Experts: Regional cooperation crucial in APAC’s cyber-capacity development

WHAT are the real needs and goals of Asia Pacific (APAC) countries in cyber capacity building, education and awareness, and whose role is it to play in ensuring that these goals are met?

These were the questions that were addressed during Kaspersky’s recent APAC Online Policy Forum III, which carried the theme ‘Greater cyber-resilience through cyber capacity building’.

The virtual forum was joined by a high-level panel of speakers from the region including Interpol Cybercrime director Craig Jones, Chinese Academy of Cyberspace Studies vice president Professor Li Yuxiao, Korea University School of Cybersecurity lecturer Professor Seungjoo Kim and Kaspersky managing director for Asia Pacific Chris Connell.

A nation’s cyber-resilience abilities are often limited by the know-how of its human resources and the quality of cross border collaboration between the region’s private and public organisations.

Thus, the speakers have shed light on the cybersecurity gaps stakeholders in APAC should address urgently to build a safer cyberspace.

“In this cyber age, as we experience an accelerated digital transformation, we’re facing security challenges that put a strain on cybersecurity resources. Investing in cyber talent and promoting security,” said Kaspersky’s Connell.

Multiple studies released for the past few years have noted the global cybersecurity skills gap, particularly in APAC, primarily driven by the region’s accelerated digitalisation efforts, which does not come free of cybersecurity risks as highlighted by Interpol’s Jones.

“With the continued rise in cyber threats and cybercriminal activities impacting communities, a new paradigm has emerged for global law enforcement,” he remarked.

“One of the key challenges that Interpol identified are the gaps in law enforcement cyber capabilities and capacity, nationally, regionally and globally.

“While these remain, criminal networks are able to expand their infrastructure and activities.

“To overcome this challenge, law enforcement must be a trusted partner beyond national borders and sectors, and being collaborative, inclusive and open will help us reduce the gaps, thus bridging the divides in capabilities and capacity.”

Professor Li Yuxiao, who is also Cyber Security Association of China secretary-general, echoes Jones’ points in terms of focusing on the long term and joint building a community with a shared future in cyberspace.

Li further went on to specify that cyber capacity building in APAC should “focus on network infrastructure, be alert to the challenges brought by cyber security, and strengthen the development of personnel training system” as the region continues to harness the power of Industry 4.0.

Driven by the low production costs, extensive industrial base, and greater support from local governments in APAC, the region is ripe to be the centre and biggest market for Industry 4.0 in the next five years.

South Korea’s Presidential Committee member Professor Seungjoo Kim on the 4th Industrial Revolution, recounted success stories where countries are starting to beef up their cybersecurity policies and regulations alongside their intense drive towards a more connected society.

“As we enter the era of the 4th Revolution, cybersecurity is becoming more important than ever,” Kim noted, citing European Union – whereby the regulations on automotive cybersecurity will be mandatory for all new vehicles produced from July 2024 – as an example.

“As the importance of cybersecurity spreads across all areas, security experts are forced to have more in-depth domain knowledge than ever before.

“Now, it’s time for us to think about a more effective workforce development program to train security experts specialized in each industrial sector,” he concluded. – Sept 15, 2021

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