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Vietnam Issues Directive on Cybersecurity

The country’s Prime Minister, Pham Minh Chinh, recently issued Directive No. 18/CT-TTg on accelerating the implementation of activities to respond to cybersecurity incidents in Vietnam. The directive states that cybersecurity is an important, cross-cutting pillar in the creation of digital trust. Its promotion will protect the country’s prosperous development in the digital era as the country attempts comprehensive national digital transformation.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), responding to cybersecurity incidents is a key and urgent activity to help agencies and organisations minimise damage from cyberattacks. The government will pay more attention to reviewing, detecting, and fixing vulnerabilities and weaknesses. It will proactively monitor and detect any network information insecurity risks to promptly handle incidents. It will strictly implement regulations on reporting online information security incidents.

The Prime Minister urged stakeholders to thoroughly grasp the contents of the Directive and devise measures to address and timely handle cybersecurity incidents. Stakeholders include ministers, heads of ministerial-level agencies, chairpersons of the People’s Committees of provinces and centrally-run cities, presidents and general directors of corporations, state corporations, and enterprises that are members (or have affiliated units as members) of the National Cyber Information Security Incident Response Network.

At present, the response to cybersecurity incidents in agencies, organisations, and enterprises in Vietnam has not met the requirements of early proactive response, and the timely and effective handling of incidents. Meanwhile, cyberattacks have risen to an increasingly large and complex scale, which can have unpredictable consequences for socioeconomic development and stability.

MIC recorded 988 cyberattacks on businesses and organisations in September, up 8.9% over last month and 19.9% year-on-year. The number of cyberattacks in Vietnam reached over 9,500 between January and September, with a monthly average of nearly 1,060 attacks, according to statistics from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

The data showed that Vietnam’s information system suffered 2,878 cyberattacks in the third quarter, up 15.5% over the same period last year. Security vulnerability is one of the leading causes of cyberattacks. However, many organisations and enterprises in Vietnam have yet to fully pay attention to warnings from functional units about serious security vulnerabilities and the threats of cyberattacks.

Additionally, the limited capabilities of users and system administrators in protecting the information system have also been blamed for the increase in cyber incidents lately. To reduce the risk of cyberattacks, Vietnam’s enterprises and organisations should strive to detect signs of attacks early and ensure information security in their system, NCSC experts noted. The Authority of Information Security will update and send warnings over serious and large-scale security vulnerabilities to the relevant enterprises and organisations.

To boost cybersecurity, in August, the government issued a decision 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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