over recent times.

Figures from MIC reveal that the country is now home to around 58,000 digital technology firms employing more than one million workers. In 2020 alone, up to 13,000 digital technology enterprises were established.

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