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Vietnam Ranks 25 in Global Cybersecurity Index

Vietnam has been ranked 25th out of 194 countries and territories in the Global Cybersecurity Index 2020 (GCI), recently released by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Compared to the previous GCI released in 2019, Vietnam is in the seventh position in the Asia-Pacific region, surpassing Thailand to take fourth place in the ASEAN region, just behind Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Vietnam earned an overall score of 94.59 out of the total 100, with improvement recorded across all five pillars – Legal Measures (20/20), Cooperative Measures (20/20), Technical Measures (16.31/20), Organisational Measures (18.98/20), and Capacity Development (19.26/20). According to a press release, a representative of the Authority of Information Security (Ministry of Information and Communications) said that the aforementioned results are thanks to Vietnam’s efforts in a long journey, clearly reflected through senior leaders’ political determination on the issue of cyber safety and security. Also, due to the efforts of ministries, sectors, and localities in implementing information security work according to a four-layer model, thus enabling Vietnam to have a sufficiently secure legal corridor on cyber safety.

The 2020 GCI report also recognises significant improvement in the ranking of other Asian nations, especially ASEAN countries which have made great efforts in ensuring cyber safety and security over the past few years. In particular, India jumped 37 places to 10th in the 2020 release, while the Republic of Korea climbed to fourth from 15th and Japan leapt seven places to seventh. Indonesia rose to the 24th position.

Vietnam must maintain its ranking in the top 25 countries regarding cyber safety and security to realise its goal of becoming a powerhouse in cybersecurity, the release noted. The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) is the central authority for cybersecurity. It has been assertively investigating, detecting, and prosecuting cybercrimes in the last few years. The enforcement practice has been focused on tackling the illegal trade of personal data, unauthorised disclosure of personal data, and data theft.

In 2019, Vietnam established the Vietnam Cybersecurity Emergency Response Teams/Coordination Centre (VNCERT/CC). This agency is dedicated to coordinating responses to security incidents and verifying information security nationwide. The establishment of VNCERT/CC was timely, considering a growing number of cyberattacks in Vietnam.

Earlier in June, VNCERT/CC took part in the 2021 ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Drill. The aim of the event was to enhance cooperation between Japan and ten ASEAN countries by addressing trans-national cybersecurity incidents. As OpenGov Asia had reported, the event was connected with 200 locations across the country for IT units of ministries, agencies, provinces, and cities to join the event. This year’s drill focused on coordination in dealing with cyber-attacks targeting state agencies through Virtual Private Network vulnerabilities and preventing ransomware attacks on medical institutions.

Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused impacts on cybersecurity, said the Deputy Director of the Information Security Authority. Cyberattacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Health systems that are struggling to fight the pandemic are still subject to these kinds of attacks. He stressed the need for countries and organisations to strengthen protective measures and coordinate in responding to arising incidents, especially to support and protect health systems.

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