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Vietnam’s major cybersecurity initiatives over the last year

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) of the Vietnam Authority of Information Security has announced the top outstanding cybersecurity events in 2020. According to a press release, even though the country had to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, it still fulfilled the tasks of its ASEAN 2020 chairmanship well. The country successfully organised a series of unprecedented online events at international and regional stature, including tens of events as the ASEAN Chair, and the 37th ASEAN Summit, the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41), and ITU Digital World 2020.

The great success of the events was partially created by cybersecurity experts from the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of National Defence, and firms providing services.

All ministries, branches, localities deployed SOC with NCSC connections

The fact that all government organisations have implemented the Security Operation Centre (SOC) and have technical connections with the National Counterintelligence and Security Centre (NCSC) show progress in information security at agencies and units when deploying the four-layer model as instructed by the government, the release noted. SOC allows agencies to take the initiative in ensuring cybersecurity.

Scanning, handling of malware campaign applied in entire the Vietnamese cyberspace

The campaign was deployed by NCSC in cooperation with businesses of the Alliance for malware prevention and handling of cyberattacks and international businesses.

Carried out via the portal from September to December, the campaign was implemented concurrently in all provinces and cities from local to central levels. The campaign achieved the goal of reducing 50% of malware infections and reducing Vietnam’s IP addresses in botnet networks by half.

WhiteHat Grand Prix 06

Several national and international cybersecurity competitions were organised, including WhiteHat Grand Prix 06 and the ASEAN student contest on information security. The competitions have contributed to promoting and developing cybersecurity human resources in Vietnam. Most of the competitions were sponsored by MIC.

Vietnam announced requirements on technical specifications for terminals, base stations, and 5G network service quality.

The popularity of 5G technology will create far-reaching breakthroughs on the scale and speed of information. Vietnam is speeding up the commercialisation of 5G mobile network. MIC has determined that cybersecurity is an essential factor when implementing 5G. A legal framework for 5G cybersecurity was established, including decisions issued in September.

‘Make in Vietnam’ cybersecurity products accounted for 90%

In 2015, Vietnam-made cybersecurity products accounted for only 5%, while the figure rose to 55% in 2019. In 2020, Vietnam operated more than 90% of the ecosystem of cybersecurity products serving the Party, state agencies, and public.

DF Cyber Defense 2020

NCSC and the IEC Group organised Banking Tech 2020. The highlight of the event was DF Cyber Defense, the drill for mock cyberattacks. 30 businesses and organisations in the fields of finance (banking, insurance, and securities) participated.

Government measures to prevent spam

Decree 91 on preventing and fighting spam SMS, messages, and calls was released in August. Many measures were taken to implement the decree. Mobile network operators ran systems to prevent and filter spam messages. The government handled subscribers delivering spam calls and discovered and blocked fake calls.

Online phishing prevention  

Online phishing cases rose in 2020 as countries were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and were required to communicate online. This led to an increase in scams, especially via telecom and social networks.

APT attacks targeted popular software products

A wide range of popular products, software, and applications had critical vulnerabilities. Hackers took advantage and launched various cyberattacks. Vietnam discovered and prevented a series of intentional offensive campaigns.

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